A Mumbai wonderland

Yoda Press' new book is one on the architecture, both physical and social, of a locality in Mumbai, made memorable for me many years ago by that fact that K H Ara, the famous artist used to live there in a small tenement... But the neighborhood is a living relic of much more, as Kaiwan Mehta, currently pursuing a doctorate at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, documents in his Alice in Bhuleshwar: Navigating a Mumbai Neighbourhood

Mehta "takes the reader for a walk through the streets and past the buildings of the ‘native town’ of colonial Bombay, reading their histories and excavating their memories, while continuing to negotiate their present context. This historic neighbourhood of Mumbai, fondly referred to as Bhuleshwar, has remained a residential and religious hub as before, while thriving as the city’s essential commercial marketplace today. It retains a complex history of migration and community, which is evident in the architectural form, motifs and designs of the area. The buildings are literally registers of history; they are maps of a time gone by, and yet they continue to find themselves relevant and alive in the contemporary context. Alice in Bhuleshwar is also a story of the people who have lived in these buildings: unsung icons like Premiji and Saroj Pathak, famed artistes like Jayashankar ‘Sundari’, and others who have inhabited these buildings which breathe in the salty air of Mumbai and speak to those who care to listen."

In paperback, 208 pages, Rs 295. ISBN: 9788190618632

Speaking of Yoda, the exciting news is the opening of
YODAKIN, their store for alternative books, music and films by independent publishers, record labels/musicians and filmmakers respectively. The store will be in Delhi's Hauz Khas Village, and should open later this month. Anyone interested in a job there as store manager??