Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's more fun in the 'burbs....

This appeared in Bombay Times...

It’s more fun in the ‘Burbs….!

Heavens!! No self-respecting SOBO resident will ever admit it openly…. but let’s face it. SOBO is on its last legs. It’s all over. Increasingly, those very same snobs who once turned up their noses before deigning to cross the Kemp’s Corner flyover, are waking up to a new and rather annoying reality : the ‘Burbs are rocking! The ‘Burbs are where all the action has shifted. That’s where the big bucks are… and with all that lolly floating around, can glam-sham be far behind? The era of the Suburban Dhamaka began ten years ago. At the time, it was thought to be a freak thing…. some mad people had decided they’d had enough of SOBO slumming – and headed north. People laughed and concluded these guys could no longer afford to stay in the real Mumbai – which was , of course, located in the South. They gloated each time those poor suckers had to trek to their old stomping ground to shop, entertain, eat out in style or party with the ‘right’ crowd at the ‘right’ places. Bandra was the absolute outpost. After Bandra, there was wilderness. The boondocks. Juhu was where the Bollywoodwallahs lived. Andheri was reserved for television types. In between were all these depressing areas filled with non-descript people who didn’t interest anybody. Oh well…. how foolish and comical does all this sound today! No wonder suburbanites are smugly challenging the sniffy SOBO crowd to take a walk on the wild side… leave the safety of their boring homes and check out what’s happening on the other side of that Sea Link.
Apparently, a lot!

South Mumbai wears a pretty deserted look these days. For one, the summer vacations are on. The babalogs with their bachchalogs ( plus maids) have fled for cooler climes. For another, nothing’s really going on, unless you count the IPL matches as big social events. Even the gossip is pretty thanda compared to the red hot developments in the ‘burbs. Going by breathless accounts in newly introduced masala columns( Mumbai Mirror runs a pretty sizzling one), while SOBO snores, the suburbs throb. Most of the splashiest, sexiest soirees are hosted up North. There is a new breed of dedicated , hard partying types that makes sure the music never stops. Most of the high profile hotties commanding premium space on society pages were unknown entities not so long ago. Today, they are the ones being chased by flashbulbs. More restaurants and lounge bars seem to be mushrooming in Yari Road ( wherever that is), than in Colaba. Dozens of boutiques selling top end watches, fashion and jewellery have opted for showrooms in Bhayandar and beyond. For all we know, Bhandup is all set for a make over, and may take over from Bandra as the preferred destination of the upwardly mobile. When that happens, it will be time to move. Preferably, to Bhutan.
Is it just a coincidence that some of the most creative commercials on television happen to be those promoting various telecom services? Don’t you just love the one featuring Mohan Agashe asking his grandson to locate an old acquaintance from way back when? The smart grandson does what any young person would do these days… gets onto FB. And… bingo! The old man Agashe is looking for, is promptly found, much to Agashe’s delight. What does Agashe do next? He decides to pay his former buddy a surprise visit. There is an old score to settle. When the two come face-to-face, Agashe greets his old rival-in-love…turns to the man’s wife and naughtily plants a kiss on her cheek ! Agashe and grandson scoot before the old man can react, laughing uproariously at the prank. Delightful, human, and original. Get idea , sirji! This one beats even you!
Au revoir Cannes. Phew! Thank God the maha tamasha is finally over. Let’s hope Bollywood puts up a better show next year, with quality films in place of tired mannequins. And ladies, do declare your borrowed rocks before jumping on that plane. Or else… kahani Minissha ki!


Sadiya Merchant said...

i love dat commercial! tho i like the video 3g calling one better. d avinash rathore guy is jus soooo cute! *rainin hearts* <3

obssesor said...

The action will never stop in the South.

Uppal said...

The trends are changing all over. In my part of the country the young professionals are opting for the spaciousness of the suburbs than the cramming interiors of the cities. The action is where the youth is!

manisha said...

i guess south mumbai has priced itself out. a young, adventurous entrepreneur today cannot hope to buy or rent retail in sobo.

on the other hand, the suburbs have a younger crowd who are willing to spend...

Vishal said...

Dear Shobha
stayed in's an amazing place and a time arrives where every great place lose its brilliance. I hope it's a phase and will rebound coz Mumbai can neva exist without SoBo.
BTW, Yari Road is in Andheri and anice place in the night.
Mumbai is Mumbai
Amchi Mumbai rocks
A proud Mumbaikar

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

Yes, Mohan aghase ad has the real face of the FACEBOOK :)

Arjun said...

None of the so called prime locations of established cities, like S.Mumbai, or S.Delhi loose their sheen when analyzed for a long period of time.
The genesis of suburbs and satellite towns are only a method to initiate churn and drive the masses to new locations. Developers, businessmen, investors invest their capital, to help create these new cities, and exit when the opportunity presents itself to plough their fortunes back into the prime locations of cities like M'bai and Delhi, and more often than not their fortunes find their way into the elite S.M'bai and S.Delhi.
S.Mumbai and S.Delhi will undergo change over a period and will wear a new look with changing times, and of course goes without saying astronomical price tags on them.

Tsomo85 said...
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Tsomo85 said...
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Tsomo85 said...

OMG! HAHAHA I finally saw that cute airtel fb ad. lol Rajat looks so cute. Thanks for sharing this. And your friend MA looks so different from the last time I saw him in Trimurthi. It made me wonder why is all the real hindi cinema hunks are hiding behind the screen? It's so unfair and waste of talented actors. I'm sick & tired of watching lame films. Since we talk about style in your last blog, I'm wondering who is that lady who played mean aunty in tv drama Sajan Ghar Jana Hai, the one who keep saying: "so bath ki ek bath." The role was played by two different ladies but the one I liked she came in later episodes. She was great in negative role and I also like the way how she carried own herself, it was nicely done. Far more pleasant looking then one of these over dramatic tv serial Amas. I try to find who she is so many times, but zero success. About IPL, good to see your review. Thank god, I don't have time for that. hehehehe

ninu said...

Help!!! There is a Burbite in my club!!!
"Hi! What are you doing here all the way from ANDHERI??", I was asked by a SoBo snob recently at Wellington Club.I answered meekly "But I come here often...I am a member". It hit me a few minutes later she meant "Who let you in"? Every time I've met this lady she's asked me, so how long did you take to reach the south today? Her favorite line is, "my husband never travels beyond Peddar road, he needs a visa if he has to travel beyond..."
Another time we were invited to a Diwali party at Worli. When the hostess found out we drove from Andheri she screamed " Oh my God you came ALLLLLL the way from Andheri!!!??? Excuse me? it took us just half hour to get there. Does'nt it take over an hour to travel between Worli and Nariman point? Is it the travel time or the area that gets to these people? The icing on the cake was the statement she made " We do not make friends beyond Worli". Except for the stunning sea-link view she had from every room, there was nothing else going for her. Why would we want to be her friend?

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