Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bombay Meri Jaan - Mumbai University

Mumbai University in all its grandeur - Doesnt it look like Rome?
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/640s, f/4.5 ISO 100)

The lovely arched corridors 
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/250s, f/3.6 ISO 100)

The gatekeeper
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/20s , f/3.6 ISO 400)

I love the last snap. It takes one back in time. The lady at the gate seems to be caught in a world of her own. Having to sit behind the gates all day makes it look like she is behind bars. The glow on her face, the shining eyes, her majestic pose... immortal. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bombay Meri Jaan - SPACE

Man by the window
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/30s , f/3.6 ISO 800)

This shot for me, captures everything about real estate in Mumbai. 

It is such a common sight to see lack of space in this city. There are no empty plots any more. All the houses are taken. It is such a common sight to see rich people living in ultra small houses and paying a king's ransom for it too. It is mind boggling to see the number of families living in a 30*40 sq ft piece of land. Such is the pulse of the city. This city attracts people from all over the country. It is a pulsating nerve centre. People flock in here in thousands every day.

This shot shows a typical well to do man in his early 30s standing by his window and texting someone on his cell phone. I captured this photo in South Mumbai , just next to Mumbai University. Mihir tells me that apparently all the houses here come under the Bombay Rent Act wherein rent is frozen at 1947 levels. Imagine paying 200 bucks a month for rent in South Bombay! Its no wonder then that the buildings are dilapated.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bombay Meri Jaan - Scenes from the Street

Sharpening knives on the street - for a Chef :)
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/25s , f/3.7 ISO 100)

Bombay Meri Jaan - The Iconic Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

The Taj Mahal Palace in all its glory
(Canon EOS 400D  at 1/40s , f/3.5  ISO 1600)

A closeup showing the brilliant lighting
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/5s , f/3.2 ISO 100)

A balcony to remember
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/6s f/3.2 ISO 100)

The Tower
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/10s, f/3.2 ISO 100)

The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is a prestigious luxury hotel located in the Colaba region of Mumbai, India, next to the Gateway of India. Part of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, this iconic 105-year old heritage building retains its stature as the flagship property of the group and contains 565 rooms. The hotel has hosted a long list of notable guests including Mick Jagger, Jacques Chirac, The Duke & Duchess of Kent, Joan Collins, The King & Queen of Norway, Marianne Faithfull, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Beatles, Bill Clinton and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and also caters to professional cricket teams on tour.

From an historical and architectural point of view, The Taj Mahal Palace and the Tower are two distinct buildings, built at different times and in different architectural designs.The Taj Mahal Palace hotel resort was commissioned by Tata and first opened its doors to guests on December 16, 1903. It is widely believed that Tata decided to build the luxurious hotel after he was refused entry to one of the city's grand hotels of the time, Watson's Hotel, as it was restricted to 'whites only'. 

The cost of construction was £250000 (£127 million today). During World War I, the hotel was converted into a 600-bed hospital. The dome of the hotel is made from the same steel as used in the Eiffel Tower. Jamsedji Tata imported the same steel during that time. The hotel was the first in India to install and operate a steam elevator.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Bombay Meri Jaan - Rajabai Tower

Rajabai Tower 
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 1/1000s at f/5.6 ISO 100)

A closer look at time
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 1/800s at f/6.3 , ISO 100)

Tower against the brilliant blue sky
(Canon EOS 400D 1/800s at f/5.6 ISO 100)

The Rajabai Tower is a clock tower in South Mumbai. It is located in the confines of the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai. The tower stands at a height of 85 m (280 ft).

The Rajabai tower was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. It was modelled on the Big Ben, London. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1869 and construction was completed in November 1878. 

The total cost of construction came to Rs. 2 lakhs (Rs. 200,000), a princely sum in those days. This entire cost was defrayed by Premchand Roychand, a prosperous broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange on the condition that the tower be named after his mother Rajabai. Premchand Roychand's mother was blind and as a staunch follower of Jainism. She was supposed to consume her dinner before evening everyday. The evening bell of the tower helped her to know the time without anyone's help.

The tower was built in a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles. It is built out of the locally available buff coloured Kurla stone. The tower has one of the best stained glass windows in Asia. During the British raj, it played the tunes of "Rule Britannia", "God Save the King", "Home! Sweet Home!" and "A Handel Symphony", out of a total of sixteen tunes, which changed four times a day. It currently chimes only one tune every 15 minutes.

The tower was closed to the public after it became a frequent spot for those attempting to commit suicide.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bombay Meri Jaan - Flora Fountain

A symbol of peace 
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 1/640s at f/3.2 ISO 100)

Flora Fountain is a stone fountain situated in the Fort business district in the heart of South Mumbai, Mumbai, India. It was built in 1864. The fountain depicts the Roman goddess Flora. It stood at the approximate centre of town at the point where the original Churchgate of Bombay Fort stood.The square in which the fountain stands was officially named in 1960 as Hutatma Chowk (Martyr's Square).