Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dreams of Far Places

A small window in the Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombay. The main Taj building has many curved, straight, oblique, semicircular architectural styles built into it, culminating in a central dome which has become iconic.

Nine times out of ten, I stayed in the new wing on the 16th or 17th (top) floor. This was a rare occasion, when I was offered this ornate room in one of the minaret structures, while the Reservations department sorted out some confusion about my booking. There was a small window with a bamboo blind. During the hour or so that I had to while away, I was looking through that blind; lifted it, looked at the sea, and, not finding it interesting photographically, dropped it and took this picture. 

If one travelled to the left of the boats, one would reach Elephanta, Aligarh, and several resorts and suburbs, which, in 1982 when I took this picture, joined Borivali/Thane on the left, and on the right, took people to Lonavala via Panvel and Khandala, and onwards to Pune. For those passing through Panvel, it was a must to stop for a snack of the local alu bonda, which was supposed to be the best and most authentic of its kind.

I have gone a long way from that little window, and I am sorry for people for whom the story would not arouse their own memories of a terrain familiar to me.

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