Thursday, May 21, 2009

Missing Bandra

I have been in love with Bandra since I moved to Bombay. For 4 of my 5 years in Bombay, I lived in Bandra. I lived in Dadar for a year in between and I hated every minute of it.

That was more out of compulsion as my Bandra apartment was being brought down by builders to make way for a spanking new apartment, and after months of uncertainty, we were finally given 15 days notice to move out. In such a short span of time, I couldn’t find a house I liked enough in Bandra and which was within my budget.

The only two things that I liked about Dadar were my house, which was on the 7th floor of the building with no tall buildings around and had gargantuan windows that would let plenty of air & sunlight in. I am a complete ventilation person. I can’t live in a house that is not well-ventilated or does not get plenty of sunlight. The other thing I liked about Dadar was it’s convenient location. It took much less time to get from Dadar to town – my favorite weekend hangout apart from Bandra – than it did from Bandra.

My Dadar house was very close to the Dadar train station but ironically, I never took the train to work! Not even once. God, I hated Dadar station!!

My first house in Bandra was near Almeida Park, in one of the lanes between Globus and Turner Road. That was a dream location! Not very congested, a hop away from Hill Road and Linking Road, walking distance to Bandstand, Globus, Suburbia, Gaiety-Galaxy & the Bandra Crossword!!

We loved that house, my roommate & I. The building looked like it would crumble anytime but we had a pretty little 2-bedroom house inside, complete with 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. The living room had been extended to include the balcony, and we had a row of tiny lights right above the seating area that gave a mellow glow to our living room.

The only flip side of this house was that our landlord insisted on getting 3 months’ rent at one go. That is A LOT of money if you live in Bandra. Unlike good financial planners, my roommate & I never saved up the rent from our monthly salaries, so we would end up terribly broke the month we had to pay our rent! We would get depressed handing over a bundle of our hard-earned money to our greedy landlord (who had a plush sea view apartment near Mount Mary, owned six apartments in Bombay and therefore, didn’t have to work for a living), curse him to our hearts’ content and go eat brownies at Bandstand!

My second Bandra house was at Reclamation, behind Lilavati Hospital. It was above Barista and very close to Candies as well as Cottons, one of my favorite stores. It was a small, cute, cozy house, perfect for two people. We could hop down to the Barista anytime (as long as it was open, of course) and a trip to Candies was a must ever weekend.

I miss Bandra terribly – for the thriving cosmopolitan suburb that it is, for its people, for the things it has to offer its residents ranging from the sea (Bandstand, Carter Road) to great restaurants to theaters to plays to shopping to coffee shops by the sea!

I’ll go back to Bombay only if I can afford to live in Bandra once again – because honestly speaking, other place is worth it.


The knife said...

I can so relate to what you have written. I lived in bandra through my ten years at Bombay - PG, rent at Khar, house at Pali and now rent at Pali. I can't think of living anywhere in Bombay except at bandra, Even if that has till recently always meant compromising on space. I love the langurous, lazy, chilled out, friendly spirit of Bandra. The openness and the freedom. I will probably leave Bombay the day I have to leave Bandra

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - Pretty much my sentiments too. I used to get "looks" whenever I told people that I lived in Bandra. Also got made fun of a lot for being a Bandra snob. Truth be told, people who live in Bandra (on rent) have to compromise on a lot in terms of other expenses but living in Bandra is totally worth all those compromises!