15 June, 2021

From Bombay, With Love

Not only in movies, K.A. Abbas lives on through his crisp, limpid prose

From Bombay, With Love

KA. Abbas lives on every page of this wei­ghty collection of pictures and wri­­tings. He permeates them with the warmth of his personality and the clarity of his prose, and enga­ges the reader in much the manner of an uncle who loves telling stories. The editors have selected excerpts from his autobiography I Am Not An Island, and juxtaposed them with conversations, and memories by others whose lives Abbas touched and changed irrevocably. Divided into 12 sections, the book includes short stories, extracts from his long-running column in Blitz, letters from and to Abbas, as well as his musings on some of the actors he worked with.

Indicative of his style are passages like this: So I wrote a letter to Mujji (the girl he has selected from the many proposals for marriage which have been forwarded to him), in which I wrote everything to discourage her. I had been in love with another girl. My income was negligible—I was still getting no more than Rs 150 a month. While I had not volunteered as a satyagrahi, I might still be arrested...

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