‘Once you live in Mumbai, no place else will ever be good enough.’
I feel exactly the same way about Bandra – Queen of Mumbai’s Suburbs. Having lived most of my life here, I have seen Bandra undergo a metamorphosis into the thriving, contemporary suburb it is today. But the Bandra I knew and grew up in was different. It was not the hipster Bandra filled with clubs and high rises we know now. It was slow, lackadaisical and relaxed. It was filled with tiny bylanes and arterial roads flanked with picturesque bungalows on either sides.
I am one of those people for whom ‘Bombay’ will always remain ‘Bombay’ – an emotion more than a city. The marvelous structure now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, was introduced to me as Victoria Terminus back then. A structure I drove past on many occasions as a child, looking out of the window in awe and admiration at the giant structure. A sea of people gushing in and out of this intricate building is what my earliest memories of CST station hold – and nothing has changed over these years.
CST station is a historic structure constructed in 1888, and has been christened as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But not a lot of people know that the 128 year old station houses a railway museum and also conducts heritage tours for those who’d like to get up close and personal with this beautiful structure. I enrolled for the CST Station Heritage Museum Tour one weekday afternoon, and I felt like a tourist in my own city.
‘Little Alice fell down the hole, bumped her head and bruised her soul.’ ~ Lewis Carroll
Have you ever had an Alice in Wonderland moment? Falling through the rabbit hole, without looking back, only to enter your very own whimsical, magical universe – one that takes you back in time, to a special place that remains embedded in memories. A few places in the city of ‘Bombay’ manage to evoke such a strong sense of nostalgia for me – Colaba being one of them.