Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan..

photography, Travel

I cannot be politically correct and call the city Mumbai. It is Bombay and shall stay least to me. Changing a city’s name does not change its identity. And at its cosmopolitan core, the city is more Bombay than Mumbai..

Named such by the Portuguese around the mid 18th century, Bombay is made of 7 islands which have been inhabited since the stone age apparently. But the known history begins around 2000 years ago when fishing colonies were formed here. History fascinates me but I cannot digress here πŸ™‚

I’ve been visiting Bombay since I was 10 but rarely ever got the chance to see it as a tourist, at least in my adult years.
Those who live there consider it to be the world. Same as people who live in Manhattan believe it is the world. And to a certain extent this warped view is justified. This city really does offer everything for any type of person to live, survive and thrive.

I’m trying to think of one word to describe my impression and cannot go beyond the clichΓ©d ‘potpourri’. So I’ll use my friend’s word who is a hard core Bombayite : buoyant! It describes the spirit of this city aptly. Its wild, crazy, mild, boring, exhausting, endearing, old, new, charming and alienating all at the same time. In short, it has character and a strong one at that. Either you love it or you hate it. Do I love it? I don’t think so. But I’ve grown away from the strong hatred I felt for the sticky humid, mass of people which seems to be moving at maddening pace. I can put up with it now. But my fault is I grew up in a college city with beautiful weather full of people who live the siesta loving lifestyle of the Italians.. taking it easy and enjoying every experience. So the mad rush of Bombayites makes no sense to me. But don’t let my view cloud your opinion. It’s a wonderful place.. And this is merely a snapshot.. I could run the blog for years taking pictures of just this one city..

I moved to the US just after 9/11 and yet did not once see guns like these in public places. The security existed but not in such a blatantly threatening fashion. My first step outside the airport and he crossed my path..

PS: if anyone knows what gun that is, kindly enlighten me

Driving along the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. This first cable-stay bridge on open seas in India, is a latest addition in Bombay’s pride. Built to connect the western suburbs to the southern islands its supposed to reduce driving time drastically. If the air wasn’t so heavily humid and it were painted red, it could easily rival Frisco’s golden gate πŸ™‚

The fishermen who were the original inhabitants of the city have now become the minority pushed to the sidelines by the bursting commercialism of the financial capital..

Post-lunch nap! I tried making up stories of who the guy could be. He was too well dressed to be homeless and too much at home to be a tired tourist.

A fitting example of the ‘God is omnipresent’ idea. A make shift temple of at least four Hindu deities under a banyan tree (the tree is supposed to be holy).

people live in this building. It looked like a black hole.

the famed queen’s necklace or the marine drive flanking a bay on one side and the swanky residential and commercial area of Nariman point on the other. It’s supposed to be a beautiful sight at night with the lights giving it the appearance of a necklace.

Stone tetra pods dumped at Marine drive in the sea to protect the walls from erosion and to break the surging waves in monsoon season.

Gateway of India in the fading sunlight

Horse-buggies known as the ‘Victoria’. The main railway station ‘Victoria Terminus’ got its name from these. Once a common mode of public transport, these are now mainly for tourists. The name of the railway station has also changed πŸ™‚

The majestic Taj hotel which was barraged with the cruelties of the recent terror attacks on Bombay in November 2008. Its up and running in full swing already.

With the recent upswing in the Indian economy, the Bombay marina is becoming a sailing hub.

The Worli seaface.. a popular hangout for couples and families alike especially around and after sunset. Hardly a surprise!


8 thoughts on “Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan..

  1. Love the blog (you know I am more for words than frames). The spirit of the city is irrepresible and for those like me held hostage elsewhere, the longing has now reached an unbelievable high (thanks to this blog). And btw the passing reference as Bombayite, and not Mumbaikar, is much appreciated πŸ™‚

    1. Well darling since I’m too clumsy with words, I’m still waiting for you to provide the words for my frames! though you missed out an ‘s’ there πŸ˜‰

      And you are welcome πŸ™‚

      PS: cannot help but jhadofy gyan.. u r only a hostage of your own volition πŸ˜€

  2. This is beautiful.. Lovely photographs and even better captions to go alongwith them… You have captured the true essence the city.
    I already like this blog, guess I am going to visit this more often..
    Great work, All the best for project 365 πŸ™‚

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