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Milk Teeth

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  887 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Childhood allies Ira Kamat and Kartik Kini meet on the terrace of their building in Matunga, Mumbai. A meeting is in progress to decide the fate of the establishment and its residents. And the zeitgeist of the 1990s appears to have touched everyone and everything around them.

Ira is now a journalist on the civic beat, unearthing stories of corruption and indolence, and
Paperback, 311 pages
Published November 22nd 2018 by Westland Publications
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  887 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Ameya Joshi
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
I brought this book based on a extract from a chapter on the online portal To be honest, I didn't even read the whole extract - I read a part of it, liked it so much and thought to myself - this is a book I'm going to read in its entirety anyway, so why 'spoil it'. This is a familiar feeling for me (as it is for most readers or watchers of movies or eaters of fine meals I assume) where quite often even before you start, you've built certain expectations in your mind. And it is then ...more
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anyone who loves Mumbai will love the book. It explores relationships, friendship and the changing face of a city when urbanization takes over and communal disharmony sprouts up. The attention to detail is amazing. Definitely an excellent debut.

Much thanks to Westland for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful - breezy novel
Simran Sharma (Craartology)
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Question: Do you like to read books on cities or places in particular or the city/place being a major contribution to the plot? Have you read any?

As for Milk Teeth, this book is primarily a tale of two childhood pals Ira and Karthik, living in a rent controlled building in Matunga and the impact of the city on their lives. Ira- battling memories of a lost love and Karthik- struggling to find his true self is all I'm going to tell you about them for I want you to experience their life first hand
Selva Subramanian
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
A bit of a preamble here: Reading for me has sort of become like reading a textbook of your favorite subject in college. Yeah, you enjoy it - the learning part of it but at the end of the day, you just want to get through it. Most books have become like that. I start with a lot of interest, then depending on the writing the interest is sustained; some books rally around in the last 30% and have a terrific ending - the 5 starrers, that I relish. Else, I just want to finish the book.
A long-winded
Maruti Naik
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a jaffer of a novel; absolutely brilliant for a first time author. Loved the way she makes the city a central character in her book, embracing it with all its fears, hopes, prejudices, smells (do read her take on the smell of the sea), its chaos and the constant struggle to find ones own voice within it. I am not much of a book reviewer, but i must say that this is a novel with poetry all over.

After a very long time, i started taking notes as i read, scribbling lines that i liked in no
Neha Kulkarni
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot rave about this book enough! Books set in India are often written self-consciously, feeling the need to over-explain, or over-simplify things at different points. Their content is either mythological, or aiming to capture everyday Indian life either too academically, or in a way that is deliberately designed to entertain. Milk Teeth is naturally fluid, with so many insights about daily life casually thrown in. I couldn't stop reading certain passages out loud to whoever would listen, ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written book. Full of nostalgia and relatable characters( Ira for me specifically). The background is the Mumbai of late 90s and initially it begins on a seemingly light-hearted note but eventually I found myself reading about the intensity of human emotions intertwined with the essence of Mumbai( talked about through various events and things that define the city). Ira, kaiz and Kartik are three main characters the reader comes across. While Ira's character made me relate ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started reading it and I just couldn't stop - the only reason I took a day to finish it was that life came between me and the book. This book is one long love letter to Bombay - scars et al - I just loved and totally dug the descriptions of matunga, fort, the Udupi restaurants and the Irani cafes. I loved the descriptions of the 'thinking' classes and the contrasting descriptions against ira's own middle-class, Konkani family. Ira and Kartik are going to live in my head for a long long time to ...more
I loved reading this one. It's written, edited and structured well.

Ira has my heart. Sold.

Amrita Mahale what a debut, uff!
Shreya Vaid
#bookrecommendation 🌃As a 90s kid, I saw my city and my country transforming into something else. From buildings, to culture and my own family and friends, when I look back its hard to recognise everything now.
🌃This week when I read Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale, with every turn of the page a pang of nostalgia would hit me. I am not related anyway to Bombay and its culture, but I could relate Bombay changing with my own cities sorted and happiness. No matter how much we compare both cities, both
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"This city was our common ground, I want to tell Kaiz. Not simply its soil, nor its salt or tides, not lines on any map, nor buildings and streets. Something else entirely. An image, a dream, an idea that beguiled both of us: a magical place with chaos in its code, where our stories collided briefly."

Milk Teeth is an intensely personal novel. The telling of a lived history through the lens of love. Those of us who grew up in the India of the 90s will recognise our parents, friends and the pace
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
Reading Milk Teeth was like reading a love letter to Bombay.

I enjoyed the book immensely, the writing was crisp and flowed beautifully. The characters were rich, flawed and mesmerizing humans to read about. If you want to feel nostalgic about Bombay, this is a fantastic read.
Sahej Marwah
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Why did it end so abruptly? What's with the misplaced curveball? At what point did the author run out of ideas and resorted to picking chits from a hat?
This book had so much potential. My heart sunk by the end of it that it did not meet that potential.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful book: honest, relatable, an easy read. The fact that it was set in Matunga, Mumbai made it so familiar to me be it the setting of the book or the characters, their families and the issues they are going through. Ira has my heart, and so does Amrita's writing.
Abhishek Rao
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I first stumbled across Amrita Mahales writing on her blog in 2008. I was 18, she 23, a graduate student at Stanford after a year of consulting at BCG and four years of aerospace engineering at IIT Bombay. I devoured her blog in a single afternoon and felt an instant connection to her impostor syndrome and identity crisis of being a writer trapped in a rocket scientists life. I am not bad at this, just a misfit. Its not emptiness. Its just a little vacuum. Can be filled. I marvelled at how ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A few chapters into the book, I was caught between the urge to race through it and the need to ration my reading for fear of finishing it too quickly. And now that Im done, this review is perhaps my attempt to wean off its delicious pages.

