“Uth na Moti!”
Thus began our morning.
I had to go on a photo walk and take pictures for a photography class of mine. Living in South Mumbai, I could think of a few heritage sites in the vicinity that I could capture, but some instinct had me decide on Sassoon Docks.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle a full blown fish market, so I thought it’d probably be a good idea to bring along my god fearing vegetarian roommate Stuti on this walk. Not my brightest idea.
It took us seven minutes to get to the docks from our place. Except, it took us 35 minutes to get out of our beds.
Soon enough, on our way itself, we could smell how the morning would turn out.Given the overpowering stench, one doesn’t really get any points for guessing that this place has fish- a lot of fish.
But let me tell you, this place has just as much character as it has fish.
We had often seen the gate while moving around in Colaba. It’s a large brick structure that’s got a very sturdy vibe. I recalled someone telling me this is amongst the very few docks that are open to the public. Sassoon docks, build in 1875 is also amongst the oldest docks in India built by a name rather familiar in South Mumbai-David Sassoon& Co. owned at the time by David’s son, Albert Abdullah David Sassoon.
The docks were made on reclaimed land between Byculla and Colaba ( which was connected by the causeway) and were the first ‘wet’ dock where ships could enter during any kind of tides.
Stuti and I moved around, carefully treading and avoiding stepping on fish. Not that we would’ve killed them, not even cause our footwear would get dirty but just eeeeks.
Now when we started to click photos here, people got excited and told us not to take photographs.
“Photo nai lene ka!”
That’s when he came forward to talk to us. “The docks are very dirty and if these pictures got out, the exporters might get into trouble and this is why these women are telling you not to click photos” said the man in a spotless white kurta.
“May we click your photo though?”
“Sure. But take it with my friend”
And then there were others who were just camera shy.
Smiles, colours and awkward eye contacts
By the way be sure to buy some 10rs. Goan Nevri (which is similar to ‘Karanji’) from her if you go!
Take my photo alright, but I got customers
“Main kaisi kalli,moti par meri gudiya sundar lag rahi hai na?”
We had to get going as it was a weekday.
Sassoon Dock was just walking distance away and this entire episode took us barely an hour.So,
I guess, travelling doesn’t necessarily mean having to go far or for long, or even with a purpose. It was a usual morning at the docks and an unusual one for us.