Mumbai diary

While there are efforts of renaming everything British, Mumbai is also trying to reserve some of the British traditions.

Published: 30th July 2018 02:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2018 05:28 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Restoring old beauty
While there are efforts of renaming everything British, Mumbai is also trying to reserve some of the British traditions. The Royal Opera House is one such colonial legacy. After restoration last year, it will soon start hosting performances. Performances are scheduled to begin with the classical comedy by Austrian composer Josef Haydn in August. This performance will make the Royal Opera House of Mumbai the only surviving Opera House in India. Owned by the Royal Family of Gondal since 1952, the institution was inaugurated in 1911 by King George V. The space became a cinema in later years before shutting in the 1990s.  The blend of European and Indian detailing in its design makes it a treasure.

Mumbai coast getting deadlier?
About two days ago, a dead humpback dolphin was washed ashore at Girgaum Chaowpati. In two other similar incidents last week, carcasses of marine animals had washed ashore at Chimbi and Bandra coasts. Altogether, nine such cases were reported in last one year. Green activists blame the pollution of seawaters around Mumbai for the deaths of marine animals. Since 2015, at least 86 dead marine animals including Blue Whale and Olive Ridley have been found along the coastline of Mumbai. With the government planning to use the Mumbai seafronts for transport and recreation, the activists fear the problem can worsen in the comings days.

Sad story of Mumbai potholes
Even as songs by RJs mocking the sorry state of affairs in Mumbai are being condemned by local politicians, a man has been silently filling up the potholes on Mumbai roads.  Dadarao Bilhore, who lost his son Prakash in a road accident caused by a pothole four years ago, has taken it upon himself to fill up the potholes. In the past three years, he has filled up over 800 potholes by himself. What started with him alone, is now turning into a movement of sorts and inspiring more and more people to come out and find the solution to the problem of potholes.

Wiping out Colonial past
As part of policy to wipe out British names, the Elphinstone Road suburban railway station on western railway was rechristened as Prabhadevi about 10 days back. Though the change came in almost 27 years after the demand was first raised, it has given rise to many more similar demands. Changing the names from Sandhurst Road to Dongri, Churny Road to Girgaum, Curry Road to Lalbaug and Cotton Green to Ghodapdeo are all based on the traditional names of the nearby localities. There are demands that Bombay Central be renamed after Nana Shankar Sheth in honour of the philanthropist. Not to say two other demands: renaming Dadar as Chaityabhoomi and Kings Circle as Parshwanath that are being proposed by politically dominant groups.

abhijit mulye

Our correspondent in Maharashtra

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