Shivaji and Mother; Meera at the Zoo

Photos from Jijabai and shivaji at Jijamata zoo Ranibaug in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
Mother Jijabai grooming Shivaji; at Jijamata Zoo Ranibaug

Just in time for Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti.

In Mumbai, we had visited the Jijamata Gardens and Zoo (Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udhyan – PraNisangrahalay) named after Shivaji’s mother who had a positive and lasting influence on a young Shivaji. Mumbai’s premier Museum and International Airport are also named after Shivaji. We have all seen many statues of Shivaji, but this one was unique. The mother grooming and sending her son away, as if to go play, but fight for our beliefs and way of life.

I wish it was placed on a lower pedestal, so we could enjoy it better and it would appear that the young Shivaji was going to join other kids in the garden.

Meera loved the animals in the zoo. She seems mesmerized by the variety of birds. Even at home, every time she spies one in the distance, she points to it.

Photos of Meera at the Jijamata Zoo Ranibaug in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
Drawn by the birds

Before leaving, I had taken a pic of the plaque below the statue. In preparing this post, I noticed that the sculptor was a Vithal Shanbhag Whoa! Shanbhag’s are generationally book worms. Atmost lift a pen, peck at a keyboard or squeeze a camera trigger. Sculpting? He definitely got those genes from his mother. Great job Vithal, you make us proud.

Photos from Jijabai and shivaji at Jijamata zoo Ranibaug in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
Jijabai Bhosle and Shivaji statue sculpted by Vithal Shanbhag

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53 thoughts on “Shivaji and Mother; Meera at the Zoo

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  1. We discover the world all over again through the curiosity and wonder of our children at everything they see and touch.

    We discover love all over again through the emotions they awaken in us.

    How lucky you are to have brought this beautiful child into your life. How lucky we are that you shared all these lovely moments with us.

    Many thanks.

    1. Niiiiiiice! I love the zoos here in the US;
      Can’t wait to take Meera to the Zoo here;

      btw, the zoo in Mumbai was pathetic and I actually felt pity for the animals there. Horribly maintained!

    1. heyyyyyyyy Meera’s pics….!!!!!!
      these pics are too good, just check the eagerness in her eyes and ardent in her gestures.
      Only a little one is capble of showcasing these kinesics…..

      There goes a saying in marathi, ” Baalpan dega deva boondi sakharecha meva” (Sorry dont know the exact meaning but it can be interpreted as, childhood days are long gone and those were the best and won’t come back again)

      Loads of blessings to dear Meera.

      Seattle WA

      1. Hi Manasi:
        you said it right. The good part of taking so many pics is that i get to ‘study’ them and truly appreciate Meera’s enthusiasm as she explores her rapidly expanding world!

        And through her eyes, I have started to appreciate the smaller things in life too – just so I can see where Meera is coming from. now the simple bird, is no longer just that; it is a result of Meera’s exploration and wow! it actually goes up in the air and moves around! how cool!

        you are not marathi, are you? I thought you were konkani. sorry if I got that wrong!

  2. Lil M seems very cute in the pic … i liked the phrase, “it would appear that the young Shivaji was going to join other kids in the garden; … like Meera! ” ssssh!!! best kept secret of the shanbhag’s :))

  3. Hi Arun,

    My first leaving comments here, though I have visited your blog and tried some of the amchi food (dill leaves iddlis) from here. I’m also an amchi :).
    Just wanted to say that Meera is absolutely adorable. My daughter is turning one soon. She just started walking and teehing. I can totally relate to your love for your kid. I wish that she continues to shower your lives with her love.


    1. Hi Anu:
      Thank you so very much for sharing your kind words about meera! And it is so fabulous to hear that your daughter too is a year old! What a fabulous time! now they are starting to walk, talk and … show some temper tantrums! And now too, they know how to wrap their dads around their little fingers!

      What a joyous time!

      Wishing you all the happiness and joy of parenthood!

      Thank you!

  4. Nice pics of loving Meera. I believe that Meera has changed life both of urs since she become a member of ur family…right?

    Hugs to ur lil one. πŸ™‚

  5. Heh. If and when I do visit Boston, two things that top my list of to-do: Have the yummy chai that M makes and you keep writing about, hug Li’l Miss Huggable. πŸ˜€

    1. You got it!
      would love to entertain you; hope M&m can get here faaast!
      M’s chai still gets made every morning! Only now, I get to drink all three cups! ha ha!

      … you should use the threaded comment feature; at the top right of my reply to you, there is a “reply” link; that threads the comments. πŸ™‚ *neat freak that I’m*

  6. I remember going to “Jijabai udyan” on school trips long long time ago. The biggest attraction was the small guage train. Is it still there?

    Is Meera waiting for paperwork to finish or are your keeping her away from Boston winter? She’d get to see a lot of deer once she gets here. We seem to have a whole herd in our neighborhood. Let me know when you guys return and we’ll plan a Boston trip sometime in spring/summer.

    1. yeah, we did school trips there too; Don’t remember the small train; Didn’t see it this time; Are you thinking of the Borivili National Park?

      yes, still waiting for paperwork! Aaaargh! but good to miss the winter too! and she loves being with the grandparents and the phenomenal stimulation she gets on a daily basis; Her development has really picked up! Its amazing what she has learn’t in 3 months!

      Most definitely, once M&m are here, we’ll have you guys over.


      1. I was reading the comments that came in as email and just clicking the link that said ‘Reply to comments here’. Thanks for pointing this out πŸ™‚

        1. Isn’t this fun!

          WordPress was trying to impress the LiveJournal folks and just started this a few weeks ago!
          LJ Lives! @ WordPress!

          and yes, you can hug meera as much as you want – as long as she lets you! She is veeeery picky!
          She creeches everytime my mom tries to cuddle her;
          but M’s mom seems to have the right touch!
          Yes, drama at home!

  7. Hehe I think I was fascinated by all sorts of cute, fuzzy animals at that age. I remember going to Japan and visiting the deer park in Nara, I probably was around 7 at the time. That was quite an experience.

    Beautiful pics of the wonderfully adorable Meera, once again. Where in Mumbai is this park? It looks vaguely familiar.

    1. Thank you! I can’t wait to take Meera to the zoo, aquarium and museums here! This is the one called Victoria Gardens, and it is right across from the Byculla Vegetable market in mumbai!

      BTW, the zoo is – let me say it politely – pathetic!
      Mumbai politicians should upgrade this zoo rather than spiffing up their mansions.

      1. The Mystic Seaport Aquarium in Connecticut is the best I’ve been to (Coney Island is another one), and probably not terribly far a trip for you all…though I could be wrong.

        Hehe I still think the best museums are in NYC, though of course Boston has a lot of great history you can take in if you just walk down the streets. I didn’t actually get to see any of the museums or anything there, so of course I may be prematurely judging again! πŸ™‚

        1. Just for the record, Mystic seaport and Mystic aquarium are two different organizations and are not connected to each other except their location. I live in this area and am a member at the aquarium. My kids just love that place. We make monthly trips to that place. It is small enough so that they can cover it in an hour or so and yet has a huge variety of sea creatures.

        2. Thanks for the info on the aquariums. yes, Connecticut is close by and easy to get to;

          yeah, I know NYC has some great museums; Brother is in NJ, so we do get to NYC often. … and did I mention, I’ll be running the NYC Marathon in Nov? Yaaaaaay!

          Boston museums are pretty good;
          Actually Harvard has some great museums and admission is free (if you have the right ID); or nominal.
          Best kept secret of Boston!

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