It has been roughly three years since I unwillingly parted from Mumbai to whom I owe my birth as well as my first ever pay check. The city shall always remain an inseparable part of my existence. Several books on and about Mumbai read in the past made me look at it differently. Never before had anyone been able to do poetic justice along with narrative indulgence like Sneh Sapru through ‘Magical Creatures Of Mumbai’s Underbelly’.
I have deliberately used the word ‘indulgence’ because unless you are deeply involved or connected with something you cannot come out with your best. Hence, I, too, have decided to introduce you to Sneh’s ‘magical creatures’ differently. Picking up one line each from a few chapters in this book, let us embark upon the journey to explore the maximum city on a different route.
Unread poetries and shattered hearts lie across those streets: As a reader when you cross over to the other side of those streets you will find yourselves in the ‘Red’ zone. Welcome to Kamathipura, from Bombay to Mumbai it never changed the colour of glow; it always remained under ‘Red Light’.
I have fed the snakes with cow’s milk, served the cows with a daily meal: However holistic it may sound, do not fall prey to the author's spell of words. One needs to trade a cautious path between paper-thin walls of Mumbai chawls and what happens in small matchbox size rooms. Do not go by the tears, some could be monstrous.
Curious creatures of the night ruled those streets, conducting their business in shadows: In Mumbai, one is expected to fly and not crawl. With thousands of souls venturing into this city day in and day out, those who crawl are under threat of being trampled over. If not, eaten by the hungry vultures for sure, if Sneh wishes to unleash the beast.
Every chapter unfolds innumerable possibilities that a human mind is capable to think of. Personally, I would have loved if Sneh had kept them little easier and less text woven, on and off, for some readers who could find the monsters sitting over their head little longer or doing the vanishing act in the middle of the read. Guess as an eminent playwright, Sneh deserves a bit of liberty to decide on that.
Lastly, the Universe has its own way of showing us how we all are inter-connected, whichever part of the globe we may be and in whatever form. The book is all about monsters, the author herself points out to the fact that ‘Hens’ is her name spelt backwards and coincidently ‘White Falcon Publishing’ is the publication house. What more can I say but…This is pawsome! Absolutely pawsome.
Book: Magical Creatures Of Mumbai’s Underbelly
Author: Sneh Sapru
Publication: White Falcon Publishing
Price: Rs 299