Chedda Nagar in Chembur is a haven of calm amidst the bustle of Mumbai. It’s quieter than the Parsi colonies. It’s a well laid out colony with ample space to go for long walks. Several migratory birds come to feed on the insects in the open plots. The residents mostly belong to the middle class, many of whose children have migrated to the US. So naturally the talk veers around places like New Jersey, Texas, Washington, DC, etc. One landmark is the tall temple dedicated to Lord Muruga, aka Kartikeya. It’s built in gopuram style native to Tamil Nadu with intricate sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses. The temple is also a venue for classical music, dance and bhajans.
There is only one unpretentious hotel, a tiny one with just four tables. Called Hotel Raj, it serves some yummy food, including pongal, puri bhaji, medu vada, dal vada, vegetable bonda, dosa, etc, with unlimited sambar and chutney. The service by the manager is superlative. In fact he can teach our MBA graduates a thing or three. From his meagre earnings he has managed to give good education to his two sons, both of whom work in Warsaw.
On the eve of World Children’s Day, celebrated on November 20, CSMT was lit up in blue colour. | Salman Ansari FPJ
More power to the people
Two recent incidents demonstrated how people power can move even the BMC to act. On 90ft Road in Ghatkopar (E) there was a huge illegal garage occupying public land. Complaints to the N Ward staff were not attended to for obvious reasons. But local activists like ex-corporator Pravin Chheda did not give up. They enlisted the help of MLA Parag Shah, who has an excellent equation with civic chief IS Chahal. Eventually the local ward office was forced to bulldoze the offending structure.
Similarly, the Chandivali Residents Welfare Association led by its founder Mandeep Singh Makkar got several illegal shops demolished by the L Ward staff.
Wah Taj! New hotel puts Vikhroli on the map
Vikhroli, which was once looked upon as a downmarket suburb, is fast beginning to be a happening place not only locally but in the entire eastern suburbs. And leading the change is the uber luxury Taj Trees, the latest addition to the legendary Taj chain. Located conveniently close to the Eastern Express Highway in the Godrej complex, Taj Trees stands out as an oasis offering gourmet food amidst exquisite interiors. And its restaurant Shamiana is fast becoming a popular place for dining just as its namesake at the Taj Palace in Colaba. Its buffet is simply amazing. The prices definitely burn a large hole in your pocket, but then that is to be expected in a fivestar plus hotel.
A social and sporting gem
Khar Gymkhana is one of the more livelier gymkhanas of Mumbai. The members mostly consist of well-heeled Sindhis who have come up in life the hard way. The place is neat and well managed. The USP of the place is the food, both Indian and Chinese. The butter rotis and naans, veg kolhapuri, methi malai, dum aloo, egg fried rice, American chopsuey, malai kulfi with falooda, etc, are justly famous. In games too the place is very active
When Shami bowled out the Kiwis with seven wickets many Mallus said, ‘Shamiye Sharanam!’
(Compiled by S Balakrishnan)