Showing posts from July, 2016

How Blue is my Sapphire

‘I am late, I am late. Excuse me, please give me way, I’m late,’ I murmured while running for my life. ‘I am really late,’ I kept murmuring as I kept pushing against people, trying to find space to board the Howrah Mail. I boarded my coach, on time even as the engine gave a sharp hoot indicating departure. I noticed the time on my watch 22:00 pm sharp. The summer vacations were coming to an end and I was returning to Mumbai. I occupied my seat and I plugged in my headphones to drown out the noise and pretended to sleep in the upper berth.
I woke up the next morning when the train reached Mughalsarai. My co-passenger was reading a newspaper while I was reading ‘The Overcoat’ by Nikolai Gogol. When the train reached Manikpur, a book seller boarded the coach and I was overjoyed. It was a pleasure to browse through his collection. I tried my hand at attempting small-talk. ‘Manohar,’ he announced his name. Finishing his evening tea, Manohar flung the paper cup out of the window with an extr…

Mumbai Untravelled: Banganga Tank

God with wives from across caste lines, a temple aided by Muslims, a burial ground for Hindu ascetics and a fresh water tank surrounded by the sea in Mumbai, sounds impossible? Welcome to Banganga, one of the oldest continuously inhabited neighbourhoods of Mumbai. 
During the 30 minute ride from Mumbai CST to Walkeshwar Depot, I kept wondering about the origin of Malabar Hill. At the depot, I recounted an earlier conversation with a conservation architect, who explained that the hills that mark the area, are not known so because they have anything to do with the Malabar region of Kerala. Devotees from the south of Konkan would visit the Banganga and in those days, anyone coming from the south was known as a Malabari.  
As I landed at the Walkeshwar Depot and looked around, I was prepared to be surprised. The beginning of the walk at Banganga led me to initially believe that it was a walk for the spiritually inclined. While it does help if you lean towards history, mythology and spiritua…