Saturday, December 02, 2006

Post 196 - Book – 5 – Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City

A cannot-put-me-down read…..My mom thinks it’s an especially depressing and scathing take on the city, focusing on nothing but its failings.

Its kind of true, but still I found it a riveting yet light hearted read. You can read it in a crowded compartment without missing any of it nuances (as it is, the author does not lend himself to too much subtlety).

I found the book honest, yet all over the place. Its more like a running commentary on a great city. Pages keep moving from episode to episode……

Its only towards the end, after you have run through the chapters on Jains that you see the point the author is trying to make. He is capturing a city, which is trying to live upto its macho image, while all the time, gnawing at its soft absent skeletal center……a city which is trying to wallow in its hype and pride, while all the time, there is a closet of shame always around the corner…..a city which is trying to retrofit itself into a world gone ahead, while all the time, trying to contain its own monstrous extremities……and the point is, even he struggles to grapple with a such a dubious incongruent paradoxical city….someone he wants so much to love……but he inadvertently ends up maiming….a product of the ‘only stories’ the city can narrate without crossing the limits of fiction, the stories which feed his skewed prose.

I will still give it 8/10, for being a thoroughly paisa vasool read. I am sure Mr. Mehta will be delighted with that statement.

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