Pier Imperfect

The Busaiteen coast in Bahrain, once a thriving collection of rustic chalets, is now being ‘cleansed’ to make way for a luxury waterfront development. The wood and stone structures, as well as the piers leading up to them, are fast disappearing and the ocean eating into what’s left of them. Presents quite a desolate sight all of a sudden!

India’s Dharavi set to become a Kowloon

The mess that is Dharavi today
Children play on Kowloon rooftops
The concrete lump that was Kowloon
This is the centre of Dharavi

A couple of days ago, I read a book on Hong Kong’s famed Kowloon Walled City, which was pulled down to make way for a park in the late 1980’s. This after it became well-known as a hotbed for everything illegal, unlawful and undesirable. It was a haven for crime and criminals and both the then Hong Kong British administration as well as the Chinese had washed their hands off the ‘territory’ where around 50,000 people crammed into a cluster of ‘box’ apartments.
I cannot but help compare Kowloon with the now ‘world famous’ Dharavi slum in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai – the only difference being that while Kowloon was a clump of apartments, Dharavi spreads across the heart of Mumbai over several square kilometers.
As an Indian, I feel sad this great nation, which on the one hand is only one of four to have conquered Mars, on the other, it is has been unable to tackle this monstrosity. Is it that the powers that be are awaiting Dharavi to go vertical and, perhaps, collapse under its own weight? True, there are political considerations but even those have to be given a go by. That, however, is unlikely to happen anytime soon! God, therefore, help us!


Time Take

ggThis is a picture of Bahrain’s Seef area today. As I strolled around the coast I could not but remember the time when I first came to Bahrain a decade and a half ago when this entire area had no construction and one could even see the outline of the Bahrain Fort from several kilometers away. Over the years, rapid development has ensured the country’s skyline has undergone a sea change, particularly in the Seef and Manama area.
At some stage, I hope to “show” the pictures that I had taken then and compare those with the present-day snaps.