Category Archives: Flooring

A Bombay thesis submitted

4 June, 2015
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Thesis

Flooring: Examination Schools (1882)

75 High Street, Oxford, England.

Miss Bombaywalla is happy and relieved to report that she has submitted her DPhil dissertation, Cultural Intermediaries in a Colonial City: The Parsis of Bombay, c 1860-1921.

Her DPhil was supervised by Polly O’Hanlon, Professor in Indian History and Culture at the University of Oxford.

Notice the Bombaywalla logo at the bottom of the cover page.

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Mosaic, marble & minton: A tour of the tiling at Esplanade House

29 April, 2015
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small chinaentrance with chalkstraigthenentranceMustard tiling

entrance mainstairs 1

Flooring: Esplanade House (1887)
Waudby Road, Esplanade.

At Esplanade House, the residence of industrialist J. N. Tata, you will find three kinds of flooring on the premises- mosaic work at the entrance and on most of the floors, marble for the stairs and Minton tiles on some of the floor landings.

The residence is unusual for amount of mosaic flooring. Usually in the homes of the elite as well as in the grand civic buildings in Bombay, Minton tiling and marble predominated, while mosaic was not used or reserved for uncovered spaces like terraces.

Tata’s fondness for mosaic work could be explained as part of his wider taste in chinoiserie. His home was decorated with all kinds of Chinese artefacts and he was also fond of using Chinese silks as part of dress- on his turban and as a shawl. Mosaic tiles often comprised of bits of broken porcelain from Chinese wares like vases and plates.

Photos courtesy Jasmine Driver for Parsiana .

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Move over Colaba

25 November, 2013
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Flooring: Nagpada Basketball Association (NBA)

Flooring: Nagpada Basketball Association (NBA)

2000, Nagpada.

The neighbourhood of Nagpada produces India’s finest basketball players.
The NBA girls’ team has been walloping school and college level girls’ teams at courts across the city.
A girls’ team from Colaba, sporting Nike shoes, coloured hair and muttering monosyllabic abuses, were totally unprepared for the Bata wearing, no swearing forces from Nagpada, the Tehelka magazine reports.

Hashim Badani shoots an NBA boys’ team.

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Sooloo Chicken and Fulloo

30 September, 2013
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Flooring: Mahatma Phule Vyayam Mandir

Flooring: Mahatma Phule Vyayam Mandir

Chinchpokli (presently N. M. Joshi Marg).

Bombay’s genteel citizenry and the colonial state considered talimkhanas (exercise houses, akhadas) breeding grounds for the city’s roughs and toughs. The state shut down several talimkhanas in the mid 1800’s.

Sorabjee Pestonjee and Framjee Bomanjee, members of the local Dhobi Talao talim and the notorious Dhobi Talao Gang in the 1860’s, were fondly called Sooloo Chicken and Fulloo.

Our new photo contributor Hashim Badani captures members of a contemporary talimkhana in the swing of things.

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A Mogul Meal

13 September, 2013
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Flooring: The Army Restaurant (1932)

Flooring: The Army Restaurant (1932)

The Esplanade Hotel, Esplanade Road, Fort, (presently Esplanade Mansion, Mahatma Gandhi Road).

The Army Restaurant is a popular Irani cafe run by members of Bombay’s Persian Muslim or Mogul community. By the 1850’s Mogul migrants in Bombay were well organized into a community- with their own representatives, institutions and infrastructure of a consul, mosque, shrines and residential strongholds.

Ms Bombaywalla thanks the all male staff of the restaurant for their eagerness to be in every frame and the running commentary of yes, smile, cheeze, please.

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