Staircases: Liberty (1949)
New Marine Lines.
The opening of the great cinemas Regal in 1933 and Liberty in 1949, can neatly mark the age of Art Deco in Bombay.
During this period, Art Deco transformed the cityscape with its streamlined forms, colourful facades and iconography of speed and travel.
Hashim Badani gives Liberty a good dekho.
Pop-up: Bhendy Bazaar
Western boots and shoes and the umbrella were the chief articles of modern dress that equipped women for the public sphere in 19th century Bombay. Accessories like purses, handbags and watches, that could have further facilitated their public role, gained widespread currency only in the 20th century.
Among the reasons that could account for the late introduction of the accessories was that the form of the sari as well as the stitched blouse worn with it could accommodate small necessities on the person of the wearer herself. Essentials were tucked between the gathered folds of the sari at the waist or within the bounded entity of the blouse, a practice that continues to date in India. Orpa Slapak notes that women of the Bene Isreali community tucked a pouch (tied with a lace) into the waist of the sari, ‘a kind of hidden pocket’ in which they stored money and other valuables.
Hashim Badani accessorised with his camera at Bombay’s Petticoat Lane.
Finally, a book on Mumbai’s Irani cafes Mid-Day, 27 April, 2014.
Folks our blog turns one today. Thank you for all the support, encouragement and generosity.
Simin, Sitanshu, Hashim, Hersh and Dj.
Infrastructure: Mohammed Ali Road
Road rage had hit the city by the 1860s. The drivers and passengers of carriages, hack-buggies, Hansom cabs, shigrams and dog-carts were all in close proximity to whip, spit and strike each other. Some drivers and passengers demanded that they be accosted in English only– no ‘ahiste jao’ only ‘go slow’.
Photo by Royal Enfield rider Hashim Badani.