A sort of Homecoming

Many writers and travellers have been left amused and enough literature and travelogues have been written on the city of Bombay that I wonder if I would be able to do justice while I attempt to tell you my experiences when I visited the city recently. I was not a tourist. This is home away from home.

On 23 July 2005, 3 days before the Bombay cloudburst, the city was as sunny and sweaty as it could be. I guess the pictures suggest that.

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[Above: The Flora Fountain]

Nostalgic crossroads, these on the Flora Fountain. It was 15 years ago, I used to have ice-cream cones, at least a couple of them- A bribe my mother paid me to keep quiet while she took her time shopping and bargaining with the cloth merchants. And I was always fascinated by the glass entrance of the Vimal Showroom that slid open as I walked towards it. But in 1990, this could happen only in Bombay. I also wondered what “Akbarallys” exactly sold. At one end of the Flora Fountain, towards Churchgate was the street of pavement booksellers. All the books you can imagine, and you did not have to be a rich man to buy them in bulk. Towards the other end, starting from the VSNL building, was the most boring place on the planet, or so I thought, the Fashion Street- 2 Kms of clothes, clothes and clothes.

What good would that do to a 10 year old? There were no book shops there; that meant no comics. It was often that I said to ma, “amma, when you want to go to Fashion street, count me out of it”.

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[Above: The Old Taj Hotel]

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[Above: The Friends of the Gateway]

The Gateway of India, as always drenched in the salty, smelly breeze. The colourful boats, still the same much like faithful companions to the age old monument. Not even the colour schemes have changed and the odd rubber tyres all over them. As I stand facing the green sea with the Gateway behind my back, I see the inland, the large chunk of land devoid of the mainland, which had once been my home for 6 years. The hill, far away and in the middle of the sea, with a tower on top. The view so faint that the hill almost dissolved itself into the surroundings of the sea and the sky, just a thin borderline preventing that from happening. Happy Homecoming.

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[Above: The Kitten at Bombay VT]

2 thoughts on “A sort of Homecoming

  1. One tends to get addicted to this city one u get a taste of IT. i love mumbai.

    PS : The last para brings a magic of ur “streewise” post… good work !

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