"City of Dreams"
Orange County, CA -- Fall in love with India and the bustling city of Mumbai in Ajay Kaul's book of short stories, Mumbai Matinee, truth-based fiction that acts as both memoir and travelogue. Mumbai Matinee portrays the veritable feast of the commerce, people, and danger which make up India's most populous city and financial capital. Filled with eight interconnected short stories based on Kaul's life and work there, this charming book is a terrific pleasure read and highly recommended if you plan to visit
"This is one delightful book – more than just a fine memoir: this book speaks to the oneness of mankind in the finest manner. Ajay Kaul has created a credible contemporary love song to Mumbai and cordially invites us to join him"
– Grady Harp, Amazon Top 100 Hall of Fame Reviewer
"The events and stories captured in Mumbai Matinee are a reflection of my own experiences in and around the city," says Kaul. "What stands out about Mumbai is that it is perpetually open for business. Even occasional acts of terrorism have not been able to create a dent in the commercial mindset of the city. People can look for opportunities and count on them. There is huge encouragement everywhere"
The tenderness of humanity also abounds. "During bomb blasts, people were volunteering their vehicles to get others to the hospital," says Kaul. "And on a train, men will stand to give children seating. In Mumbai, life gets shared. You are not alone"
The stories traverse love, danger, and the compassion of strangers in a city that never sleeps. Meet Sawant, a street vendor whose kiosk serves as the area's gossip and information network; Ashok Pawar, the cop who becomes entangled in bombings and global terrorism, which Kaul experienced first-hand during the 1993 bombings; Rajat and Roohi, the interfaith couple who touch and change Ajay's life; and Smita, actress extraordinaire, who steals his heart in a tragic love story. And what book on India would be complete without a compelling tale of the sport of cricket?
"One of the true gifts and pleasures of reading is its ability to transport us all over the globe and into new and sometimes very different ways of life. Such is the case with Ajay Kaul's mesmerizing memoir, MUMBAI MATINEE"
- John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press and Cincinnati Beat book reviewer
Ajay Kaul, an engineer whose role is working on Amazon's Alexa platform and, weaves his professional experiences into the stories that make up this financial hub where job opportunities abound for all income classes and caste systems. Kaul, who has written extensively on leadership and management, creates characters who take advantage of their talents and skills to "make it" in a city whose population is over 12 million strong. Sketches depicting scenes in the book add to the magic of Mumbai with a visual treat for readers. Mumbai is a city with heart and energy. Once you read Kaul's stories, you'll want to book your plane ticket to India.
Mumbai Matinee, ISBN 978-1974413287, 2017, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 212 pages, $9.80 paperback and $5.90 on Kindle on Amazon and Goodreads. Follow the author on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ajaykaulwriter/ View the book trailer here: http://bit.ly/MumbaiMatineeTrailer
About Ajay Kaul
Ajay Kaul is an engineering manager employed with Amazon, working with Alexa. He was born in India and received his degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and his master's degree in business administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. As part of his professional career, he spent several years in and around the city of Mumbai, India. He fell in love with the city's energy and people, and his new book of short stories, Mumbai Matinee, is based on his experiences there.
Kaul loves to travel and believes that expanding one's worldview leads to a better understanding and tolerance of others. He has set foot on all seven continents. An extensive writer and blogger on the subjects of management and leadership, Kaul plans to write his next book on the differences between the two. Mumbai Matinee is his first fiction book. He lives in Orange County, CA with his wife.
Ajay Kaul is an engineering manager employed with Amazon, working with Alexa. He was born in India and received his degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and his master's degree in business administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. After graduation he spent several years in and around the city of Mumbai, India, as a full-time employee. He fell in love with the city's energy and people, and his book of short stories, Mumbai Matinee, is based on his experiences there.
An extensive writer and blogger on the subjects of management and leadership, Kaul plans to write his next book on these topics. Mumbai Matinee is his first fiction book. Kaul is published in the Times of India and the Financial Times, as well as on his blog site the Legends of Leadership and Management series.
He believes that education is the stepping stone to success and has volunteered his time both in India and as a Literacy Tutor with Read San Diego. He loves the sport of Cricket, (except for the five-day tournaments!) and has a passion for travel, having stepped foot on all seven continents. He lives in Orange County, CA with his wife.
Mumbai being the "financial capital" just meant that the city was the hub for India's major investment banks and the national stock exchange—that's what I thought, till I met the likes of Kishore Patil.
Mumbai's energy level was the first thing that stood out to me. The city moved at such a brisk pace.
The city had allowed a simple guy with a few resources to be a part of its vibrant economy. Yes, the poor could dream in India—because their dreams would come true in Mumbai. And I was going to join that club myself.
Even my near brush with death just a few months back had not doused my excitement. Mumbai was my dream city, the city that exuded life.
Sawant was the man of the moment—a credible source of information for the law-enforcement sleuths. Information that had helped nab Chota Kareem, a trusted lieutenant of a Mumbai underworld kingpin. Folks like Sawant probably were an integral part of the Mumbai information and crime-prevention network.
Who knew that I would find my seventh heaven in a crowded Mumbai train? I had no idea if others around us were watching us grown-ups behave like kids. Maybe they were. I was too absorbed in her aura to notice.
Love shows its presence in unique ways in each one of us. I felt a flutter in my heart, and my mind cleared itself to make room for Smita.
The thieves and pickpockets of Mumbai had finally introduced themselves—they were wily, they were alert, they were total crooks, but they had a heart and soul. They broke the law, but they still operated under a code of ethics.
Five-day cricket is boring. I don't have the patience to play that long. And I am not sure how people even have the time to watch it.
This guy was a supercop for sure—he seemed to have a knack for nabbing crooks without firing a shot.
"It would be unfathomable in my world to go past a station without enjoying the local cuisine—especially when it is served piping hot" I was afraid of getting an upset stomach just a few days before my flight to Phoenix, Arizona—but once the smell of kachoris wafted through our cabin, taste trampled hygiene in a jiffy.
Amid the scrutiny on sponsorship of global terror, India's not-so-friendly neighbor lay low for a while. But as the Bush presidency neared its conclusion global terror resurged—on November 26, 2008. This time the target was the buzzing metropolis of Mumbai.