7. The Buildings

As you walk down the road and your eyes fall causally on a building, you are filled with amazement and wondering who could have built these tall, beautiful and impressive buildings and when; and how much money must have been poured into their construction. You saw hundreds of buildings standing cheek-by-jowl, some of five storeys high, some six storeys, some seven storeys, and each more elegant than the other. If you decided to examine one of the tall buildings in leisurely fashion from bottom to top, you would soon find that it was an impossible thing to do unless you supported your turban with your hand. Interspersed between them were smaller buildings and chawls of two, three or four storeys and bungalows that did not rise above the ground floor. Such houses are not to be found in areas like Mandvi and Chakla. The tall ones are usually owned by Banias, Bhatias and Parsis. Girgaum abounds in smaller, cosier houses. Many of them have small gardens in front where you might catch sight of somebody watering the plants and somebody else sweeping the front-yard clean. Somebody might be lost in admiring the rotating spray of water from the sparkling fountain in front of their house while another might be supervising servants cleaning out the cages of colourful birds strung across the front of their houses. Such are the fascinating sights you are likely to see.