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Bombay/Mumbai: Immersions

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: Priya Sarukkai Chabria is a poet, writer and translator. She studied the Rasa Theory of Aesthetics, co-founded a club that showed silent films, collaborated with dancer Malavika Sarukkai and edits the website Talking Poetry. Her works include two poetry collections, a novel and a speculation fiction narrative. Her work has featured in several international journals, anthologies and websites in India and abroad. She is the recipient of the Indian Government’s Senior Fellowship to Outstanding Artists. Her forthcoming titles are The Autobiography of a Goddess, translations of Tamil mystic Aandal’s songs, a book on cinema and a collection of love stories set in Bombay. Christopher Taylor is an English photographer based in France with the vision of a poet. His black-and-white photographs have an elegiac quality that sensitively capture the misty climes of Iceland, the rarely-noticed bleak and dreary urbanscape of China, and the grand colonial buildings of Calcutta that had seen better days. A zoologist by training, this self-taught photographer usually uses a cumbersome studio camera or else an ancient Rolleiflex even in the busiest streets. His photos never fail to surprise. He has held critically acclaimed exhibitions in Paris, Arles, London, Beijing, Delhi, Mumbai, and Calcutta.

: "In Immersions Bombay/Mumbai, Priya Sarukkai Chabria weaves a narrative around the ever-pulsating and restless metropolis—India’s financial capital, accompanied by Christopher Taylor’s fascinating photographs that complements the text. She provides the readers a fresh experience of the city; with its pungent edginess, its geography, abundant human stories, evidence of ruin alongside new rooting, and its throbbing and often decomposed corporeality. The book maps several rhythms of time as the author and photographer travel round the city and is a cross genre book—a memoir, travelogue, investigation, poetic expositions—all harmoniously blended to perfection. During their tour of the city, dreamt and desired by millions, the author and her friend visited relatively unexplored precincts, high-rises and heritage villages. They encountered vivid and poignant stories on the streets and in little known trades, the city’s history and the illusory yet surreal world of Bollywood. The city’s inequality, demographics and vitality are wonderfully brought out by this stimulating, elegantly written, fabulously photographed book which is an in-depth rumination on the life of a cruel and captivating world metropolis."

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