“Suketu Mehta has done the impossible: he has captured the city of Bombay on the “Along with V.S. Naipaul's India: A Million Mutinies Now, Maximum City is. A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insider's view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Bombay native Mehta fills his kaleidoscopic portrait of "the biggest, fastest, richest city in India" with captivating .
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Bombay is a city of fourteen million people and growing. A powerful magnet to its vast hinterland of villages. Villages that recreate themselves in the city as slums. A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insider's view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us into the. At 15 million people within its municipal limits, It is a maximum city, maximum in Suketu Mehta, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, New York.
When released in paperback, it was published by Vintage , a subdivision of Random House. Maximum City was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in , and won the Kiriyama Prize , an award given to books that foster a greater understanding of the nations and peoples of the Pacific Rim and South Asia.
It won the Vodafone Crossword Book Award. The Economist named Maximum City one of its books of the year for It was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article includes a list of references , related reading or external links , but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.
Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Retrieved from " https: Hidden categories: By the early s, Calcutta had ceased to be a major centre of commerce and industry. Bombay, on the other hand, began to dazzle; I have no memory of it ever not dazzling.
It was an existence remarkably open to breeze, birds and rainfall, to the arrival of daylight and evening, and it was also strangely, unselfconsciously, enclosed. Its pioneering year-old tradition in literature and the arts, and the way its history was deeply implicated in the traumas and awakenings of colonial and nationalist India — all this was embodied in its heat and noise and architecture.
It possessed the contradictions, the shabby grandeur, of modernity, and the volatile energy that the great cities of the world had before globalisation; I could sense this during my visits as a child. The Bombay I knew was, in comparison, safe, orderly and a bit crass.
I left then, for England; and my parents moved the next year to the Christian suburb of Bandra one of the train stops at which a bomb went off on 11 July , an area on the brink of transformation in , but still possessed by, and offering, a sort of enchantment. My parents lived here for five years before selling their flat and moving to Calcutta in The discovery of Bandra, with its churches, its low houses built on Portuguese lines, its lanes named after Christian saints, meant a great deal to me then, especially in connection with the transition I was making, from the anonymous itinerant at University College London to the aspiring writer with secret ambitions.
An obscure set of motives and compulsions drives people towards the hub of Bombay, or towards some place from which that hub is reachable. One of the compulsions, and a pretty basic one, is to breathe its air.
An upper-class woman who grew up in Bombay and now lives in Calcutta told me she had just returned, invigorated, from a trip to Bombay. It revives me. The need I first felt for that particular air, without being at all aware of it, in Bandra the addict never knows, except in hindsight, that what he or she thinks is interest or curiosity is really an obsession is what makes me restless and resentful when I find myself invited to other cities, but with no excuse to go to Bombay.
Certainly, there are enough deterrents, besides the fear of explosions, to prevent people from piling into train compartments or getting into their cars to make the journeys they do, to and within Bombay. Travelling from Bandra to the centre of the city by car was expensive, even in The first-class compartments of seven such trains were ripped apart by the recent explosions. The trains, even during a normal rush hour, are a frenetic and excessive mode of travel.
Mehta writes well about them and their passengers and their daily exacerbations; the Darwinian conflict among people scrambling to get a seat, and the contradictory, incongruous human impulse to give a fellow commuter a hand.
The crowd is the self, 14 million avatars of it, 14 million celebrations. I will not merge into them; I have elaborated myself into them. There was nothing in my appearance or dress to distinguish me from the crowd eternally hurrying into Churchgate Station.
I travelled both second and first-class. A second-class ticket cost two rupees, first-class 17 rupees.