Infrastructure: Marine Drive (1940)
(presently Netaji Subhaschandra Bose Marg).
Drives were among the public activities in which the ladies of Bombay first participated. Upper class native women were a secluded, sheltered lot; disallowed from attending the meetings, balls, nauches, farewell parties and annual exhibitions that men enjoyed.
As criticism of these exclusionary practices grew louder from the city’s European population, largely because it skewed the male-female ratio at their balls, native men conceded that being spotted in a carriage with their ladies, might, in fact, be quite fashionable.
Hersh Acharya captures Marine Drive in a superb, single sweep.
Infrastructure: Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link (2009)
also referred to as the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Causeways were among the earliest infrastructural projects that connected the Town and Island of Bombay to its neighbouring islands.
Colaba Causeway, constructed in 1838, was among the last of these projects, joining the southermost islands of Colaba and the Old Woman’s Island to that of Bombay.
This spectacular view is shot by Hersh Acharya.
Infrastructure: Tardeo Road
The suburb of Tardeo was developed from the 1850s onwards to host the industries, establishments and citizens that were considered unsuitable for accommodating in the city centre of the Fort or the residential stronghold of Byculla. Mills, gas companies, widows, pensioners and a few European and Indian householders like the Adenwallas and Jessawallas gathered in Tardeo and made good neighbours.
Drive away your Bombay suburban blues and head to New York via ESTA. Start spreading the news.
This magical photograph is shot by Hersh Acharya.
Porticos: The Esplanade Hotel (1871)
Esplanade Road, Fort, (presently Esplanade Mansion, Mahatma Gandhi Road).
Among the urban legends of Bombay is the story that the industrialist Jamsetji Tata begun the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in 1903, in retaliation for being denied admission into the European run and owned The Esplanade Hotel.
The story seems implausible for several reasons not least because John Watson’s The Esplanade admitted Indian guests as early as 1871, the year of its opening. Three young Bengalis, fresh from passing the Civil Service Examination in England in 1871, chose to stay at The Esplanade Hotel before their return to Calcutta.
Yesterday’s newspapers inform that the Esplanade Mansion (nee Hotel), India’s oldest surviving building with a cast iron framework, will be redeveloped. See the Local category of our Media Section for the reports.
The photograph is shot by Hersh Acharya.
Balconies: Edward Theatre (1884)
Kalbadevi Road, Dhobi Talao.
There was a wide choice of seating arrangements in theatres in Bombay in mid 1800’s- the Dress Circle, Gallery, Stalls and Pit. The pit often hosted noisy and drunk spectators that bothered the young, unmarried European actresses on stage.
Tickets, ranging from Rs. 4 to Rs. 1, could be bought at the offices of The Times of India or The Bombay Gazette newspapers or on the night of the performance, at the theatre itself.
This photograph of perfect proportions is shot by Hersh Acharya.