It was not impressive or beautiful; indeed, it was depressing; but on landing and driving through the Fort my opinion was revised.
Mumbai is justly famous for the large number of really magnificent buildings gathered together within the precincts of the Fort. The drive past the Secretariat, the University and the High Court is as fine as one could wish for.
The background formed by these imposing structures, the avenues of trees, the green grass, and the waters of Back Bay glistening in the sunlight, together form a picture that is not easily forgotten.
The Apollo Bunder, the stately Mahatma Gandhi Road with its rows of shops, the imposing buildings of the Victoria Terminus, the Municipal Offices and the St. Xavier’s College, the two latter facing the broad Azad maidan fringed with avenues of trees, add to the impression that this “urban prima in Indies” must also be the most beautiful in India.
The new comer sees in the Fort wide open spaces, shops and offices, but not a very large number of dwelling houses. He knows that there are nearly five million inhabitants of Mumbai, and begins to wonder where they all live. As he turns into the Indian town he finds a solution to the question that has arisen in his mind.
The narrow streets are thronged by a restless crowd, the many-storied houses seem to seethe with humanity; and he notes with approval the sanitary action of the Improvement trust, which is driving great roads through this mass of houses, giving new lungs, and spreading sweetness and light in a place which, though picturesque, is chiefly significant for squalor and overcrowding.
Yet in many