Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Movie Hall Named After The God of Love

Eros cinema at Churchgate is supposed to be the pin-up of art deco in Bombay. Was screening Guru the other day, when Rajat and I hit the Kaala Ghoda Arts Festival, so I stopped by to click a coupla snaps since I knew I wasn't going to see the movie that day. Eros is just one of many such old-style movie halls dotting South Bombay. The other famous one being Regal at Colaba, but I haven't snapped that up yet. And then Metro, which is now a refurbished PVR and all.

Naaa.... give me ole Black&White Eros anyday! :)

...easier on the wallet too!

PS: Wonder if the the guys who named the movie hall actually considered what happens in the back stalls in the dark? *grin*

Sunday, February 25, 2007

No church, no gate...

Churchgate Station - the terminus for the Western Railway. Actually, the main station building is this ugly modern montrosity, and what I've posted are snaps of the HQ of WR. :) No gate or church here anymore, though. Just Marine Drive a short walk away....

... and also, the yummiest Frankie rollls you can get anywhere in Bombay. Also, the sweetest cold coffee. : Hmmm... how come all my landmarks have something to do with food? Sheesh.

Across the Oval

Towering Inferno? I always thought, that would make a great porno title! :) For now, though, it seems to be a great caption for the pic on top - Bombay University's Rajabai Tower, juxtaposed against the Bombay Stock Exchange, shot from across the Oval Maidan.

The Oval is this great expanse of cricketing history that is full by day in white uniforms, and makes for an exhilarating walk across in the evenings, post dark. Of course, with all the hullaballo over the Beer Man Murders in January, I was bypassing my evening walks for some time. :)

Played around with B&W there. It could well be from another century, na? :)

Queen's Station

Took these snaps of VT/ CST (Victoria Terminus/ Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) ages back, one Saturday, coming back home from work. Actually, the way I see it, this entire photoblog is a way of ensuring that the digicam doesn't gather dust in the cupboard, unused and neglected. So there was Grand Old VT - Bombay's very own World Heritage site still in daily service - just waiting to be snapped up.

VT is the main terminus of the Central Railway line, the less posh cousin of Western Railway. I normally prefer the CR, by the way, since its much less crowded than the WR in the mornings, while going to work. Of course, most of the time, I'm rather late for work so I hail a cabbie - but since the cab usually passes by VT, I still get to ogle the building. :)

To Versailles, anyone?

The one below is just the rails outside the VT. Thought it looked nice in the light, that's all.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Like the Madonna Song - Shutter Speed!

It's like the words in that Madonna song - faster than a speeding ray of light... Welcome to the fast world of Bombay. Where traffic doesn't quite move as fast as work timetables do. And where the mind works faster than clockwork. :) Rat race? Yes, but still somehow, transcends that.

It's all about shutter speed, I guess.

Fort St. George

Fort is the place to be if you're a banker in Bombay. :) And yes, if you're into Public Relations like I am. This used to be the old Bombay Castle or Fort St. George, built by the British in the 17th century, but of course, the old walls are all torn down now. Today, Fort is the financial hub of the city, and though upstarts like Nariman Point and the Bandra Kurla Complex have stolen away some leading financial firms, a Fort address is still a must-have for any bank or fund worth its name. :)

The Citi Never Sleeps: Those are the pillars of the Citibank Fort office on D.N. Road, on top.

Lawrence and Mayo - another Fort institution. Love the old-world style of all the buildings here. Reminds me a lot of Calcutta, I guess - City of Palaces, and all that! :) When you come to Fort, it's a brilliant amalgamation of the city: old style, rag tag vendors, the art circuit and loads more.

Love the old ruins down there - I have no idea where they're from, which old building collapsed or got demolished, but that's all there is to them - still standing, even though they're surrounded by frantic hawkers these days. :)

And then there's the Goddess - never far behind from where there's money to be made and deals to be brokered. Perched precariously on top of one of those old buildings near Horniman Circle, you can easily say a silent prayer that the stock market won't crash.

Judging by today's 450 point crash on the Sensex though, don't bet on it! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Shopaholic in Fort

No Parking: Hawkers behind the Flora Fountain at Fort don't really give a damn about where your car is parked. :) That's their hawking space, and if you do happen to park your car there, don't be surprised to find mugs/ chappals/ underwear for sale right next to your tyre!

Booked and Sold:
The book sellers at Fort are legendary. Traditionally, they used to occupy the zone behind the University of Bombay, but following an eviction drive in 2005, many of them packed and left. They relocated in the many teeny lanes arrowing out from the main road, and some of them (like the genius up there) are gutsy enough to come right back to the main square, Hutatma Chowk. Passersby don't really mind - it's always a good thing to pick up a great second hand book for as low as Rs 30 sometimes. :) Reminds me of College Street in Calcutta...

