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Romance in the Victoria carriage


Image credit: Google India

The afternoon sun has already set in at Marine Drive on this busy Sunday. The hustle-bustle in the city and promenade was characterized by lovers sharing an intimate moment, cuddling on the boulders, elderly couples jogging for long distance from Marine Drive till Nariman Point and vendors selling tea, mouth watering paani puri and snacks, offering a slice of life in Mumbai. Children were having a feast on the carousel.

The horse drawn carriage, a feel from the Victorian age, trotted and took a pause, in the city that is never devoid of horde of admirers. The horse wore a tiring look and its eyes showed sign of fatigue for the joy ride since the morning, pushed by the horse man, quite ruthlessly. The horseman was enjoying a nap inside the carriage with his feet upward when he almost fell down, woken up by two voices blowing his ear drums.

“Bhaiya, one round to Churchgate and back to Marine Drive,” the female voice says.

“50 bucks, it will cost,” the thin man quoted the price.

“Let’s go,” the girl climbed the carriage for a ride.

The horseman was interrupted by the young man, “Bhaiya, this is so unfair. I asked first. You are giving her priority because she is a girl who flashed her smile to you.

The girl protested, “No! I asked first. Can’t you take a second carriage or wait for us to come back? What’s up with this I am a girl. Are you stuck in Victorian age?

He said: “This is a victoria carriage. As it is, I asked first. Why should I wait for you?”

Both broke into an argument on who asked first for the drive. Finally, the horseman got fed up, “Ok! There is no need to fight. You also jump in. At least. I can also get to make some extra money, both of you are happy and I’ll treat you with an extra drive towards Rajabhai Tower and Marine Lines. Happy!”

Both smiled to each other shyly. The clip-clop sound of the horse trotting slowly past the sea, BEST buses, yellow-and-black cabs in the city and the wheel is turned, leaving the building and Churchgate station far behind, hearing the siren of trains. The girl offered the guy some chikki and snacks. Finally, he says, “Thank you.”

Indulging in small conversation in the city, he says, “I love the city and it’s my first time in Mumbai victoria despite staying here for four years.”

She laughed, “I can’t believe this.”

He was admiring her hair falling down on her shoulder, caused by the wind. “You have beautiful hair.”

She blushed, “Oh! Thank you. Friends?”

He offered his handshake, “Forever.”

“Not bad. We started with a petty fight,” she smiles seductively.

They ask the horse man to take them towards Marine Lines an turn directly to Marine Drive. Both of them were enjoying this new found romance brewing, as the wind at Marine Drive blew stronger. The Monsoon has just arrived. Finally, they were dropped as they paid 500 bucks. The horseman was happy. As they got down, they patted the horse and not without exchanging phone numbers. It was a memorable romance and it took them no time to start dating, not by sitting in coffee shops but hopping on the Victoria’s carriage. It was their romance hang out. They call it their Victoria love, insisting on taking the Victoria carriage that made their romance bloom.

This post is written as a tribute to the Victoria carriage that will taken off the roads in Mumbai. The iconic Victoria carriage defines life in the city of Mumbai and is part of the cultural identity in Maximum City. My heart also goes for the horses, who brave the heat and gallop tirelessly.







Work-in-progress, seeker and bundle of contradictions. Stubborn and Refusal to grow up and constantly in search of myself, I blurt it out on my space. Drop in and share some love. Indian by choice.

20 thoughts on “Romance in the Victoria carriage

  1. Such a beautiful piece, Vishal. Apt for the weather too. 🙂

    I love those carriages. They spell romance and seem from a different era. I agree about the horises though – some of them are mistreated. But, on a happier note, I have seen several who are cherished as family members by their owners.

    1. I am glad you gave the feedback on this one. Some are mistreated but there are cases where they are loved as family members. Thanks for putting this across. I love admiring the carriage at Marine Drive and seems like yesterday only. In a matter of time, it will be another phase in Mumbai where only memories of the glorious era will remain. I so miss those days at Marine Drive, where I stayed for two years.
      Thanks a lot for your precious comment:)

      1. I am looking for the homecoming next year to make new memories. How I wish I could recreate the moment. Cities like Mumbai and Pune defines one and give an identity:)

  2. Nice story, Vishal… 🙂 such things also happen in real life, too.

    But it’s really sad that the carriages are taken off the roads of Mumbai…. 😦 They are still continuing in Kolkata…in front of the Victoria Memorial, Race-course, and Red Road… I love the trip-trap sound of the horses as they gallop through….

    1. The trip-trap still reverberates in my ears and it feels like yesterday walking in maximum city. I love the sound and what a lovely sight during the nights at Marine Drive, where I was staying. Glad it’s staying in Kolkata:)
      Like they say, the end of an era that forms part of the identity in Mumbai.

    1. Thanks lot, Sharmistha. It’s a court decision and though I agree, horse are illtreated at some point and common sense would have been to enforce laws to protect the animals.

  3. Klip-Klop, Klip-Klop. Its a catch 22 situation. We still have the carriages in Kolkata but I do feel sorry for the horses slaving away in the heat. Most of them look under-nourished and ill-fed. I wonder whether the owners can afford to really look after them. probably not. But if you try to regulate such things it just makes room for more corruption. So should they be removed? That means that many unemployed people (and horses)…Told you, its a catch 22. Lovely piece though!

    1. Agree to the points Ipsita when we weigh the pros and cons, really catch 22. I feel that perhaps some regulations should be put and being under nourished is one fact we can’t deny. And, unemployment of course which hurts taking into account that they provide leisure to so many:)

    1. Would you believe Rachna despite fact that I was in the city for three years and plus on and off for another 3 years in Pune, I never did. Now, that I am out of India, I suddenly realize one should enjoy the moments before it fizzles out.
      Thanks a lot:)

  4. Oh so sad that the iconic carriage that part of Mumbai will be taken off. I hope the horses will be well and taken care of despite of this policy. Beautiful tribute – you are really good in wrapping up story that enjoyable to read.

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