Bandra by Night

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Bandra Worli sea link

Bombay, a city of dreams must see over a billion footfalls a minute, with every mode of transport jostling for space. How nice then – in the dead of night – to be able to take a quiet walk through the cobbled streets of its most famous suburb, Bandra. With film star mansions atop Pali hill, on to Carter road promenade via the 400 year old fishing village of Chimbai, Hill road & Bandstand. The promenade at lands end that boasts, the Salman – Shahrukh Khan mansions at either end with the best of Bollywood thrown between. Groups of people keep constant vigil outside the Khan homes hoping for a glimpse of their favorite star. Who knows when they may get lucky & see Salman rip off his shirt & display a Fab Ab

This is Bandra, in all its wild colors, as the graffiti boldly proclaims. Once a tiny fishing village it is full of restaurants, pubs, bars & high-end stores.

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Outside Mount Mary Church

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Sandra from Bandra

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old homes

old homes

christian neighbourhoods

christian neighborhoods Chimbai village

A walk through the narrow by lanes is a joy & a must. It has many quaint & charming bungalows with tiled roofs, verandah & porch. Most of these are over a hundred years old & belong to the Catholic East Indian community. Bandra was indeed a Catholic suburb not very long ago. There is Mount Mary’s basilica, several churches & schools & over 100 -200 crosses & candle lit grottos at various inter sections of the road. But the skyline is slowly changing because of the land sharks buying up property for high rises.

The opening of the 8 lane Bandra – Worli sea link has contributed to escalating property prices. It is however both, a beauty & Bombay’s’ pride. Zipping through it past midnight can be a fun filled experience.

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Every Mumbaikar to my mind appears to be living a fantasy filled existence. Ask a simple question & get ready for a captivating narrative.

I called up the plumber to find out why he hadn’t come to work. “ I am under tension “ he informs, “ I cannot come today “

The next day he was busy doing a round of the temples. “ Right now I am at Siddhivinayak…. so you can imagine…”

His neighbor had committed suicide by hanging, on the third day. “ Therefore, we are all at the funeral & cannot say when we will be free”

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Namaste

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Room with a view

India exists in several centuries simultaneously. These 2 pictures epitomize the stark reality. They were both clicked in the very heart of urban India. Not in some remote, dusty outback as one might imagine

The first belongs to Mumbai, the commercial hub of the country. Standing on my balcony & sipping a morning cup of tea this is what I espied – an elephant go majestically by.

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Rush hour traffic

Dashing to work, in the national capital Delhi, and what have you? A traffic jam revolving around a pachyderm, camel, bus & a car.  All merrily blocking the way.

This is co existence.

Laugh as you may, it is also beauty in chaos. Hardly to be noticed or commented upon. An everyday thing that we take in our stride.