Quotes from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

Suketu Mehta ·  542 pages

Rating: (8.8K votes)


“And at the moment of contact, they do not know if the hand that is reaching for theirs belongs to a Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Brahmin or untouchable or whether you were born in this city or arrived only this morning or whether you live in Malabar Hill or New York or Jogeshwari; whether you’re from Bombay or Mumbai or New York. All they know is that you’re trying to get to the city of gold, and that’s enough. Come on board, they say. We’ll adjust.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“A city like Bombay, like New York, that is a recent creation on the planet and does not have a substantial indigenous population, is full of restless people. Those who have come here have not been at ease somewhere else. And unlike others who may have been equally uncomfortable wherever they came from, these people got up and moved. As I have discovered, having once moved, it is difficult to stop moving.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“Each person’s life is dominated by a central event, which shapes and distorts everything that comes after it and, in retrospect, everything that came before.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“I am an exile; citizen of the country of longing.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“It is the sexual frenzy of a closed society, and the women of Golpitha are the gutters for these men's emissions.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found



“The stacks of pav have been sprinkled with chutney—
the top half of the inside of the bun is bathed in green chutney, the bottom with red garlic chutney—
and the assistant reaches out with one hand, in one continuous arc of his arm opening the pav, scooping up two of the vadas, one in each nest of pav, and delivering it to the hungry customer. I walk away from the stall and crush the vada by pressing down on it with the pav; little cracks appear in the crispy surface, and the vada oozes out its potato-and-pea mixture. I eat. The crispy batter, the mouthful of sweet-soft pav tempering the heat of the chutney, the spices of the vada mixture —dark with garam masala and studded with whole cloves of garlic that look like cashews—get masticated into a good mouthful, a good mouth-feel. My stomach is getting filled, and I feel I am eating something nourishing after a long spell of sobbing. Borkar has done his dharma.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“This is the true meaning of exile : some insurmountable force that keeps you from going back.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“The man who comes to fix the cable approaches her when she is alone in the house. 'Is there anything to eat?' he asks. 'There are some chapatis,' she replies. 'Can I get something to eat?' he repeats.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“It is as difficult to move down the caste ladder as it is to move up.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“A hit man's character is defined above all by narcissism, that complex mix of egotism and self-hatred.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found



“The gang war will never end. Because at it's core , it is not the gangsters against the police or the gangster against another. It is a young man with a Mauser against history personal and political, it is revolution one murder at a time.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“Love exposes you, makes you vulnerable and kills the personas you built on top of your true self.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“We lived in Bombay and we lived in Mumbai and sometimes, I lived in both of them at the same time.”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


“Then there was the bhaiyyani next door, who Santosh started fucking two days after she got her first period and has been fucking steadily for five years, with the threat: “If you don’t allow me to fuck you I’ll kill you.” He climbs into her window when her drunk father is away, or passed out, and rapes her. There is nothing gentle about sexuality in the slum; it is furtive and feral. Once, a group of boys was spying on a couple asleep near the door of their room; the man had a hand on one of his wife’s breasts. Santosh reached in through the opening for the letterbox and started squeezing the wife’s other breast; she slept on, thinking that her husband was squeezing both. When she felt the extra pressure on one, she woke up and screamed but was too afraid to tell her husband what had happened. Much of what a woman in the slum puts up with she endures silently, because, as Sunil points out, “How can she tell the world what has been done to her?” They go after women who are vulnerable: the very young, the children or wives of drunkards, or women not right in the head. When their men discover what’s being done to them, they too most often keep it quiet. Who would want the world to know? What does it say about their manliness, that they were unable to protect their women? I”
― Suketu Mehta, quote from Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


About the author

Suketu Mehta
Born place: Calcutta, India
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Sascha looked torn. Should she cram my head full of newfound terror that the world would reject me, or let me wander into the big, scary out-there, like a naive lamb prancing to the slaughter?”
― Robin Wasserman, quote from Skinned


“When you're in a train and it breaks down, well, there you is. But when you're in a plane and it breaks down, there you AIN'T.”
― Sarah L. Delany, quote from Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years


“Besynnerligt, att det alltid går en rysning genom luften före soluppgången.”
― Hjalmar Söderberg, quote from Doctor Glas


“In a few minutes tea was brought. Very delicate was the china, very old the plate, very thin the bread-and-butter, and very small the lumps of sugar. Sugar was evidently Mrs. Jamieson's favourite economy.”
― Elizabeth Gaskell, quote from Cranford


“Nice to have you back, girl,” he said softly. Then he turned to Alyss. “Ready to go?” She held up a hand. “One thing I have to take care of,” she said. She looked around the camp and spotted Petulengo, lurking guiltily by the goat pen. “Petulengo!” she called. Her voice was high and penetrating and he started, realizing he had been spotted. He looked around, seeking an escape route. But as he did so, Will unslung the massive longbow from his shoulder and casually plucked an arrow from his quiver. Suddenly, escaping didn’t seem like such a good idea. Then Alyss favored Petulengo with her most winning smile. “Don’t be frightened, dear,” she said soothingly. “I just want to say good-bye.” She beckoned to him, smiling encouragingly, and he stepped forward, gradually gaining in confidence as he realized that, somehow, he had won the favor of this young woman. Some of his old swagger returned as he approached and stood before her, urged a little closer by that smile. Underneath the ash and the dirt, he thought, she was definitely a looker. He gave her a smile in return. Petulengo, it has to be said, fancied himself with the ladies. Treat ’em rough and they’ll eat out of your hand, he thought. Then the smile disappeared like a candle being blown out. He felt a sudden jolt of agony in his right foot. Alyss’s heavy boot, part of Hilde’s wardrobe, had stamped down on his instep, just below the ankle. He doubled over instinctively, gasping with pain. Then Alyss pivoted and drove the heel of her open left hand hard into his nose, snapping his head back and sending him reeling. His arms windmilled and he crashed over onto the hard-packed dirt of the compound. He lay groggily, propped up on his elbows, coughing as blood coursed down the back of his throat. “Next time you throw firewood at an old lady,” Alyss told him, all traces of the winning smile gone, “make sure she can’t do that.” She turned to Will and dusted her hands together in a satisfied gesture. “Now I’m ready to go,” she said.”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Lost Stories


Interesting books

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever
(80.3K)
Killing Lincoln: The...
by Bill O'Reilly
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait
(29.9K)
The Diary of Frida K...
by Frida Kahlo
Quintessentially Q
(16.8K)
Quintessentially Q
by Pepper Winters
Better When He's Bad
(16.6K)
Better When He's Bad
by Jay Crownover
Magic Shifts
(23.5K)
Magic Shifts
by Ilona Andrews
Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship
(14.8K)
Boy Meets Girl: Say...
by Joshua Harris

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.