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Tag Archives: mumbai

Future Sense

25-Apr-13

Published in shorter form in TimeOut Mumbai, 25 April 2013 A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook (London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013) This new book by American journalist and writer Daniel Brook is an essential addition to the bookshelves of anyone interested in how cities like Mumbai both aspire and attempt to fulfill [...]

Do Buildings Have Agency?

02-Aug-11

This book review appeared in slightly edited form as “Do Buildings Have Agency?” in Economic and Political Weekly (Mumbai), Vol XLVI No.30, 23 July 2011 Neera Adarkar, ed., The Chawls of Mumbai: Galleries of Life (Gurgaon: imprintOne, 2011) Can built forms have their own subjectivity? Architects, geographers and urban planners would surely answer this question [...]

A Rule of Property for Bombay

11-Sep-10

This book review appeared in slightly edited form as “Micro-History of Mumbai” in Economic and Political Weekly (Mumbai), Vol XLV No.36 September 04, 2010.   Mariam Dossal, Theatre of Conflict, City of Hope: Mumbai, 1660 to Present Times (New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 2010) Historian Mariam Dossal’s new book on Bombay/Mumbai is a major [...]

Taking the Dogs out of the Slum

26-Feb-09

Slumdog Millionaire has been running since September at the cinema across the street from my apartment in Cambridge. I enjoyed the film when I finally saw it in December, despite the cliched invocation of Bollywood in the concluding song and Danny Boyle’s populism — the last scene of Trainspotting, where Renton “chooses life” by robbing [...]

Mumbai Terror Dossier

07-Jan-09

The Hindu has scanned the entire dossier of evidence related to the terrorist attacks on Mumbai on 26-28 November. Their servers seem to be overwhelmed with requests, so I have cached the PDFs for downloading here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 and all parts archived. Dr Singh’s genteel but firm diplomatic [...]

Who Sank my Mothership?

09-Dec-08

Experts, journalists, and film-makers are seeing motherships everywhere. In an interview today on Here and Now with Bob Baer, former CIA analyst for the Middle East, he just let drop the terrifying scenario of a jihadi mothership docking in Baltimore Harbor and launching commando attacks from a swarm of dinghies, in imitation of the attacks [...]

Bombay is Still Burning

28-Nov-08

The attacks on Mumbai are unbelievably gruesome and at this point hard to comprehend. I am not there right now, and am writing from faraway. I was quickly able to (recursively) account for all my friends and family with a single message “are you safe?” sent to all my loved ones in Mumbai. Everyone is. [...]

Rant of an Urban Researcher

05-Jul-07

One of the most pathetic examples of the neglect of the city’s history is the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai. This sounds like a contradiction – in recent years Kala Ghoda has become synonymous with the heritage movement, with its museums and galleries, arts festivals and concerts, and recently restored colonial architecture. But if [...]

Metrolog(ue)

05-Jan-07

The people at SARAI to have been an inspiration and example in India for many years, and the discourse which they have sponsored in the varied fields of free software, media culture, film studies and urban research have been deeply influential on my thinking for nearly six years now. Indeed my visits to Delhi and [...]

Visiting the Municipal Corporation

18-Aug-06

Yesterday my friend, the historian and collector Deepak Rao, took me for what he excitedly described as a “peep show” in the corridors of the Bombay Municipal Corporation, which are lined with glass-faced cupboards containing a veritable treasure trove of municipal archives. Deepak is the only person I know who will compare the delight of [...]