Cycling : Bandra ( trip 1 )
Why start with bandra ???
Bandra west ( off carter road ) is my first karmbhoomi.( During my initial Mumbai years Bandra was my work place.).
I have parked my car in the lane next to Bus depot in Bandra reclamation area. It takes 5 minutes to get the cycle off the hooks and dismantle the stand/attachment.
It is 7 am and there is natural light . I take following route/s for next 2 and half hour.
Bus depot-ONGC quarters-Lilavati hospital-Chapel road-Baptista road-Khandeshwari madir road ( dead end ) –baptista road-St Sebastian road-mehboob studio-byramji jeejeebhoy road- till band stand- lands end- back till St andrews – Chimbai road-Joggers park-Carter road-Rizvi complex via Shirley road and shirley rajan road and back on the same route till mehboob studio and back to the place where I have parked my car.
The roads are not crowded on Saturday morning. I am in lovely Christian –catholic area. I keep looking for villas, houses and bungalows.
part of heritage : “the nook”
One can easily feel he is in Goa or Vasai . This is part of Mumbai heritage. Mumbai in any case is not as old as Delhi or for that matter even many other cities of India. City’s history needs more care .I wish there can be some mechanism to preserve all these.
Yes it can not be like lakshdeep or J and K where no outsiders are allowed to own anything, but something more on heritage building norms..whoever buys these lovely properties has to keep as it is ( with repairs and restoration allowed )
This is a real challenge . In a city obsessed with every square feet of floor area rich and famous along with builders lobby are slowly gobbling up National park ( lungs of Mumbai ). When the Forest foot print is slowly shrinking how can few bungalows of( bandra) hold on ??
There are buildings with a lot of glass facades which are constructed in those small plot area where once stood charming houses and bungalows
“Life is changed not ended” is written outside St peter cemetery ( the Marathi board explains the meaning in much better way )
It’s a beautiful place in early morning time. It reminds me of an Urdu name plate outside a Muslim cemetery ( kabrastan ) on the way to vadodara refinery . “ AAkhir makam “( last destination )
the final destination
Khandeshwari mandir road ends as a dead end ( but one can walk ahead and reach sealink road ) here there is a mix population of hindi and Marathi bhailog. At couple of places I can hear bhajan dedicated to lord shiva’s .
Morning choupal is also seen at couple of places .I pass by Bru café, Bungalow 9, pizzeria, salt grill restaurant . Some gujarati owned early morning stationery shops are open at these hours.
Road to band stand is full of early morning activities. People are jogging as the whole winter months are peak season for Mumbai runners . Standard chartered Mumbai marathon’s training is in full form. A large group is doing post running stretching exercises .
Now I am on chimbai road. I have just crossed St Andrews and am meeting/crossing janta smiling and going to the church.
I find a lot of discipline all around the Christian areas . At various places, be it a a grocery shop, or a bakery giving early morning bread, or an eatery giving morning breakfast ; I find small queue/line with 3 to 5 people standing with ease- chitchatting. There is no rush or trying to get things done in hurry.
At joggers park I survey the area. I can also park car here to start my next cycle trip.
photo : fishes-cats-dogs at the end of chimbai road near joggers park
Carter road is as lively as it can be in the morning hours . There are more walkers in promenade area. It is now almost a kilometer long walkway along the sea.
The single most inspiring visual of this stretch is every day morning school by volunteers for children of near by slums and bastis.
A lot of volunteers start their morning by teaching the kids.
I have my hot soup break
Drumstick with doodhi/lauki(bottle gourd) soup along with soy sticks and sprouts.
Nitin(?) is quite an enterprising person. He gets his Maruti van every day from 7.30 to 9.30 am and serves combination of hot and cold health drinks. He has great variety to cater to different clientele.
I have my own nostalgic round of rizvi complex .it has preserved it’s old identity and a lot of trees are still there. I return almost from the same route.
My own discovery for today’s trip is brookbond Tajmahal Tea house.
A charming bungalow is restored by Hindustan lever over one year to present one compelling reason for all of us to visit the same .
The counter sales person ( tanveer?? ) tells me that this is a brain child of madam Geeta ( VP within HLL hierarchy ??) who has worked out this . We all are now used to coffee chains. Wagh bakeri has started their chai chain in western india. I have been to their vile parle and ahmedabad properties and liked them.
Tajmahal tea house has it’s own charm and over all menu looks good . It is designed to offer full day menu. You may come anytime .
I have my Parsi tea and broon maska as morning soft sun light creates the rejuvenating mood.
( according to them they started tajmahal tea house in august 2015. They have only promoted it through social media. It’s now popular as they have visitors from all over India who are food connoisseurs. )
i come back to the start point. load the cycle and leave for home