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Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
conservation: daji lad museum

Passage To Bombay

Restored, reopened, Mumbai's oldest museum evokes pride, controversy

Passage To Bombay
Dinesh Parab
Passage To Bombay
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53


A depiction of Mumbai's old music and dance culture

Tucked away on the first floor is another case of exhibits—little clay models showing various occupations that characterised the city. Amongst a host of occupations that drove the informal economy are "street vendors", as significant to the city today as they presumably were when it was first founded; "thugs" which shows that extortion in some form or the other has been as much a characteristic of the city as its industriousness; and "battiwala chowkidars" who later transformed into night beat-cops or lately private securitywallahs. Down the passageway is another set of meticulously restored exhibits—one showing a surface drainage relief map of Bombay circa 1882, another one with the first-ever textile mill set up in Worli, with a companion relief map that shows the entire central Mumbai stretch of textile mills as they developed and created the impetus for the city to grow, and a fourth relief map circa 1934 that details tramlines, roads and trainlines in the then commercially-expanding city.

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