In one of the most crowded and buzzing areas in Mumbai, Somerset Lane off Breach Candy is an oasis. I can’t think of a more peaceful spot to live in than here. It is the same Somerset Lane that Salman Rushdie wrote of in Midnight’s Children, where he grew up and spent his early years.
Twenty years ago, when I saw my future home, its name ‘Christmas Eve’ had me laughing...all the way to the bank! I bought the flat overlooking two gardens with a tree growing into my balcony included in the price. Its name inspired Sharon and me to begin an annual tradition of having an open house every Christmas Eve for our friends from theatre, advertising and all other zany people of Mumbai.
For the past three years I have been a member of the Breach Candy Residents Association, BCRA(not pronounced Bakra!), an active citizens’ group that is working manfully against a reluctant municipal corporation on issues like garbage, hawkers and traffic.
A year ago with BCRA, I led a padyatra down Somerset Lane and painted a big yellow ‘X’ to mark where illegal hawkers sit. A year on, the hawkers are still there sitting ugly but I am an optimist and trust the new corporator will do his job.
(As told to Pramila N. Phatarphekar)