Signage: Mutton Street
Art Centre, 13-13/A, Mutton Street.
Mutton was an underestimated barometer of the social climate of the city in the aftermath of communal riots.
Butchers would often withdraw selling mutton to members of the community with which there was conflict, when tensions were still high, and would resume sales once normalcy was restored.
Today there is virtually no mutton to be found on Mutton Street.
Kamal Mansion, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba.
The Queen’s Necklace has turned into a noose for Bombay’s gay community. In 2012, the city’s iconic gay landmark, the Voodoo nightclub, finally shut down after a raid by Vasant Dhoble, the killjoy, hockey-stick wielding Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Voodoo had welcomed city’s LGBT community in the early 1990’s when most of the other nightclubs kept them out.
Bombaywalla urges all Indians to face the direction of the Supreme Court and sing
Gay gay, gay, gay gay, gay
Gay re saiba
Pyaar mein saudaa nahin
in light of its shameful verdict recriminalizing homosexuality.
Photo by Bipin Kokate from the Mid-Day website. Thanks to Mustansir Dalvi for suggesting the song.
Signage: Bombay Panjrapole (1834)
Near Madhav Baug Post Office, Bhuleshwar.
Pregnant cows were probably better off than pregnant women in 19th c Bombay. Expectant women were subject to a long and lonely lying-in period. They were confined to a dark and dingy room on the ground floor of their residences, for a period as long as 40 days after delivery.
Signage: Perry & Co. (1925)
Pannalal Terrace, Grant Road (presently Dada Saheb Bhadkamkar Marg).
Early chemists in Bombay doubled as general merchants selling ‘Shag and Returns TOBACCO’, Cigarette Moulds and Papers, Cheerot-holders and Cases alongside medical preparations compounded on the premises.
Hersh Acharya captures a contemporary, more focused, chemist.
Signage: American Express Bakery
Shop no. 87, Hill Road, Bandra.
Early advertisements of the American Express Bakery promoted its A.E.B. bread nourishingly made with milk and malt. At the turn of the 20th century ads for various products and establishments drew from the discourses of science, sanitation, health and physical strength.
The monogram AEB can still be found on the furniture at the immaculately preserved Bandra branch of the Bakery. Bombaywalla thanks Mr Chittibabu, manager of the branch, for his kind assistance.