Words paint what the brush can’t and over the years the seven isles of Bom Bahia turned Bombay turned Mumbai has been painted and re-painted in words of all colors. The rainbow dazzle of the glitz to the grey rawness of humanity – it is all here, in the country’s most liberal cosmopolitan. ‘Amachi Mumbai’ has been painted literary many-a-time, by Indian and foreign authors alike capturing the spirit and soul of this city, amidst those pulp pages. MumbaiMag takes a look at three such reads by Mumbaikars, about Mumbai, for the world that shows us the city we see everyday yet fail to see.
1. Bombay, Meri Jaan
Edited by noted Mumbai based Journalist and poet Jerry Pinto and Naresh Farnandes this anthology of prose, poems, cartoons and photographs on Mumbai by noted writers like Sulman Rusdie, Khushwant Singh, V.S. Naipaul and many others is what I would call the ultimate guide into the soul of Mumbai. The slums, the concrete jungle, the sea, the locals, the regional politics, the ganpati bappa; this book gives the reader the variety and spice that only the city it talks about can equal.
2. Ravan and Eddie
Written by critically acclaimed Mumbai author Kiran Nagarkar the book deals with the lives of two characters – Ravan, the Hindu Maratha and Eddie, the Roman Catholic who grew up together in CWD chawl no. 17 in the post independence decade in what was then Bombay. This uproariously funny novel, with larger than life characters gives a view into a by gone era of the city underlining the struggles, strengths and spirit of the city in a very satiral rendering.
3. Love and Longing in Bombay
Written by Vikram Chandra, who divides his time between Mumbai and Oakland, this collection of five stories captures the internal ghosts and external feuds of the city. All the five stories connected only by the narrator who narrates these stories on five evenings in a smoky Mumbai bar finely points out the emotions that run in underbelly of the metropolis, that gives the balancing grey to the eye blinding glitz of the city, the human passion that can make and break yet how the city makes itself out of every break it faces.
Check these out especially on a weekend this monsoons, you will fall in love with the queen by the sea yet again and let us know your favorite reads that capture our zestful city in a color that is copy rightly mumbaiya.