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Sewri Fort-A story untold

Place:Sewri Fort,Mumbai,India

Mumbai has always being infamously known for its streets bustled with people who struggle to make a living, for being ever polluted concrete jungle which lacks the tranquillity of the rural life. Yet there are still few rare places near Mumbai which are still untouched and remain to enchant us. One such place which I came across is the Sewri fort located on the eastern shoreline.

It is one of the 8 forts left in Mumbai and one out of the three forts in the eastern shoreline, the other two being the Sion Fort and the Mazgaon Fort. It is classified as grade 1 heritage structure and is currently owned by Maharashtra’s Department of Archaeology and Museums. Though this fort is mere 10 minutes walk from Sewri station, most people do not even have inkling about its existence.

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The Sewri station sign board.

 

After getting down at Sewri station early in the morning, we asked few locals about the fort and were amazed when they answered by replying “Yahan toh koi fort nahi hai, yaha sirf flamingos dikhte hai”.

Our quest was finally over after a while and we reached the Sewri fort which is located on a road which is surrounded by storage depots of petrol companies. The area is cluttered with trucks and oil tankers. There is no indication of the fort in the vicinity and it is barely visible to a visitor. The lack of signboard and information board makes it strenuous for a person to explore the fort properly. The fort is surrounded by land on three sides and there is a cliff on the fourth side that drop downs to the mangroves.

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The main courtyard of the Sewri Fort.

There is a dargah situated right besides the fort which attracts few visitors especially during Muslim festivals where there are fairs organized.

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The steps leading to the fort.The Dargh is right besides it.

The entrance is an arched door which leads to a small dark cell like room. There is another arched door inside the cell which leads to a main courtyard inside the fort. This courtyard is spacious and has steps and leads to a place where you can enjoy the view from the top. The view depends on the direction you look at. One can see the dargah from one side, flamingos, Sewri jetty on another, high rises to industrial units on another side. The view is great but it is devastating to see how badly the mangroves are maintained and how the human developments have led to complete destruction of the mangroves. The fort seems to be interesting because various aspects like its strategic location, surrounding, size, architecture and it’s rather intriguing history.

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The entrance of the courtyard,which has 1736 engraved on it,which some assume to be the year it was built.

The fort is deserted and shady and I was wondering if it has become a hangout place for thugs.

While coming back from the fort we met a 60-year-old lady named Bharti Kisan Lokhande, who is a local staying nearby. She was a chatty and cheerful person who readily told us many stories about the fort which her grandfather had witnessed. It is believed that the fort was built originally to serve security purpose as a watchtower or a check-post in 1680.Though at the entrance of the fort the number 1736 is inscribed and many believe that it is the year when the fort was built. We came to know that she visits the fort everyday and sit on the steps of the fort. She informed us that many photographers come here, especially early in the morning on weekends and during the flamingo festival held every year. The place promotes ornithology and you will find many ardent bird watchers visiting here.

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It was reported last year that the Maharashtra Tourism Department Corporation (MTDC) has plans of reviving the Sewri Fort and proposed a “makeover of the fort to include a museum, mini-theatre, souvenir shop and an open deck restaurant”.

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The signboard outside the fort.

What is worth pondering upon is the fact that does that place really requires these added luxury or the top priority of the officials should be to keep the fort and the area clean and to appoint security guards to ensure that the heritage structure is well maintained? Also there is an urgent need for the officials to post signboards and information boards to help the tourists locate the fort and to avoid the unnecessary hassle.

Very few cities of the world can proudly say that they have heritage forts like Mumbai, yet we fail to appreciate the heritage and do not value its existence let alone promote it.

The virtual hoo-ha

 

A decade back you would have not crossed path with teens who have their personal fancy gadgets and who are a pro at technology. But enter 2016 and you surely won’t be that  flabbergasted when you see a 3-year-old tiny kid operating his iPhone like a pro.Note the key word his.

Today’s kids are the first generation of kids and teens that are growing up with media being at its full boom. Most of the kids after the age of 8 have their own profile on social networking sites such as Face book,Instagram etc today. Social media have become an integral aspect of every youth. So the question to ponder upon is why has social media gained so much hype and popularity among the youths and is the talk of the town?

The prime reason is that the youth masses want to know, share and be heard. This want urges them to be as socially active as possible. Social media give them the perfect platform to flaunt their creativity to the public and helps them connect with the world by a mere click of few buttons. They can share their snaps and views instantly, vent out their emotions and feelings and can connect with the people who appeal to them.

The most important of all, social media assures them that they are socially accepted and cool. Popularity is determined by a person’s digit of followers and online friends. The number of likes and comments on their fb posts and the counts of retweets on their tweet is a matter of pride for a youth today. Peer approval is guaranteed if they are socially active.

The digital era has arrived and is here to stay. It has changed the way the current young generation reacts to peers and their surroundings. If used wisely it is undoubtedly the best gift to humanity. So what are you waiting for? Pull up your sleeves and go on a social media spree!

 

 

 

 

The conundrum

 

Was I a bit too over the top?I should have not said that. If I would have handled it that way, then the outcome would have been different.And the list is endless.

Some call it as the’ inner voice’ and many call it the ‘conscience’ .Ain’t these words a tad bit simple for such a complex phenomenon?
Imagine, something so confusing, something which eats you up,frustrates you,yet guides you,is summed up and termed just as conscience.
So what can we call it?

Personally,I would call it our conundrum moments.We all have our own personalized ‘connundrum moments’.

I know right!We are already surrounded by the hustle and bustle of our lives and to top it off we have one more voice demanding our undivided attention.It is something which will not leave you even if one fine day you end up going on a stranded island in search of nirvana.A bit scary,right?

These moments are those which help you self analyse and help you act in a certain way and look at things in a certain perspective.

It can be something as small as the inner turmoil you have after you fight with your partner or the reprimanding voice which makes you feel guilty for not offering water to the delivery guy who looked tired while delivering your much awaited mail.The constant battle with yourself before doing something big ,the  which you give yourself regularly,the way you console yourself after a life changing step,they all count.

A solution to tackle this?Simple. Embrace it.That is the only way to make peace with your self.Never forget that these conundrum moments are like the watchdog,they help you be the better version of yourself.
And who does not want to be their favourite version?!