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Bombay Time

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  763 ratings  ·  81 reviews
At the wedding of a young man from a middle-class apartment building in Bombay, the men and women of this unique community gather together and look back on their youthful, idealistic selves and consider the changes the years have wrought. The lives of the Parsi men and women who grew up together in Wadi Baug are revealed in all their complicated humanity: Adi Patel's disin ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 5th 2002 by Picador (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

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Thrity Umrigar continues to be one of my favorite Indian authors! This story takes place in Bombay. A group of "young" Parsi friends gather as "old" friends at the wedding of a son of one friend. Each friend at the wedding has a story that he/she relives at the wedding. The father of the groom left for England as a young man, to be educated, only to come back to Bombay as a lawyer, to become a big fish in a small sea, feeling comfortable being Indian only in India. This same friend lived his dre ...more
I have come to truly love and appreciate Thrity Umrigar's novels. With an unparalelled ability to create well-drawn characters who seem to come to life on the page, and story lines that speak the truth about life and living as a Parsi in India, Umrigar is a rare talent that everyone should read.

In "Bombay Time" we are introduced to the Parsi residents of an apartment house in Bombay. Rusi Bilimoria is one of the residents who made some unfortunate choices early in his life and he must now live w
Neeraja S
This novel follows a different style of story-telling. It tells the stories of the different occupants of Wadia Baug, an apartment complex in Bombay, housing a well-knit Parsi community. In the throes of their late middle-age, the members of the community nostalgically look back at their lives and wonder at the early dreams, hopes and happiness their lives held, and the detours and disappoints that fate threw their way to break their wings of hope. Despite the uneven bittersweet journey they tra ...more
Diane Lynn
This is Thrity Umrigar's first book. Her characters are very well drawn. I enjoyed learning about their lives and seeing how they all fit together in this tight knit Parsi community.

Friends from Wadi Baug (a middle class apartment building in Bombay) are gathering for a wedding. Throughout the day of the wedding we get to know all of the people through flashbacks. We see them grow and cross paths over about 50 years. Each character is shown through his or her own point of view. I liked some of t
This is Thrity Umrigar's first novel but I have read and enjoyed several of her others. This one is a good character sketch of several characters who have inhabited Wadia Baug, an apartment complex in Bombay in the late 80s or early 90s. The residents gather at a wedding and we are privy to their thoughts as they reflect on the years that have passed since they were a group of youngsters in Wadia Baug. Umrigar does not shy away from writing about things that should make most readers uncomfortabl ...more
This is the third book I've read by Thrity Umrigar. I didn't like "The Weight og Heaven," and I LOVED "The Space Between Us." This book, for me, was very good, but not quite as great as "The Space Between Us." This book reads a bit like a book of short stories, and to be honest, I hate books of short stories. But this book is saved by the fact that all of the stories relate to each other and the charcaters all go in and out of the related stories. The book is a bunch of chapters, or stories, of ...more
This is Ms. Umrigar's first book and so I was curious if it would live up to her later book,The Space Between Us, which I adored. Obviously Ms. Umrigar has been a talented author from the beginning. SHe has once again created a world of characters I care about; ones whose lives are complicated by social stratification in India. In Bombay Time we are thrown into the world of several families who live in Wadia Baug, an apartment complex. Each couple is looking back at their youth when they first m ...more
Pamela Joy
She remains my current favorite author. This was yet another excellent read, not only in storyline, dialog and her ability to develop each character, but I am also very much enjoying learning about the culture and peoples of India.
This book was different again from the others I've ready by Umrigar. In this book, individuals are developed by-the-each in succession, and the story is woven as their lives intertwine and culminate in the celebration of a wedding. By the end of the book I feel as thou
Thrity Umrigar's "Bombay Time" is a setting and character driven novel that is organized episodically, but still has the power to pull you into its world with gusto and to break your heart more than once. I loved these sad and aging characters who had so much to teach about life, love, loss, and regret. So many of these characters will haunt me, filling my days with their wisdom long after I have finished reading this book.
So, this will be the last book I read from this author. This last one was actually quite good. She seems to have a recurring theme of focusing on character development in all of her books....and I think she finally accomplished it the way she meant to in this book. It gets a bit confusing since it goes back and forth through so many characters, but it ties together nicely in the end.
Oh, I love Umrigar, don't get me wrong. However, this book was definitely a task to get through. In fact, I am not even all the way done, but I am just exhausted.[return][return]What exhausts me? Well, the overabundance of names, for one. It seemed as if on each page five new characters were introduced. Then, when Umrigar began to finally settle down on a couple of characters, they would flashback and therefore a slew of other characters would be dragged up.[return][return]When Umrigar did settl ...more
The first 8 chapters of this were great, providing a clear view of the themes Umrigar would ultimately continue to return to in her later work, in chapters that could almost serve as several distinct short stories.
However, the last two chapters bothered me. I felt as though if the poor people were going to be so vital, they should have been introduced earlier and in greater depth. Otherwise they feel like a deus ex machina used to get a climax that wasn't really necessary. Yes, certain chapters
This was a collection of short stories that were connected by the characters who live in the same apartment building in Bombay. Umrigar is one of my favorite Indian authors and BOMBAY TIME is a good example of her work. I vacillated between 3 and 4 stars but I since I gave 4 stars to THE SPACE BETWEEN US and THE STORY HOUR, and I liked those more, it only made sense to give this one 3 stars.
Short stories are not usually my kind of books but this one is very good. Wonderful characters.
This book takes place over the course of one day--a wedding day in fact. Lawyer, Jimmy Kanga's son is getting married and it is an opportunity to do a retrospective of all the invited guests of the nuptials. Coincidentally, all these guests have lived or are living in an apartment complex in Wadia Baug, Bombay. Just such a novel way of portraying a wedding. Loved it!
Doranne Long
I love reading novels about India and her people with the blending of so many classes, cultures, and traditions, both new and old, within India and around the world. Thrity helps me to see, smell, and almost taste, these different worlds, and yet I can feel the joys and tragedies we can all have in common.
Livro que conta o quotidiano de vários personagems que moram em um mesmo edifício. A autora demonstra talento ao descrever com grande riqueza de detalhes todas as características dos personagens.
Manu Prasad
Bombay Time is like an old group photograph, in which each face can be zoomed to tell its own story. In this case, its a wedding where each character starts reminiscing about their lives so far, each life intertwined with others, and creating patterns, each story teaching its own lessons.

