Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bombay Time: A Novel Paperback – July 5, 2002
Up to 50% off featured Popular Fiction books
Select Popular Fiction books are up to 50% off for a limited time. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The starting point for this exploration is the tail end of a wedding reception for the son of one of the couples, when the only guests left are those that have grown old together. The groom, Mehernosh, has grown up in the company of all the favoured guests, and has surprised most of them by returning to Bombay after studying law in the US. Each successive chapter concentrates on one or two of the reception guests, and reflects upon formative incidents in their lives. These incidents may have left them physically or mentally scarred, but all have grown through their pain into new more fully-fledged people.
For the final two chapters, all the characters are brought together to share joy and fleeting pain, and all again finish the evening wiser than they started. Although very much in the background, the city of Bombay too develops its character as the novel progresses.
Umrigar writes beautifully and sensitively, and I recommend highly this delicate and thoughtful novel.
1. It shows us that people seem to like to be miserable wherever they are and at whatever time we choose to observe them. It doesn't seem to depend on anything.
2. The length was neither too long nor too short. Some books just drag on and on and on. In addition to the strong characterizations, the author gave us an idea of the magnitude of poverty in India and the destructive nature of the caste system that people don't seem to want to emerge from no matter how many centuries pass.
3. The characters were very well developed and believable. Again, just enough detail was used-- but not too much. And many of these characters are something that we might imagine having seen in real life.
While this is not a plot in the traditional sense, Umrigar uses this device very effectively. As the festivities begin, each character privately recalls how s/he has been affected by some early love and/or loss, and the reader comes to know the characters and their stories intimately. We see how the characters relate to each other and interact, we care for them, we silently scold them for their blindness, and ultimately, we hope for their eventual happiness.
Unique aspects of Parsi heritage and history, the pressures of life in Bombay, the attraction of educated Indian youth to England and America, the unbridgeable chasm between middle-class Indians and the masses of homeless poor, the marriage customs, and the changing role of women in India are just a few of the fascinating subjects which Umrigar manages to weave into the stories of her characters. These personal stories take on broader significance in the light they shed on contemporary Indian society, and they achieve universality in their focus on love and loss.
As the novel comes to a close and the sweetness of young love and the wedding reception linger in the reader's mind, Umrigar injects an unexpected and powerful dose of Bombay reality, forcing the reader to see these lives in the even greater context of the human condition. This is a beautifully realized portrait of the lives of one group of friends in one building in one Indian city and how it relates to the world at large. Mary Whipple
Though each of these novels focus on a small Bombay community, each is its own gift. In the case of BOMBAY TIME, it is each individual character who provides a gift to the reader, the gift of understanding how another sees the world, and another way to make sense of the world. I finished BOMBAY TIME sadly, knowing I would miss each character, from the odiferous Tehmi to the rageful Coomi. Each character was memorable and gave me yet another little piece of India, another little piece of humanity. I cannot recommend it highly enough.