BOMBAY 4

 

<<The charm and romance of Churchgate/Fort and Colaba areas that had captivated us on our first visit in 1968 have remained undiminished.>> 

I'd been eagerly awaiting this post, for i knew that its contents would relate to the splendours of Churchgate and Marine Drive. I'm overcome by nostalgia whenever I hear or read about it, and that also of a write up emanating from your pen. Indeed we on this forum are extremely lucky to benefit from the articulate narratives of such prolific writers. 

I doubt if you ventured a local train/bus journey or a tanga ride in Bombay. Churchgate's charm remains undiminished as you say but to be honest that aura of the 60s had its own charm unlike today when everything seems commercialized. No doubt India under Narsimha Rao/Manmohan Singh made great strides. The few beggars unlike their great number in the past, flyovers and malls could be ascribed to the economic reforms of the 90s. Anyhow, Bombay devoid of its beggars, slums, shit and smell would feel very alien to us. It is Bombay's synonymies with such detested factors that makes it unusual, and seem different from the likes of Boston, Bangkok and Barcelona. However depressing they may seem, they constitute Bombay's age old heritage. 

Unfortunately I never had a meal at Jehangir Art Gallery but I did dine at Thakers on Chowpaty. That reminds of 'Naaz' on Malbar Hill. It commanded Bombay's magnificent aerial view. They often portrayed it in Hindi films in those days. I don't know if it still exists. The pizza places and McDonalds are products of commercialization. In the 60s pizza was not even heard of. 

Your Jamnagar description was brief. Its scenic beauty appealed a lot. The Jain temples, 'smashan' (crematorium) and 'tarav' (reservoir/pond) are eye catching. Yes, Jamnagar and Kutch are now used by many diasporans who go there to seek their roots. Some of Zanzibar's old settlers, in particular Khojas and Vanias (Shahs, Mehtas, Doshis, Kotharis etc) hailed from Jamnagar. Zanzibar's richest clove merchant in those days, Anupchand Laxmichand (fellow Zanzibari members, i stand corrected), was from Jamnagar. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                


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