Mumbai

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The Lonely Planet Recipe For Mumbai
"Measure out: one part Hollywood; six parts traffic; a bunch of rich power-moguls; stir in half a dozen colonial relics (use large ones); pour in six heaped cups of poverty; add a smattering of swish bars and restaurants (don't skimp on quality here for best results); equal parts of mayhem and order; as many ancient bazaars as you have lying around; a handful of Hinduism; a dash of Islam; fold in your mixture with equal parts of India; throw it all in a blender on high (adding generous helpings of pollution to taste) and presto:  Mumbai"
 

Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus

the former Victoria Terminus

The jewel in Mumbai's architectural crown looks more like a royal palace rather than a transportation hub.
Some say it resembles St. Pancras Station in London but the High Victorian Gothic based on medieval Italian style combined with the Indian architectural tradition has created something unique to Bombay and one of the most magnificent train stations in the world.
It was opened on Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. India's very first steam engine left the station on that day
 
The Crawford Market
Once the premier wholesale fruit and vegetable market for Bombay, it still sells fruit and veg as well as poultry, pets, birds, household and gift items. The market bustles with life and colour and porters with large round baskets on their heads scurrying hither and thither.
Built in a Norman/Florentine style in 1869.  It became the the first building in India to be lit by electric light.  The fountain near the bird market was designed by Lockwood Kipling the father of Rudyard

 
Fanny and I had both read Rohinton Mistry's "Such a Long Journey" on this trip and set out to discover Gustad Nobel's Bombay.  Of course we were 30 years too late but some of it is here. The station approach would have looked much the same. The name has changed but as almost everyone still calls it V.T. he may not have noticed.  Likewise the Crawford Market where he shopped for chicken for his daughters birthday dinner and could this have been the inspiration for the Khodadad Buildiings?  I doubt it, we were probably not in a Parsi district but the walls and corners of the buildings did have a distinctive odour

 

 

Continuing our hunt for Gustad we checked out the Flora Fountain, a gift from Italy, in the commercial heart of Bombay.   Surely the the bank where Gustad was employed would be in one of the grand Victorian buildings surrounding Flora, we just had to choose one.   He and his colleague and friend Dinshawji may have taken their lunch break by the fountain.   The streetscape would certainly be recognisable.  And was this the meat market which so disgusted our hero?  I think not It's much too clean and the butcher much to happy to offend
 

 
 Cats amongst the carcasses, there were 5 in all.
Fortunately it is very easy to be a vegetarian in India, they create the most amazingly diverse dishes with just a handful of vegetables and a masala of spices  

 
Gustad was Parsi, his religion, Zorostrianism, which arrived from Iran in the 7th century.  They believe in one God and a never ending war between the forces of good and evil.   Fire, water, air and earth being considered pure, they do not cremate or bury their dead but leave their bodies as they did that of Dinshawji on the Tower of Silence where birds of prey consume them,  what in Tibet is euphemistically  called a 'Sky Burial'.  Needless to say we saw no evidence of this, nor would we wish to
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