#IHaveAThingwithTiles and #IHaveTHISThingwithFloors have been all the rage on Instagram for quite a while now. However, these meticulously arranged, symmetrical patterns that decorate your floor, are more than just pretty blocks. You see, they carry the tales of time, the stories of people that laid them designed them, and stood upon them. All you have to do, is lend your ear to those stories.
As people who love observing, noticing, and learning new things about the city, the tiles across the city that narrate its history, fascinated us. Attending the insightful exhibition ‘Paving the Way’ by @pastperfectlive to showcase the history of @bharatfloorings has definitely made us go: "Would you look at those tiles!" From spotting Minton Tile to Terrazzos or simply looking for symmetrical patterns, we couldn’t help but capture these moments. So here we present to you some places you can spot historical tiles and appreciate the #fromwhereistand moments in your life.
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
The main headquarters of the BMC stands tall in all its gothic glory and is an architectural marvel. When you are not stressed by all the work that needs to be done, you can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this edifice. On one such day, when we were at the headquarters, to unearth stories about a forgotten heritage structure, we couldn’t help but be in awe with the art in the construction of this building. That’s when we noticed these symmetrically pieced Minton Tiles that adorned the floors. Have a look and tell us where else have you noticed such tiles?
A cold Thursday evening in January, a long day in college with haphazard timetables and college fests but a sukha bhel to snack on in between while you're on the bus ride to the first stop! Honestly, you don't even know how you have the energy at 8 pm when you've woken up at 5 in the morning! But you still run to the bus stop and hope that you get an old ticket that'll be punched.
You search on Google Maps to find the first gallery you've never heard of before so you take a blind chance and take your friend along hoping at least you'll get some free wine!
One, two, and three galleries later you'll still go to the fourth one. After all, it's Art Night Thursday! Everything's new to you, so you're fascinated by old buildings, creaking staircases, the tiles, and breathtaking artworks. Nothing beats the experience.
Bhau Daji Lad Museum
A museum celebrating the people and the city, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla promises to leave you spellbound as soon as you enter through its door. The pillars, the ceiling, and finally the tiles. This museum has ‘awe’ painted at every turn of the room. So every time we visit this place, we get lost trying to catch up with all the beauty above, below, and around us. Small but worth the visit. One of those sites in Bombay which has been restored to its glory and strives to constantly engage with the visitors.
Wayword and Wise
Have you ever stumbled across aesthetic art galleries? Book shops? Or Gift shops? One such day while walking from college to Kalaghoda, I took the road less traveled. On my way, I couldn’t help but stop at this beautiful, old book shop called Wayword and Wise. For those who know Kitab Khana, you may think of W&W as a younger brother of that shop. What struck me the most was the design, the scent of archaic around the place. When did you last enter a bookshop and look at the meticulous work the person has put in curating the list of genres, of what goes where on the cover designs on the book? And while I was mesmerized with all the details, I found the tiles! The subtle, shaded, carved tiles. The feeling you get when you surprisingly stumble upon something so subtly beautiful! It breaks our heart to hear that amidst the lockdown prevalent in the city, the doors of this lovely bookstore will soon be shut.
Other places in the city where you must not forget to have a look at the tiles include the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, HSBC headquarters, J.N. Petit Library, David Sasson Library, Elphinstone College, Mani Bhavan, St. Xavier's College, and several Iconic Art Deco Cinemas.
To roads, made of stones and hay, to tiles carved out of mud and clay!