Mumbai Space Deprecated


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All That You Can’t Leave Behind


As I amble through its cloistered lanes, the village of Matharpacady is alive with birdsong. Two perspiring men string red and green lights…

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100, Hill Road, Bandra


Bandra took Bollywood for granted. Folk were used to seeing the stars come out by day. Salman Khan cycling. Jackie Shroff driving past…

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Ghost Mills And New Empires

Lower Parel Elphinstone

In the early 1990s, when I was a kid, I wondered how scary the many closed, deserted mills…

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Five Circles Of Gratitude


My parents moved to the area locally known as Five Gardens, when I was six months old. Located in Matunga or Dadar Parsi…

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God, In The Details


Going to Makhdoom Shah Baba Dargah in Mahim used to be such a big thing when I was a kid. A date would…

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The Venns At The Oval


Kali, Tyson, Krish, Patchy. While these may sound like the gang of flunkies of a badass ’80s Bollywood movie villain, they’re just the…

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Refuge Between The Lines


When my friend Vibha started talking about starting a little library for children I could smell it: the thousands of escape routes through…

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A Little Walk, A Secret Garden


It’s what they’d call a “gully”. It doesn’t really have a name. “Off Pali Mala Road,” the residents will mumble, grudging your curious…

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Temple Run

Prabhadevi Breach Candy Babulnath

Families and groups of saffron-clad tapsi’s immersed flowers and diyas into the river. Priests recited rhythmic…

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Everything But The Dog


Cheap Jack used to have a sign: “Everything for the dog, but the dog”. In the days before the Internet killed boredom, Bandra…

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Floral Derangement


Battling the crowds at busy railway stations is a microcosm of life in Mumbai, and Dadar station is the most dreaded of all….

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Goddess Of The City Of Dreams


I love the name “Bombay”. Each time I look at old black and white photographs of the city – the Oval Maidan, Victoria…

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I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton. When I wasn’t in school, I was reading. My local library indulged my appetite…

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Churchgate From A Rooftop


The owner of the Chateau Windsor Hotel is a polite and reserved old man. Every morning he comes up to the roof of…

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100 Steps To Solitude

Malabar Hill

A busy Walkeshwar street. Just after noon. A fly whizzes past. The clouds hang heavy and low – it’s a balmy afternoon,…

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Clearing My Head At The Crack Of Dawn

Breach Candy

I’m a peculiar kind of lazy person who loves running. I discovered this by accident when, many years ago, my friend Shyamal…

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The Kala Ghoda Hideaway


Slow and steady our cab moved through the traffic snarls at Haji Ali and Peddar Road. If this was Mumbai on a Saturday…

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Round An’ Round Men


Our Secondary School Certificate exams were done. The teachers in charge of correcting the papers had gone on strike. And our last ‘school summer…

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Old Oases In Big Bandra


In my very early teens, as the eldest of six children, I packed my bags to run away many times. I say “bags”…

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All You Can Read


Neil Gaiman says a book is a dream that you hold in your hands. Kitab Khana is a repository of such dreams. Nestled…

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All Along The Watchtower


A sign reads “Beware of snakes”. But old Bandra people already know that. They’d already been warned by the…

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Black Horse And The Royal Tank


I don’t get Delhi. It doesn’t seem to me to be a great place to land unless you have a big wallet to…

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A Swatch From The Fabric Of Time


It’s a shame the apocalypse hasn’t come sooner, because the women of my mother’s generation were raised to survive it. They strode in…

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Our First Time On A Plane


The air is heavy, warm with the euphoria of the Sunday that is. There are peals of laughter everywhere. We’ve scuttled between the…

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Call Me Deepak

Lower Parel

Is it just an abandoned bungalow? No it’s the Mayor’s house. Or maybe it’s an ancestral property inhabited by a stubborn old…

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A Brief History Of Bandra


I first moved to Bandra about three and a half years ago. I’d spent the previous six months in a fancy flat in…

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