Overview for The Heritage Buildings of Bombay
Here's a remarkable representation by two young enthusiasts of the city of Bombay, the sprawling urban quagmire milling with 17 million. The 200-Page book is a veritable visual delight, strewn as it is with photographs by Sunil Vaidyanathan that provide us a vivid insight into the splendour that has, alas, died with the name Bombay. The city was renamed 'Mumbai' by the previous Shiv-Sena-BJP government that ruled between 1994 and 1999. Indeed, this rechristening was the only 'achievement' of this saffron combine in its predatory reign. The introduction and text is by Rajan Narayan, who lived and worked in this metropolis from 1968 till 1983 as a journalist with various newspapers and magazines, including Business India. He is familiar with all dimensions of Bombay's heritage, having lived in the idyllic heritage precinct of Kotachi Wadi for some years. Leafing through the book makes one wonder how some of these facilities have at all survived in contemporary times, when political interests have systematically exposed the city to depredations of the venal kind, where sprawling slum colonies spell that many votes, where hoardings deface every vantage point, where hawkers reign over public thoroughfares under some local politician's patronage, and where greenery is defiled and snuffed out with impunity. These magnificent structures and monuments portrayed in the book today overlook potholed roads, grimy streets piled high with uncollected trash and debris, and structures of more recent times that are thoroughly unacquainted with any notion of maintenance.
Rajan Narayan (Author)
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