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A Blog/Insta-Walk thru' Bombay's old Colonial heritage by-lanes:
After a girl ( whom I later came to know as Meghna ) gave me directions to the registration desk, I headed straightaway and joined the queue. I could see the instagramers already spread in the area with their cameras and mobiles, all in action ~ clicking away any and everything they saw interesting. The line was long ( see the pic above, phew! ), so it took time till my turn came. Getting the badge and filling the forms, I was then all set. I too joined everyone and started clicking, while waiting for the formal announcement of the InstaWalk to 'start'. As per the themes given, I tried to click the pictures - but at times I got carried away with the whole experience of it and had a hard time linking the pictures with the theme. Here's some of them that I made collages of. My main theme was 'culture', that has a whole lot of sub-themes in it. And 2nd theme was 'wildlife' with nature as its sub-theme. Enjoy :-)
1. THEME CULTURE : Observing People 1 - That was my first theme. Work in progress really, that's how the city is and perhaps forever shall be. Everyone in this city is on their own journey of earning their daily bread and butter. Be it the flute-man who was sitting just near the corner of the registration desk, and with everyone clicking his pictures - he said - "humari bhi kuch faida karawo thoda, photo khich rahe ho toh basuri bhi kharid lo" ( make me some benefit too from all the pictures everyone is taking of me, buy a flute ). I told him, I already had one but its not easy to play as your mouth can really pain blowing air into the flute. Nonetheless, he played for me and gave me the click. Next is a picture of some men busy renovating in an old staircase of a heritage building, then one of a man waiting in a bus-stop, the gurkha-looking chowkidar of coxandkings office too ( after all he was also doing his job ), a man selling bananas, next a person perhaps riding in a hurry to his office to report all his field-duty files, and then the road-sign ~ obviously kept by some labourers working on some under-ground fitting.
2. THEME CULTURE : History, Architecture and Bombay's Colonial Past. This part of south-Bombay near Colaba, all the way till Fort area is lined with Colonial style architecture, that are now declared special heritage zones. Anyone knowing Bombay's history, would know how the colonial era played an important part in building of the city, from an empty island with a handful of fisher-folks. If you walk through the lanes here, you'd mistake it for some European city. The impressive Victorian style architecture still stands tall and you can't help but admire no matter how you feel about the british occupation. Anyways, it all belongs to us 'Indians' now, so might as well enjoy these classic structures. They hold various offices of importance now and is considered a prime location.
3. THEME CULTURE : Iconic places and structures of importance. The Indian navy that had played a huge role in our freedom movement has its head-quarters located nearby, where we were insta-walking, and thus it was great opportunity to click pictures of this iconic place. But the strict warning of 'no photography' dashed all my hopes. However, the impressive back-wall of the premises and the ship-anchor does gives the essence of it. I clicked these gleefully, before any of the compound guards started whistling on me. With the Gandhi name all over India, in almost all landmarks, it was indeed refreshing to see a statue dedicated to our Late PM Shri. Lal Bahadur Shashtri. Also, the famous landmark of Regal cinema itself - where perhaps thousands+ of movies have played.
4. THEME WILDLIFE : Nature and Greenery. In a busy bustling city like Bombay ( amchi Mumbai ), we have all kinds of jungles - concrete, people, slums, trashes etc except the jungle we truly need i.e the green one. With structures getting bigger & taller and roads/
flyovers getting wider and longer, our trees have literally vanished. Trees are very important as they absorb the toxic carbon-dioxide in the air and releases pure oxygen, thus my hunt next was the trees in the area. Luckily, I found few of them - from a small plant that someone had planted just in front of his door-step, to a park full of trees ( horniman circle garden ) and little greenery near cox&kings office. Naturally, I felt little hope creeping back in me again.
5. THEME CULTURE : Religious beliefs and superstitions of people. As modern as the city is, it is as old too. We've already seen the old architecture, but older than that are mankind's faith and beliefs. It is intriguing to see the very common lemon+green chilli evil-eye protection that literally hangs in front of every home, office or vehicle. Also amusing is to see a flower garland or a small prayer box kept hanging in the tree itself. These pieces are obviously someone's beliefs ~ and who can challenge that, right? Not me :-)
6. THEME CULTURE : Observing People 2 - Watching people is truly fascinating. This event had all these young people from all over Bombay, ( participating in the insta-walk ) with cameras in their hands going about doing 'click-click' enthusiastically. I couldn't help but click some of these candid shots with them in action. Notice, the guy bent on his knees trying to get the perfect shot of the temporary plastic cricket-stumps some of these local chaps, playing galli-cricket, have put? or the one concentrating on that lamp just above the door? Isn't it interesting to watch? I think it is.
7. THEME CULTURE : The Food - As we started the insta-walk, we passed by a few road-side shops selling tea and the street foods like vada-pav, samosa etc. Local food is a must thing to explore whenever one is travelling, be it even during the tiny walk that we were doing. Atleast, I get tempted and more so when my stomach started growling too - for food. Alas, our walk was nearing an end and coxandkings made sure to fill our tummy with a big food-box, in their 2nd floor cafeteria. With a happy tummy after a wonderful walk, it was time for me to head home and write this post about my instameet experience ~ incredible as it was!
I must thank Meghna, who was a wonderful and friendly insta-guide ( if I could call her that ). Thankfully, I followed her during the entire walk and learnt quite a bit. She heads the mumbai-igers.
Heya all...can you spot me ;-) ( Hint : Notice my left hand \m/ )
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