Sunday, April 13, 2008

The quintessential Bandra girl

I'm often made fun of by my colleagues because I live in Bandra, the "hep & happening" suburb of Mumbai, as they call it. If you live in Mumbai, you'll know that conversations with strangers begin with "So where do you live?" The part of Mumbai you live in becomes your identity. So whenever someone I'm meeting for the first time asks me this question & I say "Bandra", I invariably get the "Oh, you live in BANDRA" reaction, and I am automatically a brat with no sense of value for money!

Honestly, I don't understand what's the fuss about living in Bandra or what's so extraordinary about it. It's a place I like & therefore, I live here. It's thriving, it's lively even in the middle of the night (and I don't mean only clubs/pubs, which I don't visit that frequently anymore), people who live here are chilled out, and it's self-sufficient...it's got great restraurants serving a diverse range of cuisines, theaters (posh ones such as Globus & Suburbia as well as more mass theaters such as Gaiety-Galaxy or G-7, as Bandraites lovingly call it), both branded as well as street shopping, coffee shops, the sea (Bandstand). There's no reason not to live here if you can afford it.

Ofcourse, had I not been able to afford it, I wouldn't be living here. And ofcourse, I pay a price for living here! Rent is much steeper in Bandra than in other suburbs. I can get a similar house for three-fourths or even half the rent I pay in Bandra (depending on how far North I'm willing to go), in another suburb. But I choose to live in Bandra because I think it's a great suburb with a great spirit.

So for all the people who think I'm a brat because I live in Bandra...no, I'm not. Daddy's not paying the rent, I am :) And I think it's a fair deal we all get...you live in a cheaper place, so you have money to do alot of other things. I live in a more posh area, so I sacrifice some other things in life. But I'm happy because ultimately it's all about priorities.

9 comments:

The knife said...

actually I like to think of myself as a bandra boy too. I've spent all my time in bombay there in various forms - pg, rented place and now we own some 300 sq feet there. I can't think of life in Bombay if i can't live at Bandra. Even if it means, as you've pointed out, squeezing oneself into a tiny crevice. I love the freedom, vibrant and yet chilled life that bandra stands for. I think it was just what I wanted when I moved out of home...and I've really been made to feel at home here. I think it really represents the no hang ups spirit of Bombay the best

Scarlett said...

you're right. i can't live anywhere but bandra. it was the first place i stayed in when i moved to bombay. then i lived briefly in dadar & though my house was really nice, i didn't like dadar at all. so i moved back to bandra! i'd rather not live in bandra if i can't live in a place of my choice.

Scarlett said...

i meant i'd rather not live in bombay if i cant live in a place of my choice.

The knife said...

ya I think I'll leave Bombay the day I need to leave bandra

Scarlett said...

kolkata beckons! shubho nabo borsho.

The knife said...

shubho nobo borsho to you too

Ashwin said...

If you know the right people, rent in Bandra does not really have to be all that steep :-)

Scarlett said...

I obviously don't :)

Ay-ira said...

Hi,
I've been thinking of moving to Mumbai. Could not help noticing everyone's enthusiasm about Bandra. Have grown up in India but lived abroad for a couple of years. Am looking for a place with relaxed folk and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Any tips on how steep the rent really is - say for a small 2 BHK?