A place of spectacle and ruin, Mumbai exemplifies the cosmopolitan metropolis. Millions from India and beyond, of different ethnicities, languages and religions, have washed up on its shores, bringing with them their desires and ambitions.
Mumbai Fables explores the mythic inner life of this legendary city as visualized by its inhabitants, journalists, planners, writers, artists, film-makers and political activists. Starting from the catastrophic floods and terrorist attacks of recent years, Prakash reaches back to the sixteenth-century Portuguese conquest to reveal the stories behind Mumbai's historic journey.
He looks at Mumbai's nineteenth-century development under British rule and its twentieth-century avatar as a fabled city on the sea to examine its emergence as a symbol of opportunity and reinvention. Different layers of urban experience come to light as he recounts the Nanavati murder trial and the rise and fall of the tabloid Blitz, and Mumbai's transformation from the red city of trade unions and communists into the saffron city of the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena.
Starry-eyed planners and elite visionaries, cynical leaders and violent politicians of the street, land sharks and underworld dons jostle with ordinary citizens and poor immigrants as the city copes with the dashed dreams of postcolonial urban life and lurches into the seductions of globalization.
Shedding light on the city's past and present, Mumbai Fables offers an unparalleled look at this extraordinary metropolis.
Author : Gyan Prakash
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