Facade: Dhun Lodge (1906)
Tardeo Road, next to Bhatia Hospital.
Simin Patel is devastated to report that Dhun Lodge, her favourite building, has been destroyed and diminished to a shell of its former self.
There is no logic to flattening a perfectly solid, sound and splendid structure. It has left the locality bereft of beauty and the name ‘Dhun Lodge’ which perfectly encapsulated the cosmopolitan naming practices of the city. Notice how the developers have removed the year 1906 (on top of the building) and the name of the structure at the entrance.
Many thanks to my mother Veera for informing me of the development late last year when I was in the UK.
On 1 January 2014 when I was photographing the flattened structure from the road, the watchman on the premises repeatedly told me to stop, after which he took a photo of me on his phone. So I took a photo of him and gave him my card.
Interview, India Today, August 2013. Photo credit: Anisha Sharma.
Doors: Meher Cold Drink House (1939)
Mackawee Mansion, corner of Gunbow Street and Parsi Bazaar Street, Fort (presently Rustom Sidhwa Marg).
Well into the late 1800s, strict caste and purity codes prevented the experience of inter-dining amongst the native populations of Bombay. Pan-supari, rosewater and nosegays, were distributed at the end of public/semi public gatherings, but no food. As the benefits of inter-dining were felt, cold drinks were first introduced for consumption, gradually making way for solid foods.
Meher Cold Drink House, although a sprightly 74, is an example of the early establishments that facilitated the experience of cosmopolitan drinking and eventually dining.
Young Bombaywalla was introduced to the delights of Meher Cold Drink House by her mother Veera, a regular at the unassuming eateries in the Fort.