A slightly mysterious postcard of a gymkhana, a facility invented by colonial residents as a place to play sports starting the 1860s, and slowly planted across cities and cantonments across the subcontinent.
[Original caption] The Royal Bombay Yacht Club. One of the most exclusive clubs in the East, patronized only by the most prominent citizens. [end]
Founded in 1864, this still extremely exclusive club survives in a building next to this one,
A postcard where the angle and architecture combine effectively to represent the role an institution once played in India's political and social life.
[Original caption] Madras, Government House. Government House looks out upon the Coom river at the back, and its front gives upon Mount Road, the principal street in Madras.
According to Hobson-Jobson, the word gymkhana "is quite modern, and was unknown 40 years ago. The first use that we can trace is (on the authority of Major John Trotter) at Rūrkī in 1861, when a gymkhana was instituted there.
Benjamin J. Cohen, in his recent book In the Club Associational Life in Colonial South Asia (2015, p. 69) quotes Kipling writing of his life around 1879 at the Punjab Club: "'This was the setting in which my world revolved.
Benjamin B. Cohen, in his highly informative study of Raj clubs, In the club Associational Life in colonial South Asia writes: "Locating the center of the [colonial] club's sphere at Government House de-centered the club and reflects the strong link
Combridge & Co. were among the earliest publishers of India postcards, a number of which they printed as cyanotypes, a blueish monochrome print popular around the turn of the century. This building still exists, but is now the Madras Club.