The Sewri Fort

A couple of years back, I happened to travel in a cab whose driver was very chatty and unusually boastful of his knowledge of the city. About 20 minutes into the journey, I had enough of his tales and asked him:

“Since you know so much about Mumbai, tell me how does one get to Sewri Fort. I want to visit it.”

“Sewri Fort? What Sewri Fort? There is no Fort at Sewri.”

“Of course, there is a fort there. I read a report about the Fort in the newspaper only last week.”

“Newspaper? Bah !” said the driver in a dismissive tone. “Don’t believe everything that they print. Listen to me, I’ve been there so many times that I know the area really well. I know Sewri Jetty, all the automobile service centres there, the Port Trust Offices, the dargah… everything. I can tell you confidently that I have never come across any Fort there.”

And that was the end of the conversation.

Last month, I visited Sewri Fort. Yes, there is a Fort, but after visiting it I could understand why the cab driver and many others like him are neither aware of its location or existence. Incidentally, it is located right next to the dargah that the driver mentioned. Just see the view outside the Fort in the photograph below. Is there any indication that there is a Fort anywhere in the vicinity?

Sewri Fort, Forts of Mumbai, Eastern Shoreline
The approach to Sewri Fort

Continue reading “The Sewri Fort”

I. Saw. Flamingos.

Last Friday began very ordinarily for me. Though it was a holiday, I had to go in to work. I finished around 4 pm and headed to Sewri, where I met up with 2 friends. Sewri is on the eastern shore of what was once Parel Island, one of the seven islands of this city, and fringed by mangroves that are home to a variety of bird life all through the year.

We were there to see the Sewri Fort, one of the Mumbai’s 8 forts, and once there we first spent time looking around and discussing its rather unique architecture (more about that in another post). Only then did we get around to exploring the nooks and crannies of the Fort.

When I peered through an opening in the wall, this is what I saw.

Flamingoes in Sewri, Sewri Mudflats, Lesser Flamingoes, Pink flamingoes, MumbaiAnd I squealed, “I see flamingos, pink flamingos, a bunch of flamingos… ” (I’m pretty sure I must have jumped up and down, but I can’t recall that.). I think I went a little incoherent after that.

But the thing is: I. Saw. Flamingos. Live ones. Outside of a TV screen or a glossy magazine or even a comic book. I. Saw. Flamingos. And my camera wouldn’t stop clicking. They were quite some distance away and I had to zoom in to see them even half-way clearly. 🙂

Continue reading “I. Saw. Flamingos.”