Signage: Banaji Atash Behram (Fire Temple)
(1845), junction of Queen’s Road and Thakurdwar Road, opposite Charni Road Station.
Ladies and children of all faiths can find solace in the nursery surrounding the Banaji Atash Behram, where several species and shades of plants grow side by side sukh thi ne samph sathe (in happiness and harmony).
Signage: Admiralty House (1764)
Apollo Street, Fort (presently Great Western Building, Bombay Samachar Marg).
This building holds the distinction of being put to the most high-profile uses in Bombay. It has variously served as the admiralty house, the governor’s residence and the recorder’s courthouse.
In 1883, Jewanjee & Company opened The Great Western Hotel on the premises. The Hotel was furnished and fitted to ensure ‘the greatest comfort to Residents and Visitors’. Not only did every bedroom have an attached bathroom with a constant supply of water, the setup had the approval of the best scientific authorities.
Jewanjee & Company did know a lot about technology.
Signage: B. Merwan & Co. (1914)
Frere Bridge, Grant Road.
There was nothing chummy about getting your chums in 19th century Bombay. Ladies in menses were confined to a special room, made to sleep on beds that resembled funeral biers and kept away from any festivities, ceremonies or socializing.
On the rare occasions when menstruating ladies made public appearances, as witnesses in cases at the Supreme Court for example, the entire courtroom was made aware of their condition.
The priests who swore the witnesses refused to let the ladies touch the sacred book while taking the oath. When the judge ordered ‘Tell him to swear her in the proper way, or I will dismiss him’, the priest was forced to put the book in the lady’s hands and his own hand over the book as he swore the witness.
Signage: Express Restaurant (1965) brun and maska (bread and butter) on a round table in a restaurant together, Bombay was its cosmopolitan best.
Converts had fallen out of caste with their original community when they had converted to Christianity and were eventually, grudgingly accepted back into the community’s fold.