Friday, December 5, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire recommended. Thoughts on Maximum City?

I saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire recently, and really enjoyed it. I managed to see it at a preview screening with the director, Danny Boyle (also of Trainspotting fame, among others). I spoke with him afterwards and he was incredibly unpretentious, interested, and talkative. He probably asked me more questions than I asked him! He confirmed that the movie was partly shot in Dharavi, a huge slum in the center of Mumbai/Bombay.

About a million people live in one square mile in Dharavi. I first heard about Dharavi on the radio a few months ago, and have read more about it since. There are even tour companies that bring tourists through Dharavi - something I definitely want to do on my longed-for visit to India.

Seeing the movie, and reading about the horrific attacks in Mumbai, reminded me of a book that was recommended by an Indian client - Maximum City. This is a highly-acclaimed book by Suketu Mehta about the history and development of this amazing city. I haven't read the book, however it's next on my (ever-growing) list.

Mehta wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on the Mumbai attacks:

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