Prof Amit Chaudhuri’s ‘Friend of My Youth’ : A Book Review 

Friend of My Youth by Prof Amit Chaudhuri is a beautifully written book on the mundane mechanics of life as wonderfully articulated in texture, tonality and fine print by the author. The narrator, a author himself returns to the city where he grew up, recalls the neighbourhood vibe, the small details and his relationship with his childhood friend Ramu, which is a proxy/parallel to his indifferent relationship to Bombay. Tones of memory, nostalgia and pathos dominate the book, easy on the lexicon, while the soul is intact. I get the same vibes in Muscat, where I grew up. We have complicated relationships with them. 
One does not require a tome and ‘exasperating farrago’ to communicate. Brevity and Politics with a small p make up the conceptual structure. The pace is slow, and does not make an effort to arrive anywhere, sort of a protest against globalisation and the pace of the city, in particular Mumbai vis-a-vis Bombay. Many reviews have cut short the relevance of the book, focusing on the non destination style of writing rather than love which is sprinkled in the book’s writing process. I was fortunate to attend the book launch in Delhi, as I was very keen after reading the good professors work on Calcutta. 
It is not a read for the mass based reader, no Durjoy or Chetan here. A must read for anyone interested in Cities and the evolving nature of India.