Tag Archives: Gamdevi

Welcome to Puthu & Sons

21 November, 2017
Share Button

1) Premanand Puthu Mankatty has been running the washing company his father founded for the last forty years.
2) Being one of twelve siblings, the second youngest of eight sons, it was only fitting that the company’s name was changed from Puthu & Co. to Puthu & Sons. 3) Premanand remembers the father of the proprietor of the barber shop near by, whose mooch was like Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s. 4) Customers’ clothes are cleaned and returned in two to three days. During the monsoons it can take five to six days. Sunday Closed. 5) When Premanand’s father Puthu migrated to Bombay from Kundapur, Karnatak, he worked at Cecil Laundry near by before starting his own business. 6) The shutters of the shop next to Puthu & Sons are permanently closed. An Irani restaurant, Gamdevi Restaurant, had its premises there.

Doors: Puthu & Sons Washing Co. (1934)
H. M. Akhalawaya Building, Gamdevi Road, Gamdevi.

By the 1860s, bathing and washing clothes in Bombay’s public tanks had become a threefold problem of public health, community and decency.

The Municipal Commissioners were concerned that the ‘mass of floating filth’ generated by the bathing and washing was the source of the most offensive effluvia which would be harmful to public health.

The native gentry, particularly the Bhattia and Bania communities, wanted to reserve the tanks for the purpose of drinking water.

And a poor woman had to write to the Bombay Gazette, under the sobriquet of ‘Saaf Owruth’, defending her daily routine of body washment at the Dhobee ka tallao, ‘that place I make washment one long wall is, so man cant see from street…If must come that way what for not turn head away, he not a proper man.’

Photos by Hashim Badani, a proper man.

Share Button

Hair cutting and costing

17 October, 2017
Share Button

1. Dinesh Jadhav is the fourth generation of the Jadhav family to run the saloon in Gamdevi. 2. Youngsters want the latest cuts while old-timers want the original styles from Dinesh’s grandfather’s time. 3. Dinesh’s grandfather Baburao (left) and his great-grandfather Trimbuk (right), who founded the saloon. Trimbuk Jadhav served in the Indian Army. 4. A photo from 1948 of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Santsena Samaj, the association that governs the Nhavi caste, to which the Jadhavs belong. 5. The annual licenses of the establishment from the 1930s and 40s.
6. Three storeys of the building have already been demolished, leaving the ground floor standing with its shops for the time being.

Furniture: Gamdevi Hair Cutting Saloon

40G Jethabhai Kalyanji (J.K.) Buildings, Harishchandra Goregaoker Road, Gamdevi.

Local barbers in Bombay were bound by both the Bombay Municipal Act and their caste association, the Santsena Samaj, to such an extent that the intervals at which the floor of the saloon was swept, the type of bin for the reception of hair and sweepings, the price of the hair cut, and even the fitness of the barber himself, were all pre-determined.

The saloon’s licenses could be suspended or revoked, the barber and his family could be ostracised by their fellow caste members, if he did not comply with the conditions of costing and cutting.

Photos by Hashim Badani a Number 1 Photographer who gets a Number 2 Haircut.

Share Button