Beautiful and brutal: Mumbai through the lens of an American journalist

In some ways, Mumbai is barely recognisable from the city it once was

Air India Mumbai office

When I arrived in Mumbai in 2008, the first photo I took was of the curve of the sea along the city, kite birds swooping in a sepia sky. The second was of Marine Drive lit up like a string of pearls. I’d immediately bought into the city’s dreaminess. I even hoped to work in Bollywood then. Instead, I joined a startup magazine and scribbled Hindi film dialogues in my notebooks at night. Soon after I arrived in Mumbai, I met Maya, who told me long stories about her marriage. She told me how she’d eloped with her husband Veer against her parent’s wishes, even ...