The Human Evolution

Vandals on Schmidt Memorial
Vandals on Schmidt Memorial

The evolution of apes into vandals. Or is it humans into apes?

Vandalising the historic Schmidt memorial on Elliot’s Beach

Pacman?

Pacman
Pacman

Early morning sun makes its own patterns in the partly demolished Bharat Insurance Building (Kardyl Building). The 120 – year old building was a grand specimen of Indo-Saracenic style.

This shape resembles the old arcade game Pacman, nibbling away what remains of the building.

PS: It may also be case of ‘Mere saamne waali khidike me chand ka tukda…” [मेरे सामने वाली खिड़ीके में एक चाँद का टुकड़ा … ]

Oldest Bookstore

Higginbotham's Bookstore 1844
Higginbotham’s Bookstore 1844

Higginbothams is perhaps the oldest bookstore in India. It was started by an English stowaway, Abel Higginbothams in 1844. It was taken over by the Amalgamations Group (Simpson’s) in 1945.

During our growing up years, Higginbothams was the go-to shop for any books. Most railway stations in South India also had a Higginbothams stall (some still exist) where we picked up newspapers, magazines and Perry Mason paperbacks (for about 4 or 5 rupees) during travel.

Despite the onslaught of competition from new generation bookstores, online stores, and ebooks, Higginbothams has survived. What is more, the management has restored the iconic heritage building on Mount Road. Our esteem for the management of Amalgamations Group goes up when we see the historic Bharat Insurance Building (Kardyl building) just opposite to Higginbothams which was to be razed to the ground by the Government-owned LIC to put up a ‘modern’ monstrosity.