Friday, August 10, 2007

Hello there!

Hey Guyz…..I'm back with a bang. Fully charged and ready to take on the next year's challenges after the most relaxing and refreshing holiday in the best place on planet Earth: monsoon drenched Kerala. Missed you guys…I'm catching up with everyone.
In the meantime, here's an excerpt from a wonderful book on Bombay, that I read during my vacation. It takes you right from the crown to the underbelly of the city and never ceases to amaze you with facts about this great city, that the author gathered by befriending people from every section of the society- from slum dwellers, killers, smugglers and prostitutes to movie stars , cops and politicians. This non fiction book reads like a novel that you simply cannot put down.

Excerpt - Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found

You have to break the laws to survive. I break the law often and casually. I dislike giving bribes, I dislike buying movie tickets in black. But since the legal option is so ridiculously arduous – in getting a driving licence, in buying a movie ticket—I take the easy way out. If the whole country collectively takes the easy way out, an alternative system is established whose rules are more or less known to all, whose rates are fixed. The 'parallel economy', a traveling partner of the official economy, is always there; turn your head a little to the left or right and you'll see it. To survive in Bombay, you need to know its habits. If you have a child, you have to know how much 'donation' to give to the school to get admission. If you have a traffic accident, you have to know how much to give to the cops to dispose of the matter and how much to give to the father of the child you've run over to stop the mob from lynching you. If you're a tenant, you have to know how much to demand in key money from the landlord to move out. The parallel economy is fed on a diet of judicial rot. The system of justice, supreme legacy of the British, is in tatters, starved by a succession of governments afraid of its power over them.........

- Suketu Mehta ( Maximum City)