Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bombay Books 1

Here is a list of books that are either about Mumbai or the backdrop of the story based in Mumbai. The list is in no particular order but includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, compilations and so on. If you want to ensure that I add all of them to Bombay Books 2, 3 etc, do leave a message. The obvious ones like Maximum City, Shantaram and Sacred Games along with the many others that I have in mind will be added in due course. The list is exhaustive and will be continued..

Kala Ghoda Poems

Poems penned by a simple man, the late Arun Kolhatkar while sitting at the erstwhile Wayside Inn at Kala Ghoda make their way into this book. . I was fortunate to have met him once, very briefly. My favorite for obvious reasons is Pi-dog but the compilation of 28 poems brings out Mumbai’s ethos on a Kala Ghoda backdrop.

Time Out Mumbai

Mumbai finally has a magazine of her own (for two years now) after many years since ‘Bombay’ and ‘Island’ disappeared from the scene. Edited by Bandra boy Naresh Fernandes, this fortnightly previews probably everything that you can do with respect to Mumbai’s Food and Drink, Art, Books, Dance, Films, Music, Nightlife, Theatre, Happenings and also has a section for Kids.

Anchoring A City Line

This book details the history of the Western Suburban Railway (the life line of this city) and its Headquarters in Bombay from 1899 to 1999. It contains some beautiful old photographs of different aspects of the railways i.e. trains, tracks, stations, engines, bogeys etc with well researched information by well known heritage writers Rahul Mehrotra and Sharada Dwivedi.

50 And Done

Tara Deshpande, the actress has written some short stories and verses that provide glimpses of Bombay through stories like Wicked, which is about a loney old woman and a bunch of wicked children out to seek revenge over the loss of a cricket ball at a building in Marine Drive. Other Mumbai mentions in the book include Mondegar Cafe, Grant Road’s Topaz, St Xavier’s College, Mid-Day, Carter Road and Ruparel College.

Busy Bee (From Bombay to Mumbai)

Busy Bee or Behram Contractor’s compilation of his columns ‘Round and About’ which he wrote initially for the Mid-Day and then for his Afternoon Despatch and Courier that struck a chord with millions. Many people used to buy the newspaper just because of his column. Nobody and I say nobody can write about or know Bombay as well as Busybee did. He wrote simple, everyday stuff about the life in this city by creating a character for himself as a family man with a wife, two sons (Derek and Darryl) and a dog (Bolshoi). Busybee loved Bombay and this is what he said about the city, “ Everybody has some place he calls home. This is my home, Bombay. I would not live anywhere else even if I were paid five month’s salary in a lump sum.

Bombay Gothic

Christopher London takes us through the fascinating history of Gothic Bombay through color photographs and rare archival material. This book presents a comprehensive perspective of Victorian architecture (here ,it is Gothic Revival architectural style adapted to local conditions) of Bombay as envisaged by Governor HBE Frere.

Bombay Time

Thirty Umrigar work of fiction is based in Wadia Baug, a Parsi colony in Mumbai where she introduces us to its Parsi inhabitants, men and woman who have grown up together in the Baug’s aging community. Here she takes us through the life of Rusi Billimoria, a middle aged businessman coming to terms with his bad marriage.

The Mumbai Nature Guide

Sunjoy Monga, the Mumbai based naturalist surveys a selection of natural sites in and around the city. He takes us to Borivali’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Chinchoti, Tungaresjwar, Elephanta, Karjat, Aarey Milk colony, Uran, IIT Campus, Malabar Hill and the Mahalakshmi Racecourse and many many more green places. The book has beautiful photographs of the flora, fauna and birds found in these areas.

City of Gold – The Biography of Bombay

This book was published in 1982 and is a must read for anyone who wants to know Bombay’s origin and history. Gillian Tindall has done immense research and in her foreword says “ battered, dirt, overcrowded and choked with exhaust fumes, it may be, but it is also a city of dreams”

Times Good Food Guide ( Mumbai)

This has a listing with ratings on the food, service, ambience and expense of mostly all the restaurants, bars, pubs, paan shops, caterers, restobars and nightclubs classified zone-wise, cuisi ne-wise, area-wise and alphabetically.

Swimming Lessons and Other Stories From Firozsha Baag

Rohinton Mistry’s first book with short stories is about the life in a fictional Firozsha Baag, a Bombay based Parsi colony. You will laugh and cry along with the residents such as Najamai, Khorshedbai, Nariman Hansotia, Tehmina, Viraf and others.

Rediscovering Dharavi

Kalpana Sharma narrates stories from Asia’s largest slum Dharavi. She takes us through Dharavi which for many is just a mere cold statistic, through its history from the days when it was one of the six great Koliwadas to the present time and also talks about it’s people like the potters and the chikki maker.

Bombay, Meri Jaan

This book edited by Jerry Pinto and Naresh Fernandes is a compilation of writing on Mumbai by authors like Pico Iyer, Adil Jussawalla, Rudyard Kipling, Suketu Mehta, Sunil Gavaskar, Kiran Nagarkar, Khushwant Singh etc and poems by Nissim Ezekiel, Arundhati Subramaniam and Dilip Chitre.

Love and Longing In Bombay

Vikram Chandra paints a vivid picture of Bombay, its ghosts, its passions, its feuds and its mysteries through five stories called Dharma, Shakti, Kama, Artha and Shakti.


Bombay Addict said...

Awesome work Abodh, can't wait for part 2.

Bijal said...

Hey Abodh, check out Bombay, meri jaan by Fiona Fernandez. She is a friend of mine/colleague. Its trivia on the city