16 January 2011

Quintessential Mumbai .. what images come to your mind?

Quintessential Bombay
Taj Mahal Hotel & Gateway of India - viewed from Arabian Sea

Iconic structures make the city or does the city add to the character of structures making them iconic. Whatever way it works, one could be quiet sure that landmarks often become integral to city and sometime to a country too. What would Kuala Lumpur be without the twin towers, or New York without the Empire State building or for that matter India be without a Taj or Egypt without the Great Pyramids.

During the dynastic rule, kings and queens often built such landmark to leave their footprints in time, building monuments which would take years and many a lives to construct, (probably have bodies cremanated or burried right there) but would stand the test of time, weather and oft attacks by invaders or rule by other kings. Such monuments and landmarks are a testament of not just might and whimsical wishes of some spoilt king but also represented the culture and collective ethos and style of the whole generation.

It is a pity that India, a country so rich with classic architecture has little to talk about landmarks of Modern India. While the world was busy making the twin towers in Malaysia, the Burj or the islands in Dubai, Indian leaders at best could conjure up self adulation in form of statues (one Ms Mayawati in UP) or conspired to destroy a few in name of history or religion (we know who).
Photo credits:wired destinations

I know not when will Mumbai have its "Chatrapati Shivaji statue", not sure if it really is the best choice, not even sure if a monument alone could capture and represent this complex microcosm of humanity called Mumbai but till then.. enjoy these two images from two different side of the Mumbai Tip Taj Mahal & Gateway on the Apollo Bunder Side (see map) and Air India Building & Oberoi Towers on the Nariman Point side (see map). These buildings and Mumbai are inseparable - really, each sides representing two different eras and styles.

Nariman Point, Mumba
Air India HQ & Oberoi Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai

What are images that come to your mind when you think of Mumbai? Do you think of any monument or sight that you deeply associate with what Mumbai is and stands for? Do you think it is even important enough to have an iconic structure - of steel or concrete to make a great city? Which great city can you think of which doesn't have any landmark structure? Lot of questions .. not many answer i have. Look forward to your comments / opinions!

Ohh by the way - Hope you liked the photographs. Please do visit the earlier photo posts on Mumbai City (part 1 / part 2) on some other not so familiar photographs of this city.


Victor Guerra said...

JGreat pics. ust curious to know which model of cam do u use? And the lenses u usually use. I'm an amateur with a nikond60.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

south mumbai is such a lovely place

Purba said...

I experience a city with all my senses - for me Mumbai is the smell of the sea, the stench of the fish drying , the unbearable humidity. A city that has an Antila and a Dharavi, a city that never goes to sleep, that unfamiliar lingo.

And I love the Marine Drive at night.

mayank said...

@Victor ; I use the modest D3000 from nikon which Ken Rockwell calls as worst DSLR built by nikon with the kit lens.. hope you get the message :)

@Srinidhi - visually yes, but Mumbai is so much beyond South Mumbai.

@purba - you said it. I wish i could capture the smell of the city in my photographs. thanks for regular visits. :)

magiceye said...

beautifully captured..
loved the last pic the best!

meenal said...

quintessential bombay is the sea - grey, with its waves gushing while hitting its many beaches, rocks, promenades

... some others I can think of the top of my head..

the roadside book market in fountain.. dunno if its still around but that used to be such a prized possession for bookworms like me

Marine Drive - but of course!

Bandra linking road market/ towns fashion street - no college kid from bombay worth his/her salt wd have missed these

Dadar parsi colony - the best place to see this shrinking, adorable community living it up, with their agiarys, partys and old bawas and bawis

Dadar station - uffff

The working woman of bombay..omnipresent and fully in control. Be it in local trains or in local pubs

Lalbag- cha raja !! hope u know of him!

The koli men and women. love!

mayank said...

@meenal - thanks. you know what are my subjects for next month.

Arun said...

Great snaps Mayank! What monument photograph I think off when you say bombay..
Has to be a long exposure shot of CST at dusk that I get to see really enlarged sitting by on a Marine Drive night..

Mayank said...

@Arun - I will get that one for you soon enough. I still need to buy a tripod to be able to shoot long exposure shots.

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Maybe VT (or CST as its called now), because I like it so much. But then its just a part of the whole, and when it comes to Mumbai the whole is never seen together...

Your pictures are intriguing man, I love to see some unusual Mumbai here :)

Arun said...

Look forward to it. We should hang out when I'm in Bombay next with a drink or 7:) Next month.

zephyr said...

You said it. We don't know how to preserve our architecture and either deface them or destroy them. Other countries make their smallest structures into showpieces and tourist attractions, in the bargain preserving them.