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!