Windows: Sayeed Building (1915)
In the early decades of the 20th century Grant Road gentrified, shedding its image as a district of bawdy play houses and shaping up into a neighbourhood with respectable homes, jewellery shops and cafes.
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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: 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.