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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

People Called Ahmedabad -curated by Nisha Nair Gupta

Title:People Called Ahmedabad
Author: Nisha Nair Gupta (Curator)
Publisher: Random House

Genre: Anthology

Date:  2016

Price: INR 316 

Pages: 318

To begin with I was intrigued by the concept of the book, which was novel and unheard of "projecting a city via its lives." It sounded lively and a difficult exercise at the same time. To write about famous places was one thing but to now project it as a being that lives, breathes, was another. As I began reading the book I realized that a city had much more beyond its shine and if you are in India, some parts not so beautiful. Each has a story that not necessarily comply with its aesthetics. Some of the most intriguing ones came from the neighbourhoods one would either neglect or want to overlook but the reality was that was very much a part of the city where human beings lived.

The choice of Ahmedabad for the curators can be varied but even for the uninitiated Gujarat and Ahmedabad in particular has been in the news since history, for great and not so great reasons, from being Mahatma Gandhi's abode to the Godhra riots which brought it to the front page. Like most cities in India Ahmedabad is not really only "Gujarati" as one would presume. I did too despite belonging from the state. After reading the book I now know it is far from it.

The book talks about the lives of people who give the city it's spirit and character. Be it the people running Sabarmati Ashram to a local street vendor in a bazaar or a Chinese doctor. The stories spans and aims to cover the length and breadth of the city at the microscopic level. So if you are somebody who loves stories, this book has real lives. If you are a traveller like me who loves to explore cuisine at every place you go to this book is a must, for it won't just tell you about the best ones decades ago and the ones now. The best part you would know the evolution your favourable place took through decades and why. The stories also manage to give a city predominantly considered a business city ( like most in Gujarat) but it goes a step further in bringing out the character of people that lies beyond the business, the reason for their success and more than that the selfless initiative's that happen in the city which creates a rapport of being a philanthropic place. 

Readers Cosmos Rating: 4/5.  Know the city better before you visit it! If you are already there know your city better. 

Grab a copy now!!!

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