As soon as I set up a twitter account @bandrainfo, and started getting followers, I sent out a query saying I would not like to interview any celebs but would like to interview residents of bandra who love bandra and help me understand the place from their perspective. Sandra from bandra was nice enough to reply and oblige. She was very prompt and sent me answers to my questions immediately. Unfortunately I havent been able make the website online for a long time. So without further adieu, I present my first interview with a bandra resident.
1. How long have you been living in Bandra? And why did you decide to make Bandra as your home?
I have been living in Bandra since I was 12 or 13 years old (before that, I lived abroad with my parents and my sister). My parents live in Bandra now as well, my father was born and raised in Bandra and my grandparents lived here too. You could say that I am a 3rd generation Bandra resident.
2. Can you share some of your experiences of living in Bandra, right from the day you selected the property, till today? How has Bandra changed in your opinion?
I remember seeing the flat for the first time, the one that would be my home one day. My parents brought my sister and I to see the place to get our opinion. I remember that there was a lot of breeze and it had a really good vibe. I could see a coconut tree from what would be my bedroom window. We were moving from abroad, and even though I never wanted to leave my home over there, I was torn between wanting to live in this lovely flat.
That building has now gone under redevelopment. My parents and I moved one street away temporarily. The first thing I noticed about the new place was the beautiful amount of space around. Like my old building, this was also tucked away just off the main road, into one of Bandra’s many tiny by-lanes. And this time I could see 3 coconut trees from my bedroom window.
Bandra is getting more and more crowded by the day. The street in front of my house is chockablock with traffic every Saturday morning and there’s mad honking. Also, because of the amount of buildings being redeveloped/constructed around, there’s that dull, annoying sound of construction work happening everywhere. I remember that about 10 years ago, this was never a problem.
3. What kind of extra amenities would you like, which are at present lacking in Bandra?
Well, I like watching movies, especially English movies and it’s sad that Bandra doesn’t have a state-of-the-art multiplex like other places. Don’t get me wrong, I still love going to Gaiety-Galaxy for the latest Hindi blockbuster, or to Gemini to watch the latest English releases for really cheap, I just wish that they had better popcorn. Oh well, it’s one of the few places that still has Peppy chips! 🙂
4) What do you think is the biggest advantage of living in Bandra ? And what to do you think is the single most disadvantage of living here in Bandra?
The biggest advantage of Bandra is that it’s central to everything. It’s got everything. Everyone comes here, or wants to come here, so I don’t really have to worry about getting a cab to come to Bandra, or a rickshaw to come to Bandra or getting my friends to come to Bandra. You can hang out anywhere, from coffee shops to friends’ buildings or terraces to Bandstand/Carter Road. It’s quite sorted out that way.
The biggest disadvantage about living in Bandra is that it spoils you for most other places around. After living in Bandra, it’s very, very difficult to adjust to living elsewhere in Bombay.
5) Can you tell us something about professional life?
If you’re talking about professional life in general, it’s great to live in Bandra because a lot of offices are close by, it’s well connected by the train and buses. For most people, half of life is spent commuting to and from work. I love it, because I have to travel for less than half an hour to reach my office in Lower Parel, and that’s really convenient by most standards.
Also, I notice a lot of young professionals/artists use Bandra’s spaces so creatively, whether it is turning the by-lanes of Chapel road into a graffiti museum, or opening up eclectic shops catering to people from all walks of life, it’s quite brilliant!
But also, you can’t get attached to new places that open up, because you never know when they’re going to shut shop and/or move someplace else. Every single time I come back from vacation out of town, I come home to Bandra and think, “Man, something’s changed already. Where did this and that place go?”
6. What kind of hobbies do you have? What are your passions in life?
My hobbies are reading, going for music festivals, going for nature/cultural trips in and around the place. I like to support environmental and social causes and support campaigns like the Batti Bandh Campaign, the Meter Down campaign. I take part in any protests which resonate with me such as One Billion Rising, which happened recently on Valentine’s day.
I am passionate about music. I am passionate about individuality and the freedom of expression. I am passionate about Bandra and all for which it stands. To me, it’s about lovely people who are empowered, who are non-judgmental and let you be, who are helpful and are kind.