31 May 2012

Sakharam Lanjekar Marg, Shivdi

Names and Places: Nagars.

It's fun to try and understand the names of places in Mumbai, or India or anywhere else for the matter. The politics of naming aside, it's fun how names are used. For example this Chawl in Shivdi is called a Nagar. (Chawl is derived from Chaal or Corridor). And there's Aaram Nagar Society in Andheri where several independent filmmakers of Mumbai work from.

But the most popular of all are the Nagars, even more than the Purs, Oors, Purams, Bads from the time of nawabs, Pets or pette (replaced by markets), etc. There must be a few thousand nagars in India and Nepal but only Ahmednagar is popularly know as just Nagar.


Interesting Trivia: 
Mumbai places names and their origin. List 1.  (eg.: Chichpokli: Chich - Tamarind and Pokli - Grove) List 2, List 3, List 4.

Must Read: 
The Ganga Building Chronicles by Prasad Shetty
Caravan say...

"ABOUT THE STORY Among the motives that fiction has in common with history and with ethnography is the urge to defamiliarise, to peel back the layers of a person, object or age to reveal the expanse of its inner life. In this massively detailed and panoramic life story of a building in Mumbai over the course of more than a century, the urban researcher Prasad Shetty generates a portrait of the city as distinctive and memorable as those found in the fiction of Salman Rashdie, Vikram Chandra or Rohinton Mistry, or in the reportage of Neera Adarkar, Sonia Faleiro and Katherine Boo. Not entirely fiction and not entirely non-fiction, Shetty’s story in fact occupies an intriguing junction between the two forms. All the great currents that make the city distinctive in Indian lore—migration, entrepreneurship, urbanization, landscaping, tenancy, multiculturalism, fragmentation, synthesis, speed, partnership, individualism, a capacity for rapid metamorphosis—wind themselves into exquisite patterns in Shetty’s narration, routed through the lives of characters who at once seem as immediate and vivid as friends and yet, from the story’s enormously high vantage point, as small as ants. Before our eyes, a village vegetable plot turns into a kitchen for migrant workers, a tenement into a tower; the poor rise to prosperity and the rich are enfeebled; fortune’s wheel turns and the engine of commerce sparks and rumbles. When, at the close, Ganga Building turns into something sleek, beautiful, and 21st-century, it seems almost that it is not just the old tenants who have been defrauded, but also the city’s past." 

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