Apart from Indore where I grew up, Mumbai is a city which feels most like home to me (btw, I prefer to call it ‘Bombay’: personal choice ). Maybe there’s an indirect bond I have to the city because I was born there.This also implies that I’ve never really ‘seen’ the city.
So, two years back, when I was based in Bangalore, I got an opportunity to visit Bombay – so, I decided to do all the touristy things of this mega-city.
The easiest way to do this is: Go to South Bombay - it’s the real heart of the city – it’s business centre and tourist ground zero. I was walking along one of the major streets of this area when I stumbled across this majestic fountain statue..
Flora Fountain, depicting the Roman goddess ‘Flora’ (obviously!) and according to wiki, was built in 1864 and apparently is in the grand neo-Gothic style of architecture with some elements of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Well, it certainly is pretty!
The chowk (square) at which this fountain is located is known as the Hutatma Chowk (martyr’s square) and was named soin memory of the members of Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, who lost their lives when police fired upon their peaceful demonstration. A statue of a “Martyr with a Flame” stands next to Flora Fountain.
Next to it is the ‘Amar jyot‘ (meaning ‘the eternal flame) which is often used in India as a symbol for the undying memory and gratitude the country has for its martyrs.
Oh, on a slightly tangential note, I had heard of the Flora Fountain area before, but had no idea about the statues. This was because this area also hosts dozens of vendors selling books – both fresh and second-hand books – that are a must to browse-through because of the amazing bargains that you can score. You may also found original signed copies here, which maybe decades old – if you are anything like me, you’ll find old books charming and exotic!