Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On Mumbai/Bombay/Bambai/whatever

Exactly what is this city called? I can just see airport destination signs in the year 2015 giving up in multicultural exasperation.

Via Indianwriting, comes this little snippet from The Moor's Last Sigh:

Bombay was central, had been so from the moment of its creation: the bastard child of a Portuguese-English wedding, and yet the most Indian of Indian cities. In Bombay all Indias met and merged. In Bombay, too, all-India met what-was-not-India, what came across the black water to flow into our veins...Bombay was central; all rivers flowed into its human sea. It was an ocean of stories; we were all its narrators, and everybody talked at once.

So like I said, yesterday, all there was left for me to do was to look through my address book and write to all the people I knew. Looking at that email today (I can't seem to get very much done) I realise that the seven people I sent it to comprised one Tamilian married to a Punjabi, one Parsi, one cousin of aforementioned Parsi who is Roman Catholic, one Gujarati Muslim who is married to a Bengali Hindu, one Kannadiga who has actually spent more time in Cal and Bombay than anywhere else, one Maharashtrian who would actually call herself Bangalorean and is married to a Tamilian, and one Tamilian who is married to a Bengali. (shrug) I'm not trying to run a cute national integration ad. In Mumbai, this is how it will always be.

'...the only truly cosmopolitan city in South Asia...' Salil Tripathi calls it.

Comments:
Innteresting but only if the world over, people were cosmopolitan in letter and spirit, what happend in Mumbai would never have happned.

I hope the cosmopolitan spirit spreads far and wide both in style and substance.
 
So senseless, so meaningless an attack. Why? Why? Why?
 
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