Category Archives: Interiors

Know your batasas

30 January, 2015
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Batasa

Interiors: Paris Bakery (1955)

287, Dukargully, Dhobi Talao (presently Dr. C. H. Street).

When customers at Paris Bakery inquire about the price of a packet of batasa biscuits, Paris’ proprietor Danesh Nejadkay offers them a sample instead. ‘Once you taste, you are trapped,’ Nejadkay insists. Indeed Paris’ Maska Batasas are the tastiest dollops of butter (with a hint of jeera cumin) in town.

Nejadkay shares some batasa wisdom with us- Bite into a batasa don’t break it, offer or accept it with your right hand, soak it in a cup of tea for a minute or two, let it ‘blow up’ and then have it with a spoon.

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DISHOOM

17 October, 2014
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Interiors: Dishoom King’s Cross (2014)

Interiors: Dishoom King’s Cross (2014)

5 Stable Street, London NIC 4AB.

MISS BOMBAYWALLA begs to inform her constituents that the S.S. ZOROASTER is ready for boarding at Apollo Bunder and will reach England in perfect timing for the opening of DISHOOM, being the third branch of a first class Irani Restaurant in London.

DISHOOM has been stylishly fitted with bentwood chairs, marble top tables, mirrors, Minton tiling and special room for the convenience of Ladies & Families.

Under the proprietorship of MESSRS. SHAMILBHOY & KAVI THAKRAR and management of MISS SARA STARK, the entire establishment has been rendered so fashionable as not to be surpassed by any other establishment in London or Bombay.

** Passengers on their arrival in London should be careful to ask for DISHOOM, near the King’s Cross Railway Station.

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Naaz-e-Raaz

23 September, 2014
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Naaz

Interiors: Naaz Cinema (1953)

Lamington Road (presently Dr. Dadasaheb Bhadkamkar Marg).

Do not be fooled
by this fountain
glass has class
but does not reflect
the reasons
why Naaz
was a super success.

It was the air-cooling
so soothing
that got the customers in.

Photo by Hashim Badani who comes from a classy family of glass merchants.

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Ain’t no sorpotel when she’s gone

1 August, 2014
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 Interiors: S. R. Viegas

Interiors: S. R. Viegas Pork Shop

Dhobi Talao.

Speedy Rosita Gonsalves may be found in bylanes of Dhobi Talao flirting with the proprietors of the pork shops that dominate the locality.

Wearing some lipstick and a sweatshirt, she ignores the other gents on the street- the owners of Irani cafés, the fathers at Sonapur Church- and sashays straight to Mr Viegas for some stock for her sorpotel.

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‘O God, please pay attention to all these matters’

15 May, 2014
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Interiors: Afghan Church (1858)

Interiors: Afghan Church (1858)

Church of St. John the Evangelist, Colaba.

Whenever Britain went to war in the 19th century, Bombay’s various communities would gather to pray at churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and fire temples.

‘O Almighty God! We pray to you that the Queen of this country be granted an honourable victory in the present fighting. The King of Kings should grant her army and navy special strength and wisdom, bless the Queen with a long life, and ensure the prosperity of her empire.’

Prayer gatherings offered avenues for a leveled participation in the Empire. They required no monetary contribution, only an emotional earnestness, and if the war was won, all could claim to have played a part.

An Acharya armed only with his camera.

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