Saturday, November 29, 2008

What They Hate About Mumbai

My bleeding city. My poor great bleeding heart of a city. Why do they go after Mumbai? There’s something about this island-state that appalls religious extremists, Hindus and Muslims alike. Perhaps because Mumbai stands for lucre, profane dreams and an indiscriminate openness.

Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction. From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it. I once asked a Muslim man living in a shack without indoor plumbing what kept him in the city. “Mumbai is a golden songbird,” he said. It flies quick and sly, and you’ll have to work hard to catch it, but if you do, a fabulous fortune will open up for you. The executives who congregated in the Taj Mahal hotel were chasing this golden songbird. The terrorists want to kill the songbird.

Suketu Mehta, a professor of journalism at New York University, is the author of "Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.”
To read the full article of What They Hate About Mumbai go to the NYT

And a piece by Christopher HitchensOur Friends in Bombay

An interesting book about life in Mumbai by
Gregory David Roberts, who obviously loves it.


shawn said...

Yup, I want to book a flight back there and enjoy the city, it deserves it. My wife - an Indian Muslim - and I were there, and all the Muslim cab drivers were super-friendly, wanted to chat with her about what it was like to be married to a white guy, told her how it was awesome she had brought me here, etc. No judgment, just genuine curiosity and friendliness, and that sure doesn't happen in supposedly progressive Toronto. Bombay is open to all, and that must really grate on the close-minded. So the best thing people can do is go there. It is one of the greatest cities in the world, and it will overcome this.

mustafa said...

Should have left it called Bombay fucking HIndu's


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