I talked about a Thrity Umrigar book a few days back and today I am back, to rave about her book Bombay Time. Some of you might know why this book is so special to me. I am a Mumbaikar and devour any book which mentions my city and it’s beauty. Umrigar puts my city in the title. How could I resist this book?
This time she chronicles the life of Parsi families of Wadia Baug.It has multiple story lines where we get to meet a host of characters of various natures who form this seemingly close knit affluent community. Each one has a story hidden somewhere which more or less explains their individual out look towards life.
She uses marriage as a tool to bring these people together and takes us through their lives and gives us a glimpse into Parsi customs and their lifestyle . Each time a character is depicted ,Mumbai or the then Bombay is shown in the background. The changes the city has gone through having accommodated and adjusted while bringing about some good and bad changes in the outlook of its oldest settled communities is done so well that I felt I was watching this happen rather than reading it.
While reading this book , Jimmy Kanga , Coomi Bilimoria , Tehmi , Dosa Popat and most importantly Rusi were not just mere characters on the pages of a book , they each talked and I am sure every person who has read this book felt the same way. I could call it a set of short stories but then they are all connected . Umrigar ties knot in a way only she can.
The prose was absolutely beautiful. No two thoughts about that.Any body who enjoys contemporary fiction will love this book. There is a bit of vernacular used but that I thought added to the charm of story telling.I haven’t let out the story to you because the beauty lies in the discovery . You will enjoy it more if you don’t know before hand what each one of these characters has to tell you.
P.S. – Airport bookstore was the place where I found this one. The last place I thought I would find a book like this. They usually stock mysteries and racy edgy bestsellers. It was their last copy and I am glad I got it. Some books are meant to found by readers who will enjoy them ;)