by Saumya Roy
8 Jul 2021
'Roy has a journalist's unflinching eye, a poet's talent for detail, and a radical sense of empathy ... a stunning achievement.'- Kiran Desai, Booker Prize-winning author of The Inheritance of Loss 'If you read one book about India, read this one.'- Geeta Anand, Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of The Cure All of Mumbai's memories and castaway possessions come to die at the Deonar garbage mountains. And among these vast, teetering piles of discarded things - medical waste, rotten food, old clothes, broken glass and twisted metal - a small, forgotten community lives and works.
Scouring the dump for whatever can be resold or recycled, waste pickers also mark the familiar milestones of babies born, love found, illnesses suffered and recovered from. Like a mirror image, their stories are shaped by the influx of unwanted things from the world outside. But now, as Deonar's toxic halo becomes undeniable, a change is coming.
And as officials try to close it, the lives that the pickers have built on the Mountain seem more fragile than ever.