there are many buildings in india that could do with a little more attention, a little more investment and a little more love! one startling example is right here in mumbai.
this was a glorious hotel in the heydays of the british empire here in bombay. it was the tallest building and it overlooked the beautiful bombay harbour. it was said that a ship coming into the harbour could see this hotel in the distance. it defined the bombay skyline. there is another interesting fact. this is one of the oldest cast iron buildings in mumbai and the iron pillars were imported from england. it’s almost as if the hotel was merely assembled here! each room had a balcony and a view of the bay. it is also believed that the waitresses were only white-skinned, europeans. there was a beautiful ballroom with skylights where the nights would slip by without you even realising. the restaurants were always teaming with people, there was always a bustle about this hotel. the lumiere brothers showed their first motion picture right here. and there is a popular urban legend that says JRD tata, the head of the tatas, was refused entry into this hotel. he decided to start his own hotel called the taj mahal hotel and it would be open to people of all colour. famous historian sharda dwiwedi refuted this in her book about bombay, saying jrd was not kind of person. but, for me, it adds to the legends hidden in this building.
today, there is no money for renovations. the tenants have modified the structure and made it even more unsafe. the ballroom is a dump yard and the smell of urine hits you when you venture in. it stands at an important crossing, waiting, as the world walks by.
the building is still very much in use, but it has been abandoned by the government and by you & me, the citizens of bombay & mumbai.
presenting the glorious watson’s hotel and today’s decrepit, deserted esplanade mansion.
curated for daily post: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/photo-challenge-abandoned/