September 23, 2009

Mumbai : A link to modernity

Move over Gateway, the people of Mumbai have found a new icon to identify themselves with.
The Worli Sea Link .
I know it's been officially named the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, a.k.a the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, but everyone I've heard seems to just call it the Worli Sea Link. Let's leave the longer names for politicians, shall we?

And now, voices are being heard, asking for a change. It's time to put the Gateway of India out to pasture, they say. That symbol of colonial times has to give way to this proud new tribute to modern India.

Seen at night, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link takes on magical proportions. The network of cables spanning out from the tall towers gleam softly like something out of a fantasy. It is a wondrous thing indeed that such fragile-looking strands can actually hold the whole thing up.

So would I support such a sea change in symbolism?
Oh yes! I would... a hundred times over. The Gateway stood for another age, when the strength of India bowed to colonial powers. A stodgy old lady, not quite in touch with anything anymore .
The Worli Sea Link is a symbol of the new, rejuvenated, empowered Mumbai. A thing of beauty as well as engineering skill.

Plus, if I can see if it from almost 25 kms away, across half the length of this city, it damn well deserves to be the symbol of Mumbai!


  1. I've been reading so much about the Sea Link and would love to see it some day.
    I was in Mumbai - for the first time ever, for a day - this January, and loved the place. The Sea Link was not yet ready then. Hopefully there will be a reason for me to visit in the not so distant future and I can see this marvel for myself!

  2. Maybe you could make it your reason to visit Mumbai again, Kamini.
    Its beautiful! The first time I saw it I could actually feel awe rising up in me and hitting that jaw which was hanging wide open! By daytime the beauty of the open sea over which it is built, takes over. By night-time, with the lights gleaming and bouncing off cables, the beauty of the structure overwhelms one.
    And you have to remember that it's only half-done yet. Of the 8 tracks, only 4 are ready and functional.

  3. Thanks, Unseen Rajasthan. Of course, it doesn't even begin to compare with the real thing.