Book tour journals: Mumbai; June 21-22

June 26, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments (3)




Monsoon on Malabar Hill


In Bahram Modi’s time, Malabar Hill (with Walkeshwar) was an island, separated from Colaba by a broad channel.


Looking in the direction of Cuffe Parade, Colaba and the long-ago site of the Mistrie mansion on the now-vanished Apollo Street, I saw this:




The little boat-harbour in the foreground is adjacent to Machimar Nagar where the terrorists landed on 26th November, (the room from which the picture was taken was on the 34th floor of one the attacked buildings, the Trident Hotel).


It was in that room that I spoke with journalists  Bijoy Venugopal and  Regi John











Bijoy wrote later to say:  

It was a great pleasure to speak to you in Mumbai. I thought I’d leave you with a link to peruse when you have a spare moment. This is about the conversation we had about dolphins in 2008, just after I had interviewed you about Sea of Poppies. I published in in my blog The Green Ogre, which I write with three fellow-travellers. Here’s the link:
Also, to remind you of our conversation about Kochi, the harbour as we know it today would not have existed but for a great flood in 1341, when the Periyar breached its right bank and deposited so much silt that it created the present harbour and the island of Vypin, which is very close to the Fort. You must, at some time, also visit Kodungallur, the site of an interesting temple where devotees propitiate the goddess with obscenities during the Bharani festival. Formerly the Portuguese fort of Cranganore, it was also a medieval commercial center associated with the port of Muziris.



Regi John is a Special Correspondent of the Financial Chronicle.

He told me that two professors at IIT Mumbai had written a paper on dolphins and the The Hungry Tide. I was glad to learn that one of them, Prof. Milind Malshe, is an accomplished exponent of Hindustani classical vocal music. Later Regi sent me the article which is called ‘Chronotopes of Places and Non-Places; Ecopoetics of Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide‘ (Asiatic, Vol 4, No 2., Dec 2010).

And it was there too that Shreya Badola of DNA

said to me, memorably: ‘When my editor gave me River of Smoke I was so not expecting to read the book, just going by the looks of it. But once I started I couldn’t put it down.’








On the 22nd I discovered that one of the many ways in which Mumbai is a ‘maximum city’ (to use Suketu Mehta’s evocative phrase) is in its enthusiasm for reading:

At the Crosswords Bookstore on Kemp’s Corner












As for the Crosswords’ sales team they bring to their jobs the enthusiasm of a football team.






They are all lucky to live in a city that can boast of this:

Malabar Hill & Marine Drive




3 Responses to “Book tour journals: Mumbai; June 21-22”

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  1. Comment by BijoyJune 27, 2011 at 5:07 am   Reply

    Dear Mr Ghosh, what an astonishing pleasure to read this! It’s not always that writers remember the oddball journalists they speak to. Thank you for the felicity!

  2. Comment by Reji John — August 6, 2011 at 5:53 am   Reply

    I am extremely pleased and honoured to be featured here. Thanks and really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

  3. Comment by Sadanand — September 1, 2011 at 11:12 am   Reply

    Nice article.
    Good Work.

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