For hundreds of years Bombay held India in thrall. A metropolis, ‘reclaimed from ocean and iniquity’, it effortlessly manufactured the dreams that captivated a nation and drew fortune-seekers to it by the million. Once a princess’s dowry , these seven conjoined islands were settled over time by the most diverse collection of people the Indian subcontinent has ever known; they proceeded to create a mishmash culture that perfectly reflected their heterogeneity and gave the city its unique verve. No longer. For some time now, Bombay’s charms have been wearing thin, other cities have become more alluring, and disastrous new trends such as its ‘re-islanding’ into luxury ghettos, could spell its final descent into chaos and terminal decay. In this arresting new biography, award-winning writer and journalist, Naresh Fernandes, writes with a mixture of passion, exasperation, poignancy, empathy and great elegance about his beloved Bombay—giving us a very deep understanding and appreciation of one of the world’s most iconic cities.
Naresh Fernandes is a Mumbai based journalist and author. He is the editor of Scroll.in, a digital daily. He was previously the editor-in-chief of Time Out India, and worked at The Times of India in Mumbai and The Wall Street Journal in New York. His journalism has appeared in the leading magazines, publications and newspapers all over the world. He is the author of ‘Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age’ in 2012 and ‘City Adrift’: A Short Biography in Bombay’ in 2013.