IF STATUES COULD SPEAK?

In this busy world, one hardly stops by around a statue. If so, the reason could be a passive need – to click a photograph, draw a sketch, meeting point, the visitor is an historian or someone from the maintenance department.

Assume if statues could speak, what anecdote’s would they share? Would it be about the chronicles from their life archives or a narrative of all the observations gathered at the memorial site. Whatever it maybe, it would be our imagination.

Though motionless, the statues convey important stories ‘His- story’ and ‘Her-story’, and have become silent story tellers over the years. One just have to offer a little attention and decode their language of remembrance and sacrifice.

“History is like a frozen dessert, that melts our heart when consumed”. However, to maintain its consistency, the records and valuable material must be preserved for the forthcoming generations.

The colonial period of India reminds us of the trials and tribulations absorbed by our freedom fighters in the journey towards independence. The contributions made by the prominent leaders and average citizens has left a deep footprint that reflects in varied forms, such as – old architecture, museums, art and artifacts, statues, maps, documents, photographs, films, books and knowledge.

A statue erected at a public site symbolizes the events of the by gone era and the moral lessons learned from it. Statues therefore, are much more than mere physical structures. A carved out figurative image is a forever tribute to the distinguished personality and evokes emotions of patriotism, bravery and pride (unless the statue is of a controversial character).

Some statues like ‘The Statue of Unity’, ‘Statue of Liberty’, ‘The Thinker’, etc. have gained popularity in their own right. Represented in a larger-than-life-size figure, a statue is a viewable record of the past and a torchbearer of a countrys history.

I explored a series of statues in Mumbai that are mostly clustered in the Churchgate and Fort area. Thankfully, they are decently maintained except for the dust and bird droppings which is unavoidable.

Presenting to you, a virtual tour of all the sites I covered on a bicycle. Although painstakingly documented, the list is not all-inclusive.

King George V, Prince of Wales Museum (CSMVS), Churchgate.
King Edward VII, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Byculla.
Read more about Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum.
Sir Lawrence Hugh Jenkins, Bombay High Court, Churchgate.
Sir Dinshaw Fardunji Mulla, Bombay High Court, Churchgate.
Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha, Churchgate.
Jamshedji Tata, Churchgate.
Mahatma Gandhi, Churchgate.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Churchgate.
Sir Hormusjee Cowasjee Dinshaw, Churchgate.
Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, Churchgate.
Sir Dinshaw Manockjee Petit, Fort.
Sorabjee Shapurjee Bengalee, Churchgate.
Nusserwanji Maneckji Petit, Churchgate.
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Fort.
Vasudev Balwant Phadke, Fort.
Lal Bahadur Shashtri, Churchgate.
Khan Bahadur Kawasji Jamshedji Petigara, Fort.
Lala Lajpat Rai, Haji Ali.
Swami Vivekananda, Gateway of India, Churchgate.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Churchgate.
Dr. Accacio Gabriel Viegas, Fort.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Gateway of India, Churchgate. Maharashtra being the land of the Great Maratha Warrior-King, there are numerous statues of the heroic figure that can be spotted in the state. A memorial dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj is under construction at the Arabian Sea and on completion, it is expected to be one of the biggest tourist attraction point in the Mumbai city.
Vithalbhai J. Patel, Marine Drive.
Balgangadhar Tilak, Marine Drive.
Subhash Chandra Bose, Walkeshwar.
Barrister Rajni Patel, Worli.
Kala Ghoda (Black Horse), Churchgate.
Hutatma Chowk – ‘Martyr with a Flame’, Churchgate.
Mumbai Dabbawala, Haji Ali.
Read more about the Mumbai Dabbawalas
R.K. Laxman, Worli. This statue of a cartoonist represents ‘The Common Man’ and is one of the most accessible sculpture in the city and often approached by the tourists for photography. Not to mention, it’s very popular in the cycling community.
Fisherman, Worli. Relatively a new creation, the fisherman statue is seated perpendicular to the R.K Laxman figure and can be spotted over his shoulder as you can see in the previous photograph.
Baby Head, Nariman Point.
Yogi, Bandra Reclamation.

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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

3 thoughts on “IF STATUES COULD SPEAK?

  1. Very interesting post Vijay……nicely explained the importance and reason of erecting these statues of famous personalities. Seen all of them actually but forgotten, going through the beautifully taken pictures I recollected the statutes, with their location

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