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On Suketu Mehta’S Maximum City – Bombay Lost and Found

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:02 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.1 
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Suketu Mehta’s Bombay, as conveyed through his travelogue cum exposé Maximum City, is a city that is as interesting as it is ambiguous. The novel not only succeeds in exposing the city’s dark underbelly but also takes us on a virtual tour through the city’s varied tastes and vibrant colors. To rate it as a mere travelogue would be a gross understatement; and to relate it to a novel would be artificial for, though the characters related inside could have come right out of a novel, each one of them is as real as the city itself.



The city in Suketu’s book is not a mere location or a landmark. It is the main character that binds together the lives and events that occur in their lives. The method adopted for depicting the city to the reader is through the lives of the people in it. The people, as varied as the city itself, bound together as one by the common dream that is Bombay. This is why the narrative in the book is not only bound to Bombay, there are events related which occur in Dubai. Dialogues with gangsters in Pakistan and Dubai are mentioned. Though the physical separation is present Maximum City clearly depicts how mentally these individuals are still living in Bombay.



The encounters related in the book are as colorful as they are touching. Some of them, like the meetings with the contract killers, are terrifying. While some others, like the meetings with Mona Lisa, are poignant. Throughout the book are related, to the word, the conversations and the revelations of these characters that the author met during his stay in Bombay. Each stand out, or are interesting in their own way. The fearless and honest police officer, the exiled gangsters, the contract killers, the bar dancers, the Jains, the religious fanatics, the slum dwellers etcetera etcetera. All have a story to tell and their collective story is the story of the city.



Through most part of the book the author has taken, rightly, the...

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