The Establishment: But if pavement shopping really isn't your style, you can always duck into the Great Western Stores on D. N. Road. It's pretty much an institution over here, and as the pompous name suggests, quite pricey. They sell great shoes though - amazing formals.

Goa - circa April 2006

Posting Goa pics from last year here, even though they were taken by a good ole automatic camera (my ooooold Vivitar which is sadly knocked up now), and then scanned. That's me at Anjuna Beach, very near the Zoori's bar, which we discovered much later in Jan 2007. In April, Rahul and I decided to hop skip and run away from work for a looong weekend. So there I was, avoiding my then-boss' phone call about some stupid Ambani press conference on a Sunday (murderous!) and laying back down to sip beer and eat fish steak. :)

I loved this trip, cuz we travelled soooo much. Rahul and I hired a teeny Kinetic, and travelled almost all across North Goa with it - doing all the stretches of beach, and down over to Panjim and Dona Paula. Old Goa, too - that's me in front of St Xavier's Basilica. Bought a pretty green rosary for grandmum here, and an exquisitely small statuette of Mother Mary for a love affair that's now gone sour.

I still have Mother Mary, though. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On Duty

That's the place where I work. My first innings in the world of Public Relations. Something that I thought I'd totally hate, while I was playing journo, but hey lookie lookie, I'm kinda getting the hang of things here! For those not in the know, I'm doing a tightrope act at the company called Investor Relations, which involves way too much strategizing than is good for my blood pressure. But, hell, I'm 25, and I love it! :)

The J.B. Petit Building sits bang on Khadi Bhawan Chowk on Fort, which leads into my office lane. The building is this great big old hulk, now occupied by HSBC, built by the J.B. Petit Fund. Aaa, those rich ole Parsis and their trust funds! :) Behind the office building, is the J.N. Petit School For Girls. The archways are amazing to get lost in.

... And that is the Khadi Bhawan itself, down there. Took a close pic of some of the designwork on the huge pillars, and that's put up there. The KB is basically where you can get all those over-priced pieces of Indian culture you would love to sell off in a flea market somewhere in the US. And then, they'd be bought by a Las Vegas bordello! :)

Naaaa.... don't listen to me. They actually have some pretty nice stuff inside: picture a great big hall, very stuffy, feeling like air hasn't circulated in there for months, and all that is punctuated by these displays (clothes, statues, etc) with pink price tags that scream BLOODY MURDER.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sweet tea and chocolate mousse house

There's this quaint li'l bakery in the alleyways behind Horniman Circle called the Yazdani Bakery. Not exactly sure what it's supposed to be - Irani or whatever, but the tea here is heavenly sweet, and tastes amazing with the buttered buns they serve you. :) Came here with the Mad Bawi once, and we hogged on mushroom qiche and then chocolate muffins. Also picked up a whole 1 lb chocolate brownie cake, and that lasted all of three days in my fridge. The menu is appetising, as you can tell...

And then there's the Cafe Mocambo - owned by Parsis, it serves the most yummy Continental food I've tasted in Bombay. The Pork Schnitzels are to die for, the lasagne is great, the roast beef is mouthwatering and... and I'm running out of adjectives here. :) I remember most one time here: brother darling and I had come to town for lunch, on a day when the rest of the city was reeling under riots (some silly incident about some defaced statue), and we'd thought that the situation would get defused soon. Well, when we reached Mocambo's, we discovered that while the restaurant was packed to capacity inside, all the blinds and shades were drawn down, making it seem closed from the outside! :)

O, and one cannot leave Mocambo's without sampling the dessert trolley!

Roadside Romeo

Dammit, my friends smoke. First there was Sharon and Sups on the bench at Empire Mills, and now there's Rahul who smokes like a chimney. Come lunchtime and we head out to gobble, then post the feeding session I'm usually asked for the three and a half rupees his Goldflakes costs him. :) And that's usually where it ends. Wedged between the gorgeously laid out pavement stones.

Love the pattern. Reminds me sooo much about those schematic diagrams in class 7 geography text books - the river and its distributaries and its deltas. :) Only, this is Dr. D N Road, in Bombay.

No comment :)

Just some touching up, really...

While the Fort area in Bombay is completely littered (oops, wrong word) with all these old buildings, amazing relics from British and immediatelly post-Independence India, the sad part is, many of them are in a state of disrepair. So they regularly go in for 'renovation'. Mahendra Chambers, right opposite VT station, and perhaps most wel-known now for the McDonalds outlet it houses on the ground floor, has been (so to say) 'under wraps' for almost all the time I've been in Bombay. And then, the other week, while walking to the station from work, I noticed that the covers are OFF!

Of course, now it's the turn of the HSBC building on Bank Road, Horniman Circle, to come under the architectural burkha.

Seriously though,... green???