“Humans of Bombay”

It’s been over a month since I had a blog post here. My apologies. We were busy getting ready for our trip to the United States in the third week of February 2022. You can imagine how much we were looking forward to this trip! After all, we had been largely at home for two years or more due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

So, here we are in San Francisco enjoying a vacation with our son. This reminded me of an earlier post of March 2019 in this blog on” Humans Of New York”. I had written about how much I enjoyed the book by Brandon Stanton. I had wished someday someone would start a similar initiative in India.

I didn’t know at that time that young Karishma Mehta had started “Humans of Bombay” on Facebook way back in 2014. She writes that she started with just 10 photographs in her bank . By the end of the first day, her Facebook Page had a thousand likes, which shot up to 10,000 in the first week. I see now that over 1.3 million people have liked the Facebook Page.

You will find much more information on the “Humans Of Bombay” initiative in their website . This includes links to their blog, press coverage, and how you can collaborate with them.

Recently reading the book – “Humans Of Bombay” – , first published by Popular Prakashan in 2017- was a truly delightful experience. The stories chosen for the book are interesting, touching, and heart warming. They are so easy to relate to for one who has lived a lifetime in India.

Special mention must be made of the photographs which accompany each story in the book. They greatly enhance the interest in the story. Most of the stories are short, a page at best. A small number of them spread over a few pages while a few are made up of just a few sentences! This adds to the charm of the compilation. You will notice that in most of the stories the identity of the person involved is not disclosed.

What makes the book fascinating is that the stories cover people of different ages, religions, and economic strata of society. Yet despite the wide diversity, the issues are real, and people speak from their hearts.

If you want to experience Bombay through the eyes of an interesting cross section of its inhabitants, read this book! As you might know, Bombay has been renamed Mumbai since 1996 but old timers like me are more accustomed to Bombay. As Karishma Mehta herself writes, ‘Read this book, the Bombay way. With some cutting chai and far from healthy vada pav, and if you are away from Bombay, salivate at the thought of it. But for now, allow me to welcome you to the city of dreams.”

Highly recommended.

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