The city, through its homes
Senior journalist and writer Chandrima Pal returned to Mumbai, a city she worked, and rediscovered herself in, before returning to Kolkata two years ago, to release her second book. At Home in Mumbai was launched on Saturday evening, with celebrity architect Ashiesh Shah in attendance. “You will recognise some of the people in here,” she had told this diarist thanks to a shared journey at a city tabloid, and of course, because like she once was, we are Mumbaikars. What does it mean to be at home in this city, and how does where you live define who you are, is at the centre of the book’s idea. Speaking about one of the downsides of mushrooming gated colonies, Shah said the city of seven islands will soon become one of 700 islands. “As a child, I grew up with kids from all walks of life,” Shah said. “But the next generation will not know anything else but their own kind. They go to the same skiing holidays and their children go to the same camps.” Among the stories ranging from the chawls of Central Mumbai to the Sindhi buildings in SoBo, our dearest story — although there are too many to play favourites — is Amit Khosla’s. It’s not the quintessential Mumbai-made-my-dreamcome-true tale. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The struggle of young, middleclass parents moving here in the hope of giving their special child greater opportunities, is played out through Amit’s search for a home. He has one now, but is waiting for something else.