- Hardcover: 125 pages
- Publisher: Aleph Book Company (17 October 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 938227720X
- ISBN-13: 978-9382277200
- Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.9 x 17.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
City Adrift: A Short Biography of Bombay Hardcover – 17 Oct 2013
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Loved this book. Have read other books too about Bombay, so was expecting some repetition. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Naresh Fernandes writes really well and with a deep sympathy for those living on the margins of Bombay's society. Am buying multiple copies and gifting to everyone I know who cares about Bombay. --Sashin T Feb 8, 2014
ish this book was longer. There is so much more the author would have liked to have said. Very insighful and an absolute page turner. If Dalrymple gave Delhi to themselves, Naresh Fernandes can make us discover our very own city ! --By Arun Krishnan on 13 May 2014
Naresh has beautifully captured nuances of Mumbai from its history to its present. Narrative is lucid and captivating. Right size of book for the people who are perpetually on run most for reason but frequently as a default setting of Mumbai gene. --By Rajnish Mehta on 7 April 2014
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Naresh has also discussed in detail (somewhat through opinions) not just the economic journey of the city but also the political and commercial journey. All these put together have made Bombay what it is today. Nothing in isolation. No doubt, the city needs repair and attention. Some other cities have come up massively over time and that has been Bombay's loss. The pain is well reflected in the tone used in the book.
A must read.
The author also rues the fact that gated communities, high walls and cctvs are becoming the norm for complexes. Would the author feel the same if there was a robbery at his "unguarded" home? Or worse, a murder?
Fact is, the crowd in this city has gone from bad to worse due to the importance accorded to MONEY. The "poor", that the author asks us to sympathise with, wouldn't think twice before robbing a dying man of his wallet and mobile. That is the sad sea of humanity we swim in; and if gated communities protect us and our children, then I'm happy with that.
— Suketu Mehta (Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found)
Bombay or “Mumbai” as it is now called is a city that a lot of us love with a passion and hate with a vengeance. There is something about its very nature that brings out these very intense feelings in anyone who has ever been there or calls it home. “A City Adrift – A short biography of Bombay” by Naresh Fernandes the editor of @scroll.in, is a lovely and engaging read on the city that runs in my blood.
In the history lessons in school, we were taught how the island of Bombay was given to Charles II as a lucrative dowry for him marrying the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. Apparently, Charles II was not impressed with her looks and exclaimed “My God! They have brought me a bat’ to marry”. While the dowry couldn’t sweeten the life of the poor princess the East India company who paid an annual rent of 10 pounds per annum, ensured that Bombay changed the fortune of the British Empire.
From historical facts to the empires dreams of reclaiming Bombay, the author moves to how the city became a magnet for people from all walks of society, trade, religion, and culture coexisting together in the same space giving it a distinctive buzz. There were some fascinating tidbits about the opium trade that flourished in Bombay in the 1800’s and the major players behind it who then took on the social responsibility to ensure that the city and its residents benefited from their philanthropical work, which is almost unheard of now.
The book packs a punch in the 155 pages full of historical, political and industrial facts about Bombay, which were hitherto unknown to me. The author laments on the point about the city’s alacrity on getting back to work after every significant calamity it goes through. It doesn’t matter what the issue is Riots, Bomb Blasts, Floods, constant traffic jams, terrible infrastructure and public transport woes nothing and I mean nothing seems to faze the ordinary Mumbaikar who has learned to live in apathy and take it all in his stride. It looks like the soul of Mumbai is dying every single day.
As the city planner Charles Correa said “Bombay is a great city and a terrible place,” beautifully summed up in this book.
Also liked the fact that u got a hardcover at a reasonable price