by Fakrul Alam
Like the city that it focuses on, Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found ( Delhi:
Viking Penguin, 2004, 584 pages) is a big, sprawling book. The result of a two and a half year stay by someone who had once grown up in the city and who is now a journalist and fiction writer based in New York—an even more gargantuan metropolis—the book is an intense, sustained look at a unique city. Reading it, one becomes aware that the city is humongous and contains multitudes. No two people will see it the same way though any one who has visited the city even once will see it even more vividly how unique it really is through Mehta’s book.