Saturday, 31 March 2012

Sharada Within Bombay

She was 69 and suffering from flu for a week. On 6 February 2012 she was rushed to Bombay Hospital when her condition took a turn for the worse. She died on the way passing thru the by-lanes of Bombay. 
The lanes and passages she was so conversant with. Sharada Dwivedi the lone living legend was now no more.  
Sharada Dwivedi, eminent historian , researcher and author, was hailed as one of the few who opened Bombay up to its people. Dwivedi was a product of this city (educated at Queen Mary's School, Sydenham College and Bombay University, where she earned her degree in Library Science);
(Authored by Sharada Dwivedi
and Rahul Mehrotra)
 The panoramic coffee-table book she authored with Rahul Mehrotra-Bombay: The Cities Within (1995)-was a watershed publication, breaking the old mould of 'city histories' with its conversational prose, breathtaking sepia images and broad detail. Other histories that followed (often co-authored) included works like Banganga the sacred tank at the Malabar Hill, Fort Walks, and most recently The Taj At Apollo Bunder. 
 She lived and breathed monuments of Mumbai. She was familiar with every minute detail of the old and neo-gothic structures of the city. History as though unfolded to her. She belonged to Bombay which in return belonged to her. She was a true Bombay-ite who even refused to use the term Mumbai. She loved its culture deeply. And this reflects in her work. The sheer knowledge and understanding she brought to a subject which even most seasoned city planners and politicians of today neglect greatly. 
She loved the streets and by-lanes of the city that was her home, and she dared go beyond to protect the historic identity of Bombay. She has researched history of all the famous monuments and buildings of the city and was always caring for the conservation work. She tirelessly raised funds and created awareness for heritage buildings and championed causes related to the city. She was actively involved with the Urban Design Research Institute, Kala Ghoda Association and other citizen groups. 

Sharadaji, you still endure in the heart of Mumbai. The many researchers you inspired, the students you helped, the conservationists you generously shared your knowledge with, the heritage lovers you introduced the city by your work will all miss you....but most of all, the city of Bombay shall miss you as you were the one who loved and worshiped it the most.

                  May Your Soul Rest In Peace. Thanks for enriching our lives...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say hi!! when you leave..Would love to know about your views!!