Saturday, December 23, 2017

This Breach Candy palace evokes era of maharajas — and the ... https://blogs.timesofindia

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  • Itna to yaad hai mujhe ke unse mulakat hue-MAHBOOB KI MEHNDI

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  • Song : .Itna to yaad hai mujhe ke unse mulaqaat hui .. Movie: Mehboob Ki Mehandi(1971), Singers : Mohammad Rafi,Lata
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  • Itna Toh Yaad Hai Mujhe (Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar) - Mehboob Ki Mehndi 1080p HD

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  • Movie: Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971) Song: Itna Toh Yaad Hai Mujhe Starring: Rajesh Khanna, Leena Chandavarkar, Pradeep Kumar,

  • This Breach Candy palace evokes era of maharajas — and the nuclear scientist behind Pokhran

  • December 24, 2017, 8:00 am IST in Building Mumbai | India | TOI
  • By Pronoti Datta
  • A mix of modern and traditional design marks Anand Bhavan at Breach Candy.
  •  Image result for anand bhavan palace breach candy old photoMahalakshmi Temple at Breach Candy, Bombay by Francis Frith (between 1850 and 1879)
  •  Pics by Uma Kadam
  • The late physicist Raja RamannaImage result for physicist Raja Ramanna was a formidable scientist who led the team that conducted India’s first nuclear test in Pokhran in 1974. But at home in Breach Candy’s Anand Bhavan, a less daunting side was on display.  In the evenings, the stern gent with thick glasses would perambulate the lawn, gesticulating as he contemplated, presumably, some knotty scientific problem. “He was a playful character,” recalled Srinivas Laxman, a former ToI journalist who played cricket as a child on the grounds of Anand Bhavan. “When our ball used to go into the sea, he used to jump up and get it.” Back then, steps led from the rear yard down to the rocky seafront.
  • Ramanna was also an accomplished pianist who loved western classical and Carnatic music even more than physics. Laxman and others remember hearing strains of piano, including Chopin and Brahms, wafting out of Ramanna’s windows.
  • The landscape of Breach Candy is far busier now but Anand Bhavan is relatively unchanged—it remains a quiet enclave of scientists by the sea. The dignified building, flanked on either side by annexes, was once the residence of Indrasinhji Pratapsinhji, the former maharaja of Bansda, an erstwhile princely state in Gujarat. He constructed the palace, named after his wife Anand Kunwarba, on land leased from the Governor of Bombay in 1933. In 1960, the place was bought by the Department of Atomic Energy and repurposed into a block of flats for employees.
  • Bansda coat of arms
  • It was here that Pritikumari Jhalahttp://www.indianrajputs.com/i/t/i/thumb800_labhowa-Princess-Preeti-Jadeja-Wife-of-Devendra-Singh-Jhala-1.jpg lived for 15 idyllic years. Jhala, 76, the granddaughter of Indrasinhji PratapsinhjiImage result for Indrasinhji Pratapsinhji, the former maharaja of Bansda, – he was her maternal grandfather – was born in Anand Bhavan in 1941. A student of Queen Mary School, she recalls skating on the palace terrace, playing in a water-filled canal at the back of the building, which also contained a tennis court, participating in dramas directed by a tutor, and spending time with her grandfather, whom she describes as “a commanding presence” yet “loving to his people and playful to us”.
  • The annexes, she recalls, had stables, staff quarters and a kitchen in which Continental food was prepared. “We would walk on the rocks (by the sea) and collect shells,” said Jhala, who lives in Ahmedabad. “We had a very free life there.”
  • Like many urban palaces, Anand Bhavan is a mash-up of modern and traditional architecture. The building has decorative columns and some of the wooden doors have panels carved with deer skipping through foliage. Built in the 1930s, the building also has art deco features such as geometric grills and metal work with nautical motifs. It’s one of the many palaces in the area built in the early twentieth century. Down the road, Lincoln House,  Image result for Lincoln House, the former American consulate the former American consulate, was the abode of the maharaja of Wankaner, and a short distance away on Nepean Sea Road is Walsingham School, which belonged to the maharaja of Kutch. Nearby is the blush-coloured Sophia College, whose owners included the maharajas of Indore and Bhavnagar. These Bombay homes were convenient for royals who frequently travelled abroad and had to liaise with the colonial government.
  • Built in the 1930s, the building has art deco features such as geometric grills
  • As with most old buildings, Anand Bhavan has terrifically high ceilings. The rooms are large, and in some flats the bathrooms are larger. The main building is divided into two wings with similar apartments on either side, and the four annexes have residences, a dispensary, and quarters for staff. In the early days, scientists with today’s Bhabha Atomic Research Centre even worked out of laboratories here for a few years, recalls Sekhar Basu, secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.
  • Residents here are as fond of the sea view and the enormous lawn as they are of their roomy apartments. “The very first time we moved, from Bangalore, I was unprepared for the monsoon,” said Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta, an IAS officer who lived in Anand Bhavan from 2000 to 2012. “I didn’t grow up near the sea. The rains were whistling outside. And we felt the building was in the middle of nowhere.”
  • It was on the lawn that the song ‘Itna Toh Yaad Hai Mujhe’, from the hit 1971 movie Mehboob ki Mehndi, was shot. Rajesh Khanna pulls up on the stately driveway in a white convertible as elsewhere his love interest, played by Leena Chandavarkar, does a hectic, amorous dance. The green has also been the venue of many weddings and is rented out to DAE employees and their relatives at a nominal rate.
  • A sense of community is evident among residents. The building houses 29 families whose members not only celebrate all the major festivals but also gather to hoist the national flag and sing patriotic movie songs on every Independence Day and Republic Day. The sentiment is echoed by Dr. Sneha Shah, who works in the department of nuclear medicine at Tata Memorial Centre, which is partly funded by the DAE. She moved here in 2008 and had a son soon after. “It’s like a cultural ghetto where everything is celebrated,” she said. “There are no Christians here but Christmas is celebrated.”
  • The togetherness makes people loathe to leave the property, says Ravi Shankar Ramamoorthy, head of the Public Awareness Division at DAE, who has lived here since 1993. His young daughter Surbhi says children of residents and of the help play together, and the latter are often tutored by their employers. Ramamoorthy’s mother Indira, for instance, teaches kids math. She is also famous for having planted medicinal shrubs and trees.
  • Soumen Sinha, who works at the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, likes the fact that his neighbours are an educated lot. The complex has hosted MR Srinivasan, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of the DAE, and Dr Ketayun Dinshaw, former director of Tata Memorial Hospital. Every second person here is either a doctor or has a PhD. “Everyone is on the same level and very close knit,” said Sinha.
  • View from Anand Bhavan
  • Residents appreciate the complex’s old-world feeling, which partly stems from the fact that the building is recessed from the bustle of the road. The sense of being sequestered from the world at large is true of many government housing complexes. The DAE also has two residential buildings on Malabar Hill, Purnima and Zerlina, named after research reactors at BARC, as well as Kenilworth on Pedder Road, which stands on the spot where Homi Bhabha, the pioneer of the Indian nuclear programme, was born. However it is Anand Bhavan, where Bhabha’s protege Ramanna spent so many years, that stands out with its history, stately grace, and sea-swept vista.
  • (A version of this article appeared in the print edition of the Times of India, Mumbai on December 24.)