Interiors: Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue (1884)
Forbes Street, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Not quite native and not quite European, Bombay’s influential Jewish community adopted a host of strategies to configure themselves as a legitimate population in the city in the 19th century.
Hotel proprietresses Carolina Goldstein and Mrs. Schwartz named their establishments Mazagon-Europe Hotel and Europe Hotel respectively and Abdoolla David Sassoon decided to change his name to Albert.
Photo by Abhishek Mande-Bhot for whom (sur)names are all in the wonderful game, that we know as love.
Statue: Albert Edward Prince of Wales (1879)
subsequently Edward VII (1841-1910), Victoria Gardens, Parel Road, Byculla.
In 1965, the Kala Ghoda (black horse), as the bronze statue of Albert Edward Prince of Wales was colloquially called, was deported to the Byculla zoo, turning its original location in the city centre into a parking lot.
The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Bombay’s most popular annual celebration, which enters its 16th year, reclaims both the statue and the locality in which it first flourished.
The kala gora is captured by Mr Patel, who’s got a lovely daughter.
Interiors: Café Samovar (1964)
Jehangir Art Gallery, Esplanade Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort (presently Mahatma Gandhi Road).
Samovar’s single chai (tea) priced at a reassuring Rs 5 has comforted a clientele of artists, writers, musicians, tourists and researchers over the decades.
After a hard day of reading and maneuvering at the Maharashtra State Archives across the road, researchers make their way to Samovor at 5:30 pm and are happy to find prices that have some resemblance to those on the documents they study.
Hashim Badani gets a waiter’s attention.
Pop-up: Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
2012, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court recently ordered the police to drop the case against Vijay Patil, arrested in Kolhapur one morning for drinking chai (tea) in a suspicious manner.
“We were unaware that the law required anyone to give an explanation for having tea, whether in the morning, noon or night. One might take tea in a variety of ways, not all of them always elegant or delicate, some of them perhaps even noisy. But we know of no way to drink tea ‘suspiciously’…And while cutting chai is permissible, now even fashionable, cutting corners with the law is not.” Justice Patel ruled.
Hersh Acharya cuts his chai glasses but rigorously keeps the law.