Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan. It’s been 45-odd years since the film CID hit the screens and Johnny Walker crooned the life and times of Bombay. That’s a generation, and a period that has seen much of what the lilting Rafi-Geeta Dutt song tried to present change — from the then-hip Hindustan Standard cars in the background to the quiet and traffic-free Marine Drive, and right down to even the name of the city of dreams for millions.
Now even Dev Anand, the film’s hero and said to be the evergreen star of Bombay, has passed away, making the city lose some more of its sheen. But what lives on, as Soham Hazra found when he went to the metropolis for the first time recently, is the everyday fight, strife and struggle to survive in that mad theatre of dreams. And then look out at the sea, and up at the highrises next to it, to start a new dream. Afresh.
Over to some of the pics he shot of Mumbai, and found interesting.
To carry on in the filmi vein, this is perhaps the single most important location for the city said to have been founded by the Portuguese, built with care by the British and then kept with affection by us Indians. Welcome to the Gateway of India, where the sea ends and the city of lights starts.
City of lights, did we say? Nothing beats the nature, as the sunrise over the highrises show in its reflection by the dinghies.
Come again, lights? Look there, and no further! Little wonder Mumbai's famed Marine Drive is called the Queen's Necklace. Even in this age of pollution and uber-urbanisation, that charm lives on.
This is the promenade made (in)famous to the world on those ghastly few days in November 2008 when terror shook the very heart of Mumbai, nay India. The Taj Mahal Hotel has, for most of us Indians growing up seeing images of Mumbai, been the epitome of aspiration, grandeur and all things seemingly out of reach but quite within grasp -- decode the contradiction at your own peril!
The view from the Arabian Sea near Taj.
Salute to the city that genuinely never sleeps.
Just a short boat ride from the Apollo Bundar, opposite the Taj hotel, and you are in another century -- welcome to the Elephanta Caves!