Our city has many names. Some call it the city of opportunities, some call it the city that never sleeps so on and so forth. But how many in the city know the history of Mumbai? Surely not too many! The present day city was built on what was originally an archipelago of seven islands of Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli, and Old Woman's Island (also known as Little Colaba).
So what was Mumbai like in the 17th Century? And that’s precisely what went through the intuitive mind of Cdr. Shantaram A. Rawool (Retd) and his wife. They loved the popular bollywood song “yeh bombay meri jaan”… so much so that they decided to paint Mumbai in a canvas. The starting point was very difficult as the information was scattered in many reference books researched by historians and carefully preserved in private collections. So they first got down to research and groundwork. After spending a considerable amount of time, they narrowed on a few monuments and historical places.
Every visitor in the exhibition should definitely look for the painting of the Mumbai Fort. It was the subject of research for the couple.
Says Cdr. Shantaram “It all started when we were trying to locate the Church ( i.e
St Thomas Cathedral) shown in one of the black & white photographs of the reference books. Then we realised that this Church which is near the Horniman circle or Town Hall formed the focal point of the Fort. That being the reason for naming one of the main gates of the Fort as Church Gate, as it formed the main entrance to this church. Being artistes, we thought of creating these things through paintings so that understanding becomes better for the future generation”
With the help of some old photographs and a few close friends from the Navy, the research took shape. And the husband-wife duo got started. 28 beautiful paintings captured the evolution of Mumbai from seven islands till date.
Cdr Shantaram.A. Rawool is planning to exhibit (not sale) the paintings on Sept 17, 2018 at Hiranandani Foundation School. It apparently is also the Founder’s Day. Every painting will have a story and who better to explain than the man behind the creation. For more details of the event call Cdr Shantaram A Rawool on 9769981353
“The Naval Dockyard was inside the confines of the Mumbai Fort. Also seen in the background is the Apollo Gate that served as the main entrance to the Fort from the southern end.
The other major landmarks shown are the Custom House with the Ballard Pier (from where the main trade used to take place), the Bombay Castle (now INS Angre), Town Hall constructed in 1804 AD (Asiatic Library Building) and the St. Thomas Cathedral near the Horniman Circle."