While its set in Wadia Baug and among Parsis, the stories are more human than community specific and applies to any large group of people that grows up together and grows old together. Its a warm read that shows
I really liked Thrity Umrigar's writing style. It is simple and well narrated.
The storyline is about the Parsi community lived in Wadia baug in Bombay. Author drew a very realistic picture of the members of Parsi community & their culture.
The novel unfolds with each chapter introducing the life of each member. It tells us about the lives & times of people and how their lives interlaced with each other. The book has too many characters but at the same time all have very interesting stori
May 12, 2009 Naomi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Umrigar's gift for storytelling is quite rare, and reading this book was purely engaging. . . not to mention highly recommended. In addition to broaching the topics of a changing India (and an increasingly commercialized world), Umrigar deftly incorporates the intriguing tales of a number of people. After meeting the protagonists on the pages of this book, you feel as if they are old friends, folks you should call to make sure they are doing all right. Exceptionally memorable characters, creativ ...more
I think my expectations were perhaps unrealistically high after reading "The Space Between Us" and wanting to go out and read every book Thrity Umrigar ever wrote. The book is still a good one but it did seem all done before after having read "The Space between Us". I can most liken it to reading Joy Luck Club after reading The Kitchen God's Wife, with Bombay Time being Joy Luck Club. It isn't as deep as The Space Between Us and the many characters and story lines makes it as diffuse as Joy Luck ...more
Third in my Umrigar binge. Not the best of the three, but I liked it. Umrigar is a great storyteller. A "slice of life" story about the occupants of a middle class apartment building in Bombay.
Jim M
A tale of a middle class mans wedding and the stories surrounding it.
a good story but not as good as they others I've read.
Nov 13, 2010 Aurora added it
Un'India senza malattia, senza Madre Teresa, senza piaghe e lebbra.
Un'India parsi, benestante, diversa, forte, ma non meno umana.
Proprio così, non meno umana.

Adi aprì la bocca per protestare, ma Philomena si era già alzata dalla sedia e troneggiava su di lui come una montagna: fiera, imperiale, incollerita. "Pensavo davvero che tu fossi diverso dagli altri uomini" gli disse, la bocca in una piega amara. "Ma hai dimostrato di essere un bambino, proprio come tutti gli altri".

da http://auro

This book is really not like reading a novel, it is like reading a selection of short stories. All the characters live in an apartment building in India, and they are all connected, but if you read it like a novel it can seem disjointed. The author takes us through the lives of these people who are very emotional and filled with passion, envy, love, etc. If you like Thrity Umrigar, you may like this, but it is not at all like her novels "A Space Between Us" and "The Weight Of Heaven" and doesn't ...more
i absolutely love the books by this author! She brings you into the various lives of Parsi people who live near Bombay and how their lives change with time and circumstances. Then toward the end, many realize the changes in their lives and how they use to be before and therefore strive to return somewhat to the people they really want to be once again. It made me reflect on myself and how life can change or distract me from who i really am and the dreams I once strived for...and to realize it re ...more
The book spans decades although it takes place on a single day - during a wedding. All the main characters attending the wedding grew up together, played with each other and confided in each other. But as years went by, they became different people. During the wedding, the POV shifts from one person to another to review the complex lives and emotions behind each person.

Read this book a few years ago and I'm enjoying it just as much as the first time. A different view of Indian family lives. Kind
Apr 17, 2014 Linda marked it as to-read
sounds good
Thrity Umrigar is one of my favorite authors. This is her first novel and not as good as later books she has written. However, I still liked this one a lot. A fine character study of the people living in Wadia Baug, an apartment building in Bombay. Lets us in on the lives of the various inhabitants and climaxes at the wedding of the son of one of the apartment owners. As in some of her other work, Umrigar sheds light on the great divide between the haves and the have nots in India.
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A journalist for seventeen years, Thrity Umrigar has written for the Washington Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and other national newspapers, and contributes regularly to the Boston Globe's book pages. She teaches creative writing and literature at Case Western Reserve University. The author of The Space Between Us, Bombay Time, and the memoir First Darling of the Morning: Selected Memories of ...more
More about Thrity Umrigar...
The Space Between Us The World We Found The Story Hour The Weight of Heaven If Today Be Sweet

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