Facades: St. Mary’s School (1864)
Nesbit Road, Mazagaon (presently Sardar Balwant Singh Dhody Marg).
The Annual Exhibition was the most important event in a school’s calendar in 19th c Bombay. The Exhibition included the distribution of prizes, student performances, reading the school’s annual report and on occasion, depressingly, an on the spot examination of the student’s work.
Proud Marian Hersh Acharya goes back to school.
Facades: Bombay Stock Exchange (1980)
Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers, Fort, (presently Dalal Street).
For many of Bombay’s inhabitants, the defining event of the 19thc was the share mania of the 1860’s. Several fortunes were made and lost as citizens speculated in the share market with the windfalls they had made exporting cotton to Britain.
The American Civil War had interrupted the supply of cotton from the American South to Britain and the latter turned to the Bombay cotton trader for relief.
The title of this post is inspired by a Jamaican Eating House and bar on Cowley Road, Oxford, that undergoes similar dips and spurts in fortune.
Hersh Acharya captures the curves in façades of the BSE building and the Elphinstone Circle.
Facades: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (1903)
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel continued the long established discourse of offering moderately priced accommodation in Bombay. At the time of its opening in December 1903, room rates on a per day basis were Rs 6 and upwards, comparing favourably with the rates of smaller hotels, that had as early as 1871, charged between Rs 4 to 5 per day.
Hersh Acharya captures the original Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the New Taj, which stands on the site of W. B. Green & Co.’s four-storied Apollo Bunder Restaurant and Café and the glorious Gateway.
Facade: The Red Building
Parsi Bazaar Street, Elphinstone Circle, Fort, (presently S. A. Belvi Marg, Horniman Circle).
With the arrival of the motor car, the Bombay driver was suddenly in close and intimate proximity with his passengers. Older forms of transport – the palanquin, the horse buggy and carriage, the horse-drawn omnibus, the horse and subsequently electric tram- all maintained a safe and respectable distance in their seating arrangements.
Now there was plenty of room for two in the front seat of a red Dodge.
Mistah Murty- he back with some Kodak 400 ISO film.
Facades: The Imperial (2010)
The twin towers boldly reestablish the imperial presence in a city that has been fervently erasing the signs of its colonial past.
In fact, going up the 60 floors of the luxury towers must feel like retreating to the hills, the summer capitals of the Raj. A drop in temperature, exclusive club facilities, splendid views, superior sanitation, a little less crowding, a little less conversation.
Hersh Acharya captures The Imperial’s defiant presence.