The invitation to the opening of the Bombay Central

13 July, 2016
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Archives: The complete invitation to the opening of the Bombay Central (1930)

In the 1800s, women from Bombay’s native communities were seldom seen at civic ceremonies such as the laying of the foundation stone of an institution or the institution’s opening. Newspapers regularly listed the names of the native and European men, and the few European women, who attended these occasions.

When The Bombay Gazette reported on the attendance of a few local ladies at a humble prize distribution ceremony of the Persian class of the Bombay Young Ladies’ Institution in 1862, it quickly published a correction, clarifying that no native ladies were in fact present!

With this invitation to the opening of the Bombay Central Station, we are pleased to introduce our new Archives section.

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The age of Art Deco

27 June, 2016
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Staircases: Liberty (1949)

New Marine Lines.

The opening of the great cinemas Regal in 1933 and Liberty in 1949, can neatly mark the age of Art Deco in Bombay.

During this period, the style of Art Deco transformed the cityscape with its streamlined forms, colourful facades and iconography of speed and travel.

Hashim Badani gives Liberty a good dekho.

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Becoming good friends

15 June, 2016
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Interiors: The Friends Union Joshi Club

381-A, Narottam Wadi, Kalbadevi Road.

Back in the 1970s, chances were that customers could end up becoming good friends with the proprietor of the Club.

If a customer lost weight after a month of eating at the Club and climbed onto the weighing scales stationed at the premises to prove it, the proprietor marked the month’s meals free!

This anecdote, narrated by Yogesh Purohit, son of the late Mr. Khimjibhai Purohit (pictured above), offers an interesting angle to understand the presence of weighing scales in eating houses in Bombay.

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Boarding without lodging

1 June, 2016
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A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Sri Krishna Boarding

Furnishings: A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding (1942)

1st Floor, Market Building, Matunga Railway Station, Matunga.

Matunga’s iconic eatery is in fact not much older than the suburb of Matunga itself. In the 1920s and 30s, Matunga was transformed from a thinly populated village to an organised suburb with apartment blocks and recreational facilities.

The suburb was soon populated with migrants from South India who had settled in Bombay. For these migrants, A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi provided a wholesome and affordable meal; boarding facilities without lodging, as the owner Sashant Nayak explains.

We would like to thank Sashant Nayak for his warm hospitality. ‘The owner of the restaurant also eats here’, we are informed.

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Watchman you don’t have to pull out the big stick

25 May, 2016
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Staircases: Ballard Estate

When small migrant communities were establishing their presence in Bombay in 1870s, the professional tools they carried as well as their turbans, became important markers of their identity.

Sticks helped quickly identify the community of ‘Purdasees’, hillmen from the North West Provinces, who largely served as watchman in the city.

Hersh Acharya pulls out his big camera.

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