Friday, January 05, 2018

The architect in Bombay who studied in Delft for a year

Quaid invited us to come to his office in a neighborhood on the north side of Bombay (most of Bombay is north of the center of the old city where our hotel was nearby). Someone at the iron gate door opened the door for our taxi driver, and when we stopped in a courtyard, a pungent urine smell penetrated our nose; we were right in front of a pishouse.

Through an internal staircase of a former factory we arrived in the room where the architect, a boy or man in his early forties, the same age of our Dutch friend through whom we had gotten his address and with whom she had studied in Delft, has his office. There were open rooms with young staff and an older woman who later made tea for us.

We asked him about the plans for the new destination of the old port site that lies along the east side of Bombay on the bay; on the other side a new port has been built, which we have never seen because of the smog and the great distance. Our taxi driver did not want to drive to it, it was a two and a half hours drive, he said, because he did not know the situation there and because he was afraid he would have problems with the authorities.

Quaid could tell us something about the new zoning plans, but in the end we talked more about his search for how he would direct his life after the divorce of his companion and partner in business with whom he was still close friends. He especially wanted to know how we managed to stay together for 50 years.

In our favorite coffee bar on Marine Drive we continued the conversation the next day.


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