Tag Archives: Hashim Badani

K. N. Ajani turns a 100 years young!

11 July, 2018
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1. K. N. Ajani, the well-known manufacturers of nutcrackers, knives, scissors and locks, has turned a ‘100 years young’!2. The founder, Keshavji Narshi Ajani, knew a thing or two about staying young, regularly practicing yoga and displaying charts with various asanas across his premises. 3. His great-grandsons, Sanyam and Yash, have started young, attending to the shop during their summer vacations, under their father Paresh’s supervision. 4. Nutcrackers were the shop’s No. 1 item, in high demand from clients as diverse as the Indian Railways, bridal parties who wanted to test if the groom could cut a betel nut, and sticklers who wanted to check the quality of annas by cutting them.5. A popular Gujarati saying, Maro to suri vache supari jevo avatar che, uses the symbolism of a betel nut in a nutcracker to explain the difficulties of being caught in a no-win situation.6. Sales of pen knives and general knives increase in the mango season. 7. Scissors for general, tailoring or kitchen use, are one of their 4 main products.

Signage: K. N. Ajani (1918)

Shop No. 102, Krishna Gully, Swadeshi Market (formerly Morarji Goculdas Market), Kalbadevi Raod.

Young K. N. Ajani was so inspired by the Swadeshi movement that not only did he relocate his shop from Masjid Bunder to the Morarji Goculdas Market at Kalbadevi, the bastion of Swadeshi, he also switched from selling standard cloth to manufacturing nutcrackers, knives, scissors and locks!

By 1919, M. K. Gandhi was visiting the Morarji Goculdas Market twice a month, presiding over the Swadeshi Sabha held in the Market Hall or inaugurating a new Swadeshi store. Speaking in Gujarati, Gandhi scolded the people of Bombay who took to speculation in shares and did not care to help ‘the real industry of the country’.

By the 1930s, Swadeshi had suffused the Morarji Goculdas Market so much so that it began to be called the Swadeshi Market! And while the other major markets in the area were stuck negotiating the conflicts between their foreign and Swadeshi sections, Swadeshi Market was smoothly selling small Indian industry.

Photos by the tall industry Hashim Badani. Thanks to Farrokh Jijina for his assistance with the Gujarati.

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The age of Art Deco

27 June, 2016
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DSC_8971-2

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.

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These boots are made for walking

30 May, 2014
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Bhindi Bazaar

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.

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Finally, a book on Mumbai’s Irani cafes

27 April, 2014
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MidDay

Finally, a book on Mumbai’s Irani cafes Mid-Day, 27 April, 2014.

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Saal & Navroze Mubarak

21 March, 2014
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We are oneFolks our blog turns one today. Thank you for all the support, encouragement and generosity.

Simin, Sitanshu, Hashim, Hersh and Dj.

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