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Historian Sharada Dwivedi passes away

Sharda Dwivedi  

It was only last December that Sharada Dwivedi, Mumbai's well-known art and heritage historian, was grieving over the renovated Gateway of India. She complained about the cement concrete and tackily done ledges.

“I don't like the new plaza,” she said. “They destroyed a lot of trees. Now all you see is booking offices, not the statues. I remember seeing the Beating Retreat ceremony at the Gateway and the naval band perform. It was a beautiful ceremony. That's my sentimental memory of the monument.”

Mumbai lost this sentimental connection with its history when Ms. Dwivedi, 69, passed away at her residence here on Monday. Hers was a name synonymous with the city's old-world charm. The Bombay of her memories, which she loved and knew the best, its nostalgic by-lanes and soaring period architecture.

“She passed away at 9.30 a.m. She had a brief illness,” her husband Bhagirath Dwivedi told The Hindu on the phone.

In her lifetime, Ms. Dwivedi authored several books: Bombay, the Cities Within (1995), Banganga, Sacred Tank (1996), Fort Walks (1999), Anchoring a City Line the History of the Western Suburban Railway and its Headquarters in Bombay (2000), The Jehangir Art Gallery (2002), The Victoria Memorial School for the Blind (2002).

Her works take you back in time along the town's familiar bends. In her book Fort Walks, co-authored by Rahul Mehrotra, she recreates the ancient city and endears it to the reader with local lore. One such story is of the Ghoga Street that owes its name to a family nick-name born out of a quarrel.

Her other works include, Lives of the Indian Princes (1984), Reach for the Stars (1993) — the corporate history of Blue Star Ltd., The Broken Flute (1994) – a children's novel, The Maharaja (1999), A celebration of style (2000) Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

Ms. Dwivedi is survived by her husband and her daughter Radhika.

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Printable version | Oct 10, 2021 1:18:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/historian-sharada-dwivedi-passes-away/article2866596.ece

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