Walking to the bakery, he had told her half-a-dozen stories about the buildings they passed. This landmark was a gift to the city by a trader who nearly brought it to financial ruin. This used to be a brothel. Here was the neo-Gothic style of architecture, there was Indo-Saracenic. 

‘What about that one? What school of architecture is that?’ She pointed at a modern office building, only half-seriously. 

‘Generic.’ His lips turned down a little. ‘That’s modern architecture for you, no imagination, no soul.’ 

‘No soul? You are too much.’ She laughed at him; he took no offence. 

Ira wondered whether these buildings he admired had once been called generic, if they had inspired similar disdain in those who abhorred the new. And how had they acquired souls, become interesting? Would Asha Nivas develop a soul one day, or were souls reserved only for old buildings in some parts of the city? 

She saw that his was a Bombay of the past, of lore and legend.