Monday, April 02, 2007

Bombay trilogy !!

I have finished reading Suketu Bhatt's Maximum City. In some sense the trilogy is complete. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra and now Maximum City. Its all about one thing and one thing only Bombay or Mumbai.

All authors give us a glimpse of this Country within a City . A nation state where despite all its problems people from every corner of India come in search of fulfilling their dreams.

Shantaram is the author's story. He is escaped convict from Australia . Here we learn about Slums , people living in it, their dreams and aspirations. We understand how foreign national people here survive forever. We learn all the illegal business conducted by the mafia.

Sacred Games is a fictional story about a Mumbai cop and a underworld mafia don. We see Mumbai through the eyes of these and more characters. We get the glimpse of the underworld , wars among various companies. How the cops are all integrated into this. How each cop works for either of these companies.

Maximum City is a first person, non fiction story where the author meets all sorts of people . People involved in killing muslims in the riots, people who are shooters for the mafia, gangsters, bar girls, bollywood people,politicians, business men et al.

I have learnt that there are two cities Mumbai for the Maharashtraians , for Shiv Sena and Bombay(Bambayie) for the cosmopolitan,the “other state” people doing business; how these two worlds clash and it can get bloody at times. But when it comes to Business , it doesnot matter whether you are in Mumbai or Bombay, whether you are a Hindu , Muslim , Sikh or Christian. Its just business as usual.

I learn that , there is nothing right or wrong. We all live in the grey area . Thats what Bombay teaches .

1 comment:

thegajman said...

coincidentally i just published a post yesterday about the deluge of books about bombay of late on my blog http://footnotesonpage4.blogspot.com. talked about the same 3 books (absolutely fascinating stuff) and the 4th one I've started - Sacred games. Really good one.