Demolition Day 5

Hotel Oceanic, on Santhome High Road. I've never been closer than this - it stopped being a hotel long ago, though I've been told that it was quite glamorous in its day. Lately it has been used as a location for film-shootings. Recently someone wanted to renovate it and make it into a boutique hotel, but that didn't work out. Now it has fallen to the building boom which is transforming the city.

Part of the arch leading into the hotel grounds, which have been blocked with a chain and padlock ever since I've seen the place. I never had the nerve to jump over the chain and take a look inside.

I had a fantasy, which I named A Weekend at the Oceanic: people in elegant clothes, and this crumbling building in the background. Nadira in a glittering long gown singing 'Mudmudke na dekh' ('Don't look back').

(My [not a masterpiece] painting of the Oceanic, based on these photographs, is here.)

(Update: Nadira, Hindi film star of the fifties, died on 9 February 2006.)

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