Editor’s note


have we met?
do I know you?

are you
the proverbial lull
before the storm?

are you the virgin
before… the rape?
before the scream?

are you a bird song
on a tranquil morning singing softly
before you transmute
into a screeching hawk?

are you the rationale
of dialectics
before strident speeches
of fascists, bigots
and unreason
tear our sanity apart?

If you were born in Bombay and live in Mumbai, there is a whole gamut of experiential complexities that reiterate how the intrinsic character of the city has shifted. Celebrated always, was the fact that Bombay is the most cosmopolitan and inclusive city in the country, where migrants from drought-stricken farmlands would not die of hunger –– there would be some minimum wage opportunity… bread for the day; a small-time businessman could become a big-time tycoon; a Bollywood aspirant from distant Punjab could be a star, or a petty crook could become a don. A heady spirit of “Can do…” unfailingly prevailed.

In this issue

  • Art
    Art practice described in relation to the city is often categorised as a cultural phenomenon of scenes that take root...
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  • The City and I
    The paradigm for urban development is displacing not only rural but also the urban poor in a major way. The...
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  • Theatre
    Theatre springs from the community in which it is born. It speaks the language of the community and draws upon...
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  • At the Globe
    Like every great city, Mumbai is a throbbing microcosm of our world.
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  • Keeping the soul of the 12th Night
    Mumbai has always kept me running, imagining, stopping only to take a breather, then running again, very fast, rising adrenaline,...
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  • Lavani
    Bombay is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of India. Because of its peculiar geographical location, the city developed into...
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  • Once Upon a Time Jazz
    Even though Leon Abbey’s band was the first “all-Negro” jazz ensemble to play in India, the city wasn’t unfamiliar with...
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  • Irani Restaurant
    the cockeyed shah of iran watches the cake/ decompose carefully in a cracked showcase;/ distracted only by a fly on...
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  • Flex, Feroze
    The Parsis are of ancient Persian descent and a minority community in India, having immigrated from Iran to India in...
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  • test
    The Inventive Eye
    “People come to it from all parts of India to make a living and a future. So there is...
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  • Mumbai is a Lie
    Streets like thoughts wander through the city’s sweaty mind — Energy, waves from a dark sea, crash against the walls of...
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  • Bombay. A Visual Love Story
    "Ever seeking the ephemeral moment of beauty, she wishes to share it with the world, “Look what I found. It...
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  • The City. My Laboratory
    Mumbai is my laboratory. As I look back at all the different works that I have engaged with in the...
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  • Mumbai through the artist's eye
    When we moved to Mumbai ten years ago, the city welcomed us with open arms and we were enveloped in...
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  • A Right to the Movies?
    What does it mean when people across India, twenty-three, million of them, watch a film every day in the movie...
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