The city of Bombay has acquired many epithets over time. It is the city of dreams; the city of stardust; the city of resilience. A new book by Roli, in tête-bêche’ format (French for “head-to-toe”) allows the reader to travel in time and space, illustrating these varied definitions and the differences between the Bombay of yesteryear and the Mumbai of today.
Bombay Then, Mumbai Now: Text by Jim Masselos and Naresh Fernandes, photo research and editing by Pramod Kapoor and Chirodeep Chaudhuri, Roli Books, Rs2,975.
Click here to view a slideshow of then-and-now images of the iconic city
Culling rare images from sources as diverse as the Tata Central Archives Collection and the Asiatic Society of London, the “then” section of the double-sided book documents the transformation of the once “insignificant cluster of islets” into one of the most vibrant cities of the world. The book includes some extraordinary historical photographs, such as a rare image of the inner chambers of the Parsi Fire Temple in Dhobi Talao (c. 1905) before photography was allowed in the premises. The “now” section has the more dynamic stills—tableaux that capture the pace and populace of the city.
Compiled by Anindita Ghose