Thursday, June 25, 2009


Hoping that it would shower I hit off for a shoot around Mumbai and captured a place where I had never been, Banganga; it is in the heart of Malabar hill, a plush area in south Mumbai. I studied nothing about the place before I invaded it, wanted to know the insight of the place from the people living there. The first vista of the place wasn’t really capturable; I took in that there wasn’t much to click. Thought of talking to people in the region of Banganga and get to know the place and spend some time with them. First thing that caught my sight was lot of ducks of all colors and looks. I approached a local guy who was sweeping the courtyard of his house and got the information about the place. He bagged me with the information that, Banganga is a water tank surrounded by old temples. As mentioned in mythology, Rama the exiled king in the Ramayana is believed to have stopped at this spot 5000years ago looking for his wife sita. Exhausted and thirsty he asked his brother Lakshman to get him some water to drink. Lakshman shot an arrow into the ground from which water sprouted out. Till date there is continuous flow of water from that spot where Lakshman had shot an arrow to quench his beloved brother, Rama’s thirst. But no one knows where it comes from. This water is believed to have healing powers and is a holy place for loads of people who flock here to have a dip on sacred days like Maha Shiv Ratra etc.
After giving me this piece of information parab kaka got me introduced to his turtle with no name but indeed he treated him well and gave him good food and comfort as he believed he was the symbol of lord Shiva.
I observed one thing that animals around in Banganga were given a lot of respect as they were believed to be symbol of god. The ducks there were very healthy, well fed and had a lovely shine on there skin. I was told that the ducks were got here by the devotees as a kind of donation to the god and were given a lot of freedom. Every house had a cat as a part of family.

As I walked around the place I made friends with the kids who were playing cricket. When I was clicking and talking to the kids who were playing cricket a sweet kid of around 8 years, from the pond called for me and addressed me as “Aunty” said dat he wanted me to click him. But I couldn’t as he was in middle of the pond and was far for my clixy to reach. So when he neared the banks of Banganga I came forward to click him. And he didn't let me click him. He just kept disappearing in the water. He dipped at one end of the bank and popped out from the other. If I was focusing on the right he would appear on the left in no time. Looking at the amused expression I had on my face, a kid next

to me who was trying to fetch his ball, fallen in the pond, said to me that though his name is Mohit we call him Mogli for his crazy speed in swimming. Just because I didn’t click him at first he started showing me his amazing tricks of diving and catching hold of fishes, to impress me. He would hunt a fish with his hand and at times with his foot. I was very impressed. Within no time all the kids entered the pool and joined Mogli to hunt fishes and showed them all to me so that I could get the clicks.
One of the senior person told that some 5 years back few kids had passed away while swimming in this tank. That’s why the village kids had a swimming trainer who trained all the kids in the village. It was one thing the kids in Banganga had to learn.
Who ever I told that I had been to Banganga I got an reply “Oh even I had been there, its such a boring place” and I smiled and thought, I liked the place a lot because I saw it through the eyes of these small kids who made the place so interesting for me. They did everything to keep me entertained with whatever little they had. I bagged more memories than pictures here.

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