Last Goodbye to Mumbai

I wasn’t always so enthralled by Mumbai, but I found it hard to pack up and leave this past weekend. So much has happened since I first arrived in Mumbai on November 4th, including coming and going on various domestic trips – I’ve been to the Mumbai airport 12 times! I think I got used to coming back, though, and every time I returned to Mumbai it felt a little bit more familiar and a little bit more like home.

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The Rhythm House in Kala Ghoda, one of my favorite buildings in one of my favorite neighborhoods.
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In the far background, you can see a tall building with glass and cantilevered floors. If you can believe it, this 560-ft tall building is a single private home owned by India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani. The Ambani house is the world’s most expensive private residence at a value of $1 billion and requires a staff of 600 people to maintain.

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Along Mumbai’s famous Marine Drive, where the influence of Art Deco on the city’s architecture begins to become evident.

My favorites areas are downtown in the old area of Mumbai, now fashionably called “SoBo” (South Bombay), particularly the Fort and Churchgate areas. There’s lots of old buildings there, usually falling into the architectural category of Art Deco or Victorian. I figured as a last goodbye to Mumbai, I’d share some photos of the areas and the buildings there.

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Many buildings in Mumbai, though evidently once beautiful, have become dilapidated over the years. Apparently in this building, the owner of the top floor flat decided to restore the exterior – but just his floor and not the rest of the façade!

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A close-up of “Green Fields,” one of the many city-protected Art Deco apartment buildings along the Oval Maidan cricket ground.
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Just next door is the “Fairlawn.” There is a whole row of these buildings, all with great names in classic Art Deco fonts!

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I love all the Art Deco touches in the Asiatic Industrial building owned by the Life Insurance Corporation (one of Mumbai’s biggest companies).

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You would not believe how many books this man is selling – endless stacks of books under the blue tarp, stretching around one of Mumbai’s impressive Victorian structures.
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One of the many banks in south Mumbai – the city is known as the India’s capital of finance (among many other things!).
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A close-up of the Art Deco reliefs in the New India Assurance building downtown.

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Though I surprised myself by being somewhat sad to leave Mumbai, that’s a good thing – it means that I developed some connection to it, and that it’s now time to leave. I’m happy with all that I got to see in India, and all the project meetings I had, so it’s definitely time to move on and do other things. But it’s funny; when you leave for the Watson and say goodbye to everyone you know, you head off into a year of new things and hellos. It’s easy to forget that this year will have a lot of goodbyes as well.

Onto Singapore!

 

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