My many Indias. Bombay: Clocktowers, chappals and the Gateway of India

The difference between my Bombay sketches and the ones before? I had the week to myself, and all I did is sketch. Bombay or Mumbai, everyone asks what it is to me. It’s always been simple. Bombay in English. Mumbai when I speak in Marathi.

Almost all my sketches are of South Bombay. There is just so much to sketch in this corner of the city that I didn’t get any further. These 3 sketches are of the Rajabhai Clocktower at Oval Maidan. I could see this clocktower from my window at home, but it was much more fun to go down to the grounds and sketch. Oval Maidan is a huge ground in front of the clocktower, and at any point in the day there are atleast a hundred games of cricket being played on it. I am amazed at how the players keep tabs of which game they are a part of. And more amazed that I never got hit by a ball!




I sketched this piece at night,when this little stand selling shoes and chappals was lit by a single naked bulb. ‘Lovely Shoe Stall’ with it’s colorful shoes displayed on a pegboard.

This is Cafe Mondegar. The mural on the walls are by Goan artist, Mario Miranda. Mario’s exuberant colors and figures totally overwhelm the crowds of tourists sitting on tables underneath it, sipping their Kingfisher beer and reading their Lonely Planet guides.bombay_mondegar

This statue of Lord Elphinston is from the Indian Institute of Science, where my dad went to college. I walked along the long stone corridors, and it was easy to imagine that nothing had changed since he went to school there.bombay_IISAnd finally, two sketches of the Gateway of India. It has been decades since I came here, and more than anything I was surprised to see so much security on site, all a result of the awful 2008 terrorist attacks. Still, it didn’t keep the street food sellers from doing business. This pav bhaji vendor and bhel-walla were kept pretty busy while I was there. See that faint yellow spot to the right of the Gateway? That’s pigeon poop, wiped out as quickly as I could.


Another view of the Gateway, with the boats in the harbor.bombay_gateway2

This is just the beginning of my Bombay sketches. More coming soon. And a full set here on flickr.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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7 Responses to My many Indias. Bombay: Clocktowers, chappals and the Gateway of India

  1. Steph says:

    Gorgeous sketches!


  2. Lee Kline says:

    Astonishing! Suhita, you are my sketch and watercolor teacher! I am certain that there are many others of your fans who think so as well. Thanks so much for this series.


  3. hugo costa says:

    Fantastic colors and scenes! I didn´t know your work but I will follow ir for sure from now on! Congrats and keep on!


  4. Lynn Holbein says:

    These are fabulous! Watching them and reading your posts are like time travel while sitting at my computer in Boston. Thank you so much!


  5. Ashay says:

    Hi your sketches are Class Apart. Loved them a lot


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