Umberto Eco, the famous author of many books, including “The Name of the Rose” has a huge library of about 30,000 books, most of which he has obviously not read. Nassim Taleb, the author of “The Black Swan” interprets this in a very interesting way, saying that “read books are far less valuable than unread ones” and that “the library should contain as much of what you do not know (as you know)”. He calls this the antilibrary.
As I was turning this thought around in my mind, I realized that this concept could also be applied to “seen and unseen” places. I then started thinking of all the streets and monuments that I have not yet been to or visited in the last 40 years, but will eventually get to in the next few decades as and when the opportunity arises. The very fact that these “unseen” areas exist, makes the city that much more interesting and appealing.
1. Haji Ali Mosque
It’s there, sitting in the middle of the sea. I see it each time I pass the causeway and yet there has just not been an occasion to go there. Eventually one day when someone invites me to come with him/her, I guess this “darshan” will get taken care off.
There was a picture just two days ago in one of the newspapers, showing women taking a bath in Banganga, after the eclipse. The Banganga Music Festival is famous as well, but that also hasn’t been a big enough draw, I guess. It’s such a short drive away from work that I guess I’ll eventually get there, one day.
I had read about this place many years ago; an area in Mazgaon resembling an old Portuguese village with cobble-stone roads and interesting houses. I don’t even know if it still exists, but the knowledge there may be a street like this still around, makes the thought of going into Mazgaon one of these days, quite appealing.
4. Girgaum “wadis”
Many of these are quite famous for a variety of reasons, including the Ganpatis, but I guess I haven’t been to any, simply because they are all located less than a kilometer away from my workplace and I keep telling myself that I can go there any time that I want.
5. Bandra-Worli Sea Link
This is the latest entrant. Everyone I know has been over it but funnily, I just can’t seem to find the inclination to want to do so, perhaps because I know that sometime in the near future when I need to visit Bandra and then go to Worli, I will land up using it.
I asked my FB friends as well and they came up with many more suggestions, all of which I haven’t been to yet, but will probably land up getting to sometime in the future, or perhaps never;
6. Film City and something called Chhota Kashmir
7. Mahim Nature Park
8. Mumbadevi Temple
9. Shivdi (Sewri) Fort
10. BHNHS Conservation Education Centre
11. Mahakali Caves (are the caves still there?)
Now that this list is made, it’s actually quite comforting to have all these “unseen” places around. Considering that as a die-hard Mumbaiite with 40 years in this city already under the belt and with a few more still left to get through, visiting or thinking of visiting these ‘unseen” places is one of the few things in this city that I can actually look forward to.