Bandra as we know it is a small suburban village in Mumbai, well, yeah kinda like a village but…. Cooler! You know, where everyone speaks English and has dessert cheese platters with a perfect wine pairing. Tough times ey! Food hall ran out of Camberbert, and wine. I mean seriously, how can we run out of WINE or any alcohol in Bandra. Well, it’s happening, last night I found out there is no more Gin left. People are starving for food but we get depressed when we don’t find wine. Also, people are hoarding, I am on my period and my local 24-hour chemist ran out of Meftal Spas… ALL OF IT! I didn’t think the “aware” residents of the B town could behave this way. I mean hoarding stuff is one thing but buying the entire store is another.
X: “Hey BROOOO! what’s good in the hood,”-
Y: “Nothing much man! just quarantine stocking the shizzle outta this store!!”.
Hey! not taking a dig, I’m just saying. I’m from Bandra too! Perhaps, it won’t be so bad if we left some, just a little bit of, stock in stores, only cause some of us could do with maybe a pack or two if not more!
However, I’m not even “Proper Bandra”. I wasn’t born here and no I did not grow up here. I moved here at the age of 19. I was a student then. Now I am 30, so I reckon it is safe to say that I grew up here, only the latter part of my life.
SO, I have seen Bandra since and somethings about this “village” never change. The true essence of Bandra, its green, cool little nooks and crannies, pretty houses and gorgeous people. Bandra is a party, everyone knows everyone and they meet up almost every day. The community, as we call it, is pretty tight-knit. There are small groups and these groups are further connected by a couple of those social butterflies who they met/bumped into at some random house party.
Parties are a whole different ball game in Bandra. Most business deals, like the legit ones, happen at Bonobo or The den. People are casually hanging out when a random head pops up and walks towards;
X: “Hey bro, I met you at Jose’s Houseparty. How’ve you been bro, long time!” (when this could’ve been last week, LONG TIME, ha!) –
Y: “Hey yes, how’ve you been?…. I’m sorry I forgot your name” –
X: “Oh never mind, I am X… What’s yours, sorry!!”
I mean, small talk is the key to start any major future partnership here, so after the intro’s done, we digress to;
X: “So what is it that you do?” – Y: “I am a musician,”-
X: “Oh great, I am a producer, let’s jam man… “ …And there it goes.
Now, the famous meeting joints in Bandra which keep its heart thumping. On a hungover morning we realise, damn that conversation last night at Bonobo, barely remember it BUT, we have a meeting at noon. Also, everyone in Bandra lives at a distance of maximum 5-10 mins, but somehow, all the noon meetings often get delayed to lunch. Not like morning meetings get delayed to noon because we usually don’t have morning meetings. Morning is when we get home from the after-parties, which is not limited to the weekends. We have a good capacity, Wednesday is the new Fri-YAY! So, the noon meetings, at the famous, Kitchen Garden. The thing with Kitchen garden is if you haven’t seen a friend in a week and you are trying to reach them but they’ve ghosted you, all you need to do is hang around Kitchen Garden, trust me, they will be there. Kitchen Garden is like the local pub, that serves only fresh salad and healthy breakfast. That warm grain bowl with chicken thigh tho, lush! Coming back to the social scene in Bandra. Couldn’t last very long, could it, Covid 19, shat all over it. Now, everything is shut. Zilch!
There are no more Kitchen Garden meetings because there are no more Bonobo nights, not many business deals going around the area. Even Mini Punjab has shut down. The hook up that didn’t happen at bonobo, usually took place at Mini, over a butter chicken roll. All this has been happening in Bandra since the birth of the millennials, but now, everything has stopped. No more socialising, only social distancing. One cannot even imagine how hard has it been for the people of Bandra to survive. It is hard for people to stay inside, also we believe that viruses don’t reach Bandra. Well, shit just got real, one case found in Khar, no-one on the streets. Otherwise, people were getting out, it was busy as usual. But this one case, game-changer, got the best of everyone.
Bandra is usually expensive but right now, the hike is next level. World’s market must be crashing but not Pali Market, this guy is booming full throttle. Cigarettes are six hundred bucks now! Worse than London Mate!! That’s another thing about Bandra, people in other parts of the country are struggling for everyday basics and Bandra people are worried about multigrain tortillas and cream crackers. The priorities are different here, for example, pets, pets are big in Bandra. Dogs walk in booties here, cute little shoes to protect their paws.
Wellness, however, is doing well in terms of medicines and essentials, the Meftal Spas I mentioned earlier, that’s where I finally found it. So while I was waiting for my turn to arrive, a man randomly cuts the queue and walks straight to the counter. I thought to myself; right, if he didn’t even notice the queue, he must be in some serious emergency, let him be, let him cut the line. He asks “Arrey bhaiyaa Kutton (dogs) ka tick shampoo hai kya?”, wow! Anyhow, the shopkeeper heard the question and chose to ignore it for 5 mins, the man didn’t stop, he, in fact, got louder, the same question again, the keeper got fried and gave him the bottle. For real! Surely in times like these, his dog would be courteous enough to wait it out. Sigh! if only dogs could speak, he would tell his master
off. But at least the animals in Bandra are happy, and the birds. I can hear this cuckoo bird every day, she sings outside my balcony. Bandra is gorgeous when it’s calm, you can feel the nature breathing. I mean endangered species are on the streets now, to find food, of course. Thankfully not in Bandra yet, but Calcutta, Chandigarh and apparently in Gurgaon too. We aren’t far off from ‘Aarey forest’ innit; it’s like we are living ’12 Monkeys’.
Guys, it’s safe to stay home, you never know what catches you on the streets, if not the Coronavirus then maybe a wild animal. Stay home, stay safe, stay fit. That’s another thing in Bandra, fitness comes first. People jog around or go to the gym, both are in shambles right now. However, that stops none, people have logged on to training apps and are smashing home workouts. We know cause we see it every day, on their Insta stories. I do it too it’s cool, we are allowed!
So home workouts not only keep them in shape but also makes them think about those hefty paychecks going to the trainers, wondering “I could have saved that cash”. These apps are for free, like the Nike training app, which I discovered about 2 days ago. Another app on fire is, Houseparty, this app is the need of the hour. It connects you with friends, friends of friends and sometimes randoms (just don’t add them). You can have a maximum of 8 people on a video chat, play games besides getting drunk together, from the comfort of your homes. The future vibes feel pretty real presently.
I’m grateful I live here because nothing stops the spirt of Bandra and it is still lively and yes fancy products are still available here but, in limited quantities. I got my share of quarantine Quadratene Wafer, and sugar crackers, and skippy peanut butter. People have been helping each other out too, BUT, we all are saving our share of alcohol in a secret cupboard somewhere. To be fair, Thank Gawd I live in Bandra.