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A writer arrives in Bombay on a book-related visit, and finds himself in search of the city he grew up in and barely knows, a city shaken to its core not long ago by the 2008 terrorist strikes-even as he takes for granted his errant local friend, Ramu. A six-foot-tall Kannadiga and one-time junkie who cannot reconcile himself to modern-day adult life, Ramu is an unlikely hero, Bombay incarnate; the writer is his mirrored counterpart in an extraordinary narrative about this city by the sea.
Friend of My Youth is at once an unexpected exploration and a concentrated reminiscence woven around a series of visits to a city that was never really home; a commentary on the power of memory and the stubborn interference of childhood with adult life; a paean to the transformative power of friendship by one of our greatest living writers.