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Breathless in Bombay

by Murzban F Shroff

These 14 stories set in Bombay are stories of real life - street crime, physical, verbal abuse of women and suicidal thoughts and feelings. But don't think it’s all doom and gloom - there is hope and morality through many of them. This collection has changed my perceptions of India. We sometimes forget that people in countries and cultures, thousands of miles away, experience similar situations and feelings to ourselves. The author successfully incorporates Indian words into each story which makes for a refreshing read.

Extract

Over time, the exploits of the Four Aces became more brazen. One day, the four of them brought some poor, drunk you-know-what to the wall behind the pavilion, where they had a time with her. Then they threw her out, saying they'd report her for trespassing. The poor woman stood by the wall, shrieking her curses and sobbing. She had reason to be hysterical. The money they promised her would have fed her children that night.
'Another day, Mr. Kavarana from T block happened to be with the Four Aces on a crowded bus. He saw them standing in the aisle, rubbing themselves against a young girl, whom they had surrounded. They pretended it was the motion of the bus that thrust them against her. The girl was too embarrassed to complain, too scared to protest. Finally, she got off in disgust.'

Parallels

Q and A : Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
Dubliners by James Joyce
 

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