Bombay: Not So Old

Oh, a young lady asked me to post some stuff from Bombay. She is a very brave young lady. This much I can say.

So, I took out a few old pictures. I didn’t have the time to sort out all the old black and white negatives, or to edit them, but here are a few…..

Oh yes, plus two YouTube videos at the end…

fiat

What you see above, is a typical Bombay taxi. This is a vanishing breed. The Fiat old old used to be manufactured by a company called Premier, which closed many years back. Their factory used to be next to the steel mill where I used to work. The steel mill has been shut, and has been replaced by a mall. Since they could not continue using the ‘Fiat’ name, the car was called the Premier Padmini.

People still call it the Fiat. One day, this will disappear into the dust of history.

marinelines

One of the great walkways of Bombay is Marine Drive. The sweep of the road is also called Princess’s Necklace, and is still on of the most charming parts of the city.

shivaji

For some reason, I could not find my pictures of Bombay VT Station, which modern day political idiots have renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Station. Stupid is, as stupid does. The station is still called VT

What you see above, is a dramatic shot of Shivaji himself, who resisted Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal Emperors. This was a war of power, not religion.

He stands before the new wing of the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel. The old wing, which is really where the charm lies, was built by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, as a riposte to the British, who did not allow Indians into their clubs.

street

Much of Bombay life is lived on the streets. The people have spirit. It is amazing

gateway1

This last picture is that of some of the colonial buildings, as seen through the Gateway of India. Nowadays, they have ringed off the Gateway, and put in some ugly police boxes there.

It is from the Gateway of India that the last British ships left India, ending the British Raj in India.

And finally, two videos. One, which is one of the best loved songs about Bombay. This one is timeless. It is from 1956. Johnny Walker, the actor, is one of the most loved actors of the time.

And the last, is tongue in cheek one, sung by my orthopaedic surgeon in Bombay. Dr Dilip Nadkarni. I went to him when I had a shoulder injury.

Brilliant chap. Super doctor, and he loves singing. He practices singing for a few hours a day.

Sadly, they changed the name of the city from Bombay, to Mumbai. For me, it will always be Bombay

37 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I am very very very humbled 😊😊😊😊
    I agree with you. Bombay will always be that. And VT will be too. It’s so ridiculous that they would want to name everything CST.
    And, Oh my!! You’ve got some classics. The fiat!!! Oh gosh!!! Do you remember a car called 118NE??
    The videos are so appropriate as well. The first a classic and the second absolute tongue in cheek but true!!
    Thanks once again for this post.

    1. Of course I remember the 118NE! It was the hep thing when it was launched, and then it died!

      Yeah, VT will always be VT

      I am glad you liked the post, you know…

  2. Thank you for sharing Bombay! I love this kind of thing! There used to be a funny saying hear years ago regarding Fiats probably in the early 70’s. They used to break down a lot, so they expanded on the name using the Acronym, FIAT, saying “Fix It Again Tony”. 🙂

  3. When I saw your photos of Bombay, Rajiv, I immediately got a mental image of our many walks by the Taj Mahal Hotel when my husband and I were there. Curiosity got the best of us, so we actually went inside the hotel to see how much it costs for a night. It knocked out socks off.
    BTW the song Yeh Hai Bombay is remarkably similar to the song “Oh My Darling Clementine”.
    Leslie

    1. Hm… I know “Oh My Darling Clementine”. I must listen to it again

      I agree. The Taj is bloody expensive. When I was on an expense account, I did eat there. Expensive food, but average

  4. Thank You for sharing this, my Dear Rajiv! I had spent a few years in Mumbai (have become used to using the new names, though the CST is quite a mouthful). It is a Lovely city and has a Charm its own.

      1. Hahaha! 🙂 PS: I used to be 85 Kg, at five feet nine and a half, but happily, have come down to 78. So hopefully, though I speak like Obelix, one of my favourite charecter at times, am not he, or like him.

        Regards and All the Best. 🙂

      2. But Why, my Dear Rajiv! Think of the many who may get Inspired to reduce, and have Ways and Means of doing it, along with a Role Model, which is Very necessary. 🙂

  5. I tried to paste an old picture of Gateway To India but being a bit dense, I couldn’t. I wanted to show the comparison from 70 years ago. Oh well…. why did they change it to Mumbai. ???. Ate in a wonderful restaurant in London last night. Based on the old Iranian cafes that used to be at Bombay station. I have to say its was the BEST curry I have ever eaten.

    1. Yeah… Why did they change it to Mumbai? Jingoism. They discovered a goddess called Mumba, that no one had heard of, and called the city Mumbai

      There is a wonderful Irani restaurant called Britannia…. Now, I want to go to Bombay to eat there!

      1. Yes, we use the word – godown. However, it is being replaced by warehouse

        Oh, this restaurant looks cool!

        In Hindi movies of old, when they had a fight scene, and the hero would punch the villain, (or vice-versa), the action would be accompanied by a ‘dishoom’ sound!

        So, the fight would go, ‘dishoom, dishoom…”
        As kids, when we would have a mock fight, we too would go ‘dishoom’!
        And, a bullet would be accompanied by a different sound. Something like -Dichkoing! With a lot of emphasis on the ‘koing’ part of the sound, elongating and twisting the syllable!

      2. There we go – have learnt something else today. I like that meaning for dishoom. So another reason for me to come to India, to seek out the last remaining Irani restaurants….

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