Friday, June 03, 2005

vasai fort - the ruins and the writing of histories


first day of the new third year design studio.. ‘rashomon’ first to "problematize the writing of history"- using pauls language... and then a trip to the site- vasai fort. pinkesh, dhanashree, namrata, kaiwan and me – in my car. met ganesh there.

the kids arrived later in small packs and wandered around the overgrown ruins climbing walls, discovering new routes and puzzling over the site. it was hot as hell and i was feeling a little sorry for them- but then one must be willing to sweat in the pursuit of greater knowledge. no?

the fort is merely a shell of what probably existed- and from the elaborate churches whose remains that seemed everywhere it seemed that it must have been a lot. today the spaces in between the stone walls are completely overgrown and are used to mend fishing nets and as a short cut to the village. the fort is derelict, empty and is used sometimes for shooting songs in films ( urmila matondkar and fardeen khan- kambakth ishq hai woh…)

vasai fishing village that existed on the stretch of land in between the fort walls and the sea was tiny, but seemed pretty well off. small rcc buildings, temples, churches..

we met a group of tourists from chennai in one fo the churches, who, trusting their guide book to bombay took a day trip out of the city to see the fort. the poor guys were sorely disappointed that it had none of the grandeur that they were expecting.

it is strange to imagine that this was the first city of bombay controlling all the portuguese holdings on the coast all the way to sion (and more) so much has changed.. let see what the students say.. i am sure some of them might stumble upon this page on their net searches—so ‘hi guys’ too!



Mukul said...

sweat in the pursuit of greater knowledge. no?

Shinu Mathew said...

Good Rohan,
The fort is just the skeleton of it's original self, but everytime I visit it, I feel very humbled. At that time, constructing some thing like that took great effort. And when I stand in the Darbar hall(I am assuming it is) I can hear the ruler barking commands in portughese and the shuffling of feets. Lovely!!!