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Bombay and Cricket.

Gopal Bodhe's Aerial Photographs.








Everybody loves his own backyard...I'm no exception.
Being born and brought up in Bombay I love the city too much, so much so that even after some foolish politicians changed its name to Mumbai I still call it Bombay!!

Bombay (now renamed Mumbai) India's golden metropolitian city is the most fast moving, affluent, industrialised city and the economic powerhouse of the country. It handles almost half of the country's foreign trade and is a stronghold of free enterprises, a centre of India's most important textile industry and also the financial centre of the country. It's is the NewYork of India. A mixture of different races and culture, it's a city with smart hightech buildings pockmarked with slum dwellings. Bombay's range of industries include virtually all consumer goods - cars, textiles and high tech multimedia. Apart from this Bombay boasts one of the biggest and a very flourishing film industry.

Bombay has a rich historical background as well as several places of scenic beauty making it a major tourist attraction as well as an important business centre. Bombay was part of the dowry brought by Catherine Of Braganza when she married Charles II of England in 1661.
Situated on the western coast of India, near the Arabian Sea, this hot & humid city is now the capital of Maharashtra, one of the most important states in India. Its a fusion of technology and culture, rich and poor. Don't be surprised if you see a Mercedes SLK purring at a traffic light next to a bullock cart carrying Ice blocks. That too in the middle of the city traffic!! Apart from having a lot of Hindu & Muslim temples and mosques the city has a lot of chrches which are a great example of Portugese and British Architecture. It is decorated by numerous Victorian structures like the Victoria Terminus, The University, The High Court Building and The Municipal Corporation Building.

Bombay is the City that never sleeps...and I'm not talking about Citibank!!
It has got a pulsating heart which keeps pumping on & Remo Fernandez say Bombay's just a bomb at bay!!
If you know the right way and have the right resources you can have anything you want in Bombay. Electronics and high tech gadgets are freely available in the shady markets and sometimes available at a price lower than their price in the country of origin!! Its a Freeware market for pirated Softwares, you only need to have the proper channels....and the common rule is 'Ididn't sell it, You did'nt buy it'! Here everything is legal as long as you don't get caught!.
The night life is as good as it can get. This again depends on the individual but the city caters to every taste. Some where along the line some crazy politicians got the terms 'Culture and Heritage' confused with 'Entertainment and Fun' and came hard on the Pubs and The Watering Holes, but it is going to take a lot more than a few old fashioned oldies to keep Bombay from being what it is. I dont want to review all the places but for a person who likes good company and good music, places like On Toes, Toto's Garage, Tavern are worth visiting. The DJ's know their music here! There are also places like Madness that play the new Techno stuff but it agains depends on the individual. All and all Bombay is Bombay....Bombs Away!

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Some Famous Landmarks of Bombay

Gateway Of India. A magnificent structure built to welcome King George V and Queen Mary on their visit to to India in 1911. Situated at Colaba - Apollo Bunder, this is a favourite evening spot for many Bombayites and a famous tourist attraction.

Jehangir Art Gallery. Situated at Kalaghoda, this is one of the best art galleria in Bombay exhibiting some outstanding works of art.

Prince Of Wales Museum. Built between 1904 and 1914 this musuem is famous for its collection of Art, Sculpture and Chinaware.

Nehru Planetarium. This high tech Institute presents Sky gazing programmes and Astronomy shows in four languages and is a major attraction of tourist from all over the world. The educational programmes it provides for students are very highly rated.

Rajabai Tower. Bombay's very own BigBen!! The 200 feet high clock tower was built by the famous merchant Seth Premchand Raichand in memory of his mother Rajabai.

University. These French Gothic buildingswhich were built in 1874 comprise of the Sir C.J. hall and the Rajabai tower housing part of the university library.

Hanging Gardens. The Hanging gardens were built in 1880 as a terrace garden on top of the three reservoirs which store 30 million gallons of water. The hilltop provides a magnificent view of the Marine Drive and promises a glorious sunset every evening.

