Mumbai Fables is a gripping narrative on the fascinating cultural, and colonial history of the metropolitan city of Mumbai through the years, and chronicles the events, scandals, and turning points in history, that helped shape this enigmatic city.
Summary Of The Book
The city of Mumbai, inhabited by millions from all parts of the country, can be described in numerous ways, as enigmatic, cosmopolitan, bursting with energy, a throbbing hotbed of activity and ambition, a city of dreams, although nightmarish to some, and a melting pot of many communities, languages, and cultures, all in the same breath.
Over the years, Mumbai has emerged from a city of islands, to the chaotic canvas of life, toil, and struggle that it stands for today. From opium smugglers, and underworld dons, to philanthropic leaders, and founder fathers, Mumbai has witnessed it all, and has the scars and wounds to show for it.
Part thriller, and part biopic, Mumbai Fables presents a gritty and accurate portrayal of Mumbai’s cultural and colonial history, as seen through the eyes of many writers, colonial authors, artists, filmmakers, journalists, planners, activists, and inhabitants of Mumbai. It provides an unparalleled and fascinating account of Mumbai’s existence, right from its roots.
Mumbai Fables begins with a haunting passage from a 1927 thriller novel, setting the tone for the events steeped in mystery, that are to follow, in this rich narrative on the allure, illusion, and myths surrounding Mumbai. It chronicles many major and turbulent events, including Vasco Da Gama’s arrival, the reign of the Portuguese, the British invasion, the era of post-colonisation, and the leftist mill age.
With chapters on colonial India and the original reclamation project, famous scandals including the Nanavati case, the failed attempts at town planning in the 1960-70s, the rise of Shiv Sena, the Mumbai riots, and bomb blasts, this book uncovers incidents, episodes, and events from Mumbai’s political, social, and cultural backdrop, that account for how Mumbai has shaped up to be in today’s day and age.
A remarkable book packed with interesting trivia, juicy facts, and revealing details about Mumbai’s extraordinary past and present, Mumbai Fables is an informative exploration of Mumbai’s kaleidoscopic history, and sheds light on the stories that make Mumbai what it is today, one of the world’s most significant, urban centres. Plans are underway to release a film in 2014, based on the book. It would be titled Bombay Velvet, and would attempt to recreate Mumbai through the 50s, 60s, and 70s eras as vividly described in the book.
About Gyan Prakash
Gyan Prakash is an Indian Historian as well as a Professor of History at Princeton University.
He is the author of Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India, Bonded Histories: Genealogies of Labor Servitude in Colonial India, and Worlds Together: Worlds Apart: A History of the Modern World, 1300 to the Present.
Born in 1952, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Delhi University in 1973. Thereafter, he got an MA in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Ph.D from University of Pennsylvania. He remains an active advisor on postcolonial theory and comparative colonialism, global and urban history, and modern South Asian history.
Scholarly and beautifully written
25 Dec, 2011
A Classic Guide
8 Oct, 2011
Certified Buyer, Surat
28 Aug, 2014
Must read. I bought 6 copies till now and gifted them to friends.
Certified Buyer, Mumbai
18 Dec, 2013