playing with memories

facts, fiction, and somewhere in between

Alfresco Grand, Guwahati, Assam 2

It had become dark quickly and the boat had switched on blue fluorescent lamps on the decks, creating a kind of effect you see in bars and nightclubs. We had slowly and soundlessly moved away from the river bank, watching the lights of Guwahati city fading away in the distance. Soon we were gently cruising down the Brahmaputra.

A DJ had started up a show on the lower deck and everyone was escorted downstairs. I had decided to stay up, enjoying the anonymity and the serenity of the Brahmaputra… until we were returned to Guwahati an hour or so later.

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Alfresco Grand, Guwahati, Assam 1

Last year in November, when I was in Guwahati in Assam, I took an evening river cruise on the Alfresco Grand. The cruise was on the Brahmaputra River which flows down from the Himalayas, through 2900 kms of terrain, including Guwahati city, to the Bay of Bengal.

An interesting fact is that the Brahmaputra is the only river in India to have a masculine or male name (all other Indian rivers have names of women). As you will see from the photos, the Brahmaputra was calm and peaceful – a wonderful feeling.

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Pigeon, Kolkata

Watchful pigeon on terrace. More pigeons here.

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Crow, Kolkata

A curious crow came by to see what I was doing with my camera… [You might also like Crow’s Nest.]

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Bombay High Court Museum, Mumbai 2

The Bombay High Court Museum is filled with artefacts and exhibits including an 18th century cannon and a mock-up courtroom from 1900. Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures of these exhibits and, therefore, concentrated on the central courtroom below the turret/tower which is The Bombay High Court’s centerpiece courtroom. The first photo is of Advocate Rajan Jayakar – the curator of The Bombay High Court Museum – explaining one of the Museum’s exhibits during our tour.

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Bombay High Court Museum, Mumbai 1

The Bombay High Court has a long and rich history going back to 1726 when the first British court presiding over law and order was the Mayor’s Court. Over the years, the governance of law and order shifted to The Recorder’s Court, then The Supreme Court of Bombay and, finally, to The Bombay High Court in 1862. The present Bombay High Court building in Fort, in South Mumbai, next to the Mumbai University, was constructed between April 1871 and November 1878 in English-Gothic style with rubble, lime and basalt rock. It was designed by Col. J A Fuller, RE.

The Bombay High Court Museum, inaugurated by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 February 2015, is the brainchild of Advocate Rajan Jayakar, who went to great lengths to collect almost 200 years of history and exhibits to curate the Museum and showcase its exhibits. Luckily for me, two months later, in April 2015, I received an invitation to a tour of The Bombay High Court Museum by the Bombay Local History Society (BLHS) with Advocate Rajan Jayakar as our guide.

Photography of The Bombay High Court is not permitted as it is a protected government building, but we were allowed to take photos with our mobilephones (unless stopped by the police/security guards on duty). The first photo here is a model of The Bombay High Court building. The rest are photos of the building architecture, particularly the stone-cut embellishments on pillars. The last two photos are of stone plaques on the building’s main staircase, one of them of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s last words during his trial in 1908.

[I’m afraid the quality of the photos isn’t so good.]

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You can visit The Bombay High Court’s website for more information and even watch a quick video on the museum.

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