Friday, 31 May 2013

Khotachiwadi _ Heritage lane at Girgaon.

If you go to tiny by-lanes of Mumbai, you are likely to see some old heritage buildings.

My friend, Mr Biswajit Dey, recently visited one such lane called Khotachiwadi and he share his experience with us.

Khotachiwadi is a tiny colony containing a cluster of old-Portuguese-style bungalows. Hence, it has a tremendous history and heritage value to Mumbai – going back almost 300 years. 

It’s tucked away in a lane in Girgaon (Girgaum), South Mumbai – near St Teresa’s Church, not too far from Charni Road Station. The bus stop is Majestic Cinema. Khotachiwadi’s original people were East Indians, Christians, and the few bungalow-type houses that still remain are homes to the descendants of these people.

These pretty-looking bungalows are typically wooden structures, with wooden verandahs, porticos, staircases and roofs. Some now have brick-and-plaster walls.

There aren’t too many of these bungalows left now, maybe 25 or so. Modern houses have come up all around them, bringing in a population of Gujaratis and Marwaris, cars and motorbikes... relegating Khotachiwadi as a dying ‘heritage village’ in the middle of South Mumbai.

The first thing I saw as I entered the lane in Khotachiwadi is a tiny church.

The old-Portuguese-style Khotachiwadi bungalows (cottages, one might say) are all wooden structures made from Burma teak (or so I was told), with tiled roofs, some of them with canopies and wrought iron grills.

I admired the wooden staircases outside the bungalows. 

Thank you Biswajit for sharing your post and your pictures.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Kashish Film Festival In Mumbai

After the success of three previous years, Kashish Film festival is back again for its fourth edition. It is the only queer festival to receive clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
During this festival, the films that are shown showcase the problems faced by the gays and lesbians in the society. It is their sexual preference that is not acceptable by the society.
People who have attended this festival in the past have been very impressed with these films. One of the persons who attended the queer film festival last year had this to say:
“I was extremely skeptical about being myself. I have attended Kashish festival every year but this year has been special for me. This festival has really brought huge change into my thinking towards queer people. I completely realized the reality; it was stupid of me being skeptical all time. It is necessary and most important to remove the hesitation, discrimination towards queer people. Everyone is similar on this planet, everyone deserves to be happy, and everyone deserves equal rights, respect, laws, and privileges to be given in the society. Indian scene is changing rapidly and such events should be conducted more in a year to keep making the difference. Straight, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual… now it doesn't create any hesitation within me anymore. I shall try to change my other friends’ views too towards queer people. Thank You Kashish, for such a wonderful event and you guys are doing great work.” 
The festival theme this year is ‘Towards Change’ The festival is organized by Solaris Pictures.
4th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be held May 22-26, 2013 at Cinemax Versova (Andheri West) and May 23-25, 2013 at Alliance Française de Bombay (New Marine Lines).
Entry to the Opening Night on May 22, 2013, is by Invitation only.


The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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