National Park. National Park is situated right in the middle of the large bustling commercial city. Its a large greenbelt area dedicated to the preservation of wild life. It has a Lion Safari and a big picnic park all with it's very own mini train and all!! A favourite weekend spot, this park is also famous amognst joggers and morning walkers. At the begining of monsoon this park is full of butterflies and various species of spiders making it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

Kanheri Caves. Situated in the National Park area, these caves have tracesof buddhist civilisation with some great sculptures and some good scenic beauty for photography.

Victoria Terminus. Built in 1888, it is the biggest railway station in India and houses the main Terminus for the Central Railway.

Beaches. Chowpatty & Juhu are Bombay's oldest and most popular beaches. These used to be very neat & clean in the past but poor maintenance and equally poor civic sense has killed the beauty of the beaches. There are still some beaches, on the outskirts of Bombay, like Aksa, Manori & Gorai which are still visitable and have survived the crowd so far!.

Marine Drive. It is the curving road from Chowpatty to Nariman Point. It has a wide promenade with the sea on one side and luxurious residential apartments on the other. As night falls and the lights come on the entire road gleams in the way as it is nicknamed - The Queen's Necklace.

Taraporewala Aquarium. Situated along the Marine Drive it was built in1951. This Aquarium houses a ot of marine life and also some exquisite pearl jewellery. It is soon to be renovated into a hightech Aquarium with a glass vision seaworld.

Wankhede Stadium. It is the second largest stadium in India & a venue for all major International & National cricket matches.

Esselworld & Fantasy Land. The newest landmarks in the city, these are the only two amusement theme parks (with waterparks) and are already the biggest attractions of the city.








Bombay and Cricket

Bombay is the Mecca of Indian Cricket.
Almost 85% Bombayites are Cricket fans and this shows in their reaction when a cricket match is going on. Every one has a pocket radio glued to his ear, desperately listening to the live commentary of the game. Ther's a big crowd outside Electronic shops (where the dealers are kind enough to keep all the TV sets ON for the delight of the crowds).

All along the year you'll see thousands of kids playing the game in every nook & corner of the city. All it takes is a deserted street and a few boys to start the game of cricket. Apart from this you'll find a lot of grounds where almost 20 teams play together on a Sunday. I have played games where it is difficult to know if the fielder is from the opponent team or if he is a member of another match goingon on the ajacent strip!! I have experienced incidences where 2 fielders face eachother just becoz their team is playing a game on a wicket which is exactly adjacent to the other team. It may sound foolish & confusing but the one who has played the game will understand the joy of it!.

Grounds like Shivaji Park, Aazad Maidan & Oval Maidan, along with clubs like Dadar Union, Matunga Union, Khar Gymkhana, Parsi Gymkhana are birthplaces of future Bombay Cricket Stars. There are different levels of cricket begining right from school level! Apart from the many small time tournaments, theres the Guilles Sheild, Harris Sheild, the Kanga League (which is typically played in the rains) & the Times Sheild which is the top level tournament having different divisions. Many big corporates sport their team in this competition and teams like ACC, Tata Sports, Mafatlal, SBI add a competitive edge to the tournament. The Times Sheild is the final step to the level of the Ranji Trophy, the most prestigious national cricket tournament, where one gets to represent Bombay as a whole team. Apart from this there are a lot of other tournaments on the national level where Bombay participates as a regional team.

Bombay has always been one of the best cricket teams in the country, Infact it can be called THE best team by the number of times it has won the National Championship crown..I'm not sure but Bombay has won the Ranji trophy atleast more than 35 times!! and whenever it has'nt, she's ended the runnerup!

The City has produced an array of cricketing stars like Eknath Solkar, Dilip Sardesai, Sudhir Naik, Budi Kundaran, Ajit Wadekar, the Parkar bros., Ramakant Desai, father Vijay & son Sanjay Manjrekar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Sandeep Patil, Vinod Kambli and ofcourse the great Sachin Tendulkar to name a few, But its greatest contribution to world cricket has been Sunil Manohar Gavaskar!!

The Bombay team still sports some great names like Amol Mujumdar, Jatin Paranjpe, Sairaj Bahutule, Rajesh Pawar...who are knocking on the doors of International cricket.

Bombay was and always will be the biggest contributor to the lovely game of Cricket!!