Milk Teeth begins like a light hearted rom-com, introducing you to childhood friends, Ira and Kartik, co-habitants of a modest residential building in Matunga. Gradually, though, the plot gathers gravitas, delving into tempestuous relationships, unearthing
Vampire Who Baked
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A stunning debut, with sparkling prose and a connected-ness to its setting (Mumbai and its various neighbourhoods, particularly Matunga, with glimpses of Fort, Nariman Point, Colaba and Malabar Hill). While there is most definitely a "plot", the book is best read as a kind of coming-of-age story for the protagonist Ira (less so for the other protagonist Kartik) growing up in the 90's within a middle class Goud Saraswat Brahmin family in a rent-controlled apartment complex, of course with ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title and the Mumbai connect was enough for me to pick up and finish this asap. Every nook and by lanes of the city has a story.  Set against the backdrop of Gaud Saraswat Brahmins families and the redevelopment phase of Mumbai, the author just weaves magic.

The book transports you back to time when Mumbai was Bombay. The magnificent architecture, the simple lifestyle and good old friends. The system of building where everyone knew everyone, the colony era. A story of friends and friendship. 
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up Milk Teeth without even reading its blurb. This book is set in Bombay-turned-Mumbai and this was reason enough for me to pick this up and it proved to be a sweet nostalgia hit for me. I stayed in Mumbai for 2.5 years and this book brought back a lot of good memories.
So coming to the story, at its core, this book is story of Ira and Karthik, childhood friends growing up in Asha Nivas a rent controlled building in Matunga. Their landlord wants to evacuate all families from Asha Nivas
Sruthi Sahasranaman
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This could easily be my favorite book by an Indian author and will remain so for a while. This debut by @ummrita is her ode to the magnificent city that is Mumbai, her resilience and her people who stand by her in the darkest of times. There are very few books that makes me want to wonder why am I not in the city and why don't I live there. This one made me feel guilty for running away from Mumbai too soon when I got my first job over there. .
Synopsis: The story moves around from the 60s to
Vishnu Subrahmanyam
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Seamlessly transits between the corners of Mumbai offering both happy and grim stories that lay hidden only to be discovered in due time. The author has a talent for story telling which is obvious through the layering of stories from each of the characters. The book has absorbed the thoughts that run in middle class families and at the same time, tries to open up sad realities that go unspoken.
Ira, Kaiz, Kartik and Ananya give us different perspectives that tend to question the labels that we
Kinjal Parekh
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book! Every possible thing which defines Bombay is in this book. The characters are so real, the struggles they face are genuine.
I absolutely loved reading this work of fiction.. knowing about how things and people changed when Bombay became Mumbai

Review Video -
Suman Barua
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simple, nostalgic and powerful. Amrita's attention to details of rather mundane life is my favorite part. From the green plastic tea strainer to the description of how breath smells in the morning, the book creates a vivid narrative with amazing depth! Can't wait for her next book.
Hard to believe that this is Amrita Mahale's debut novel, given how exhilarating and unputdownable it is.

More like four and a half stars out of five, but this is very, very good. Highly recommended.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book almost non-stop; it held my attention with a well thought-out plot, extremely good writing, and characters that I really related to.

I loved the way Mumbai was so naturally weaved into the story. I have not read another book that does the same. Great book, and highly recommended!
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Nostalgic is the word that describes this book well. The 90s with no mobile phones, no social media, seems so far away now and books like these help us to relive that life all over again. I am stuck in the 90s at least, I try hard to convince myself that. Anything related to that era be it movies (although most of them would be under scrutiny if it were made now), music or the tv shows, I go back to them now and then to relive that era and when I got to know that this book was based on the '90s' ...more
Teenu Vijayan
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The true merit of Milk Teeth lies in the way Amrita Mahale captures the essence of Mumbai. This is not just another book with sprinklings of popular landmarks and the occasional lingo.. the author also manages to capture the sounds, the smells, the streets and the citizens that make Mumbai what it is. Mahale joins the ranks of the very few authors have been able to depict Mumbai and its dynamisms accurately. I found myself filled with nostalgia and longing for this city that was my home a few ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books this year, Milk teeth is a story woven around the transitioning of Bombay to Mumbai in much the same way as that of the protagonists' and their relationships with those around them. I admit I have a soft corner for the book since it brought back childhood memories of the place this book is set primarily out of - Matunga. While Asha Niwas and all its residents are fictional, I could very easily picture Ira's favorite Udipi hotel in my mind as I could the water tank where ...more
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Amrita Mahale was born in Mumbai and grew up in five cities across India. Milk Teeth, her first novel, was published by Westland Context in November 2018. Amrita was part of the Sangam House writing residency in 2017-18 and her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Scroll, Himal Southasian and Brown Paper Bag. She was trained as an aerospace engineer at IIT Bombay and Stanford University.

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“It was easy to believe that a mother’s love was unconditional, which made it alright to challenge her, correct her, laugh at her. Fathers were more complicated. Their love, once earned, had to be sustained. It had to be sheltered from the glare of truth.” 3 likes
“It would make sense to her much later, that you needed some distance from a city to be able to worship it the way he did. It had also been his way of belonging: learning its mythology was one of many paths to calling a city home.” 2 likes
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