Friday, June 07, 2013

The Bombay Fornicator - A Distinctive Piece of British Raj Furniture

Searching the web we found this image of a Bombay Fornicator. They are spread on the verandah of the David Sassoon Library of which we are a life member. Truly satisfying is the sensation of reclining on them in the breezy verandah with a newspaper in the afternoons. The long armrests on either sides can be extended to rest the feet also. We would spend many afternoons there when we were editor of the journal of the Bombay Management Association, reading newspapers, magazines and plain watching the traffic make its tortuous progression on the MG Road below.

Then we chanced upon this article about it which cherished the feeling the Bombay Fornicator gives. 

Now why we mention the Bombay Fornicator is with a purpose. Our novel "Mr. Bandookwala, MBA, Harvard" does mention the fornicator at many places. It is the favourite seat of Jamshed Bandookwala who is father of Dinshaw Bandookwala, and elsewhere in our writing too it makes an appearance. 

Though how the name was coined or invented, I have no idea. It will remain shrouded in a veil of mystery. It may be one of the many idiosyncrasies that existed around Bombay at that time, like the naming of people such as Bandook [ gun] wala and Rassi [rope] walla. We suppose these were memes which were in circulation in those days. As we all know memes do spread faster these days on the electronic medium.

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