Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The city’s newest hot spots
Summary: Mumbai's most famous locations for spotting celebrities include the doorstep of Manish Malhotra's bungalow, the compound outside Sharad Pawar's residence, the concourse outside Antilia (the Ambani residence), the frontage of Galaxy apartments, the entrance to Siddhi Vinayak temple, the threshold of Mumbai's international airport, the approach to Gateway of India Jetty, the vestibule at Sportsfield, the portico of Sabyasachi showroom, and the lead up to Bandra Yoga Studio.
The reverence and triumph with which Mumbai’s sundry ‘shlebs’ vault across this threshold that it is said even the Pearly Gates don’t witness such enthusiasm. This is where the action takes place...
Doorstep of Manish Malhotra’s Khar bungalow
Gaggles of perpetually giggling GFs dressed for Paris Fashion Week; ageing, turbaned legends channelling their inner Garbo behind giant shades; industrialists tumbling out of gold plated stretch limos; pouty showgirls well past their shelf life and every Bollywood wife with a tummy tuck and an OTT dream… where else will you find them at any time of night or day but on the handkerchief-sized portal that leads up to designer Manish Malhotra’s bungalow in tender loving Khar, for their 15 seconds of fame before disappearing behind the heavy doors into what is considered B town’s version of Valhalla. Seriously, such is the reverence and triumph with which Mumbai’s sundry ‘shlebs’ vault across this threshold that it is said even the Pearly Gates don’t witness such enthusiasm.
Compound outside Sharad Pawar’s residence
Governments may come, governments may go, (and they have) dynasties may fall and revive and fall once more, but as far as Maharashtra politics is concerned, one thing is certain, it all takes place outside the residence of the Maratha Strongman.
This nondescript driveway on a South Mumbai cul de sac, where peacocks and Parsis are occasionally spotted might give you the impression that it is just another sleepy city residential colony, but make no mistake about it –this is where the political action plays out and where the deadliest cat and mouse games transpire. And what’s more: what you see is never what you get.
Concourse outside Antilia
Come rain or shine, revelry or high tide, come, American presidents, Greek Gods or Chinese despots, you can be sure that all roads lead to Antilia, the residence of the Ambani clan and the world’s most expensive private digs.
This is where Bollywood, Hollywood, India Inc, and the entire Forbes billionaire list can be spotted almost on a weekly basis, in a dazzling revolving door of power, fame and success. Scientists, sportsmen, spiritualists, stars and savants… it matters not which field they represent, if they’re successful and savvy -this is where they’ll be spotted.
Frontage of Galaxy apartments
O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant come ye O come ye to Galaxy… This is where the Khandan gathers in all its glory for a staggering assemblage of family celebrations. Birthdays, premieres, festivals and legendary reconciliations; it all happens outside the entrance of this somewhat nondescript, mid-size apartment block in Bandra. On any given evening, here Salman will hug SRK, SRK will hug Salman, Salman will hug Aamir, SRK will hug Aamir, Sangeea Bijlani will simper coyly, Baba Siddique will beam benevolently and then they will start all over again, for the paps.
Entrance to Siddhi Vinayak temple
The pious come here to pray, the people -watchers throng here to stay. From mega billionaires, to eccentric TV producers to film stars of every hue and shape- from the aspiring to the perspiring, they all hotfoot it to Mumbai’s most celebrated temple of worship, where big dreams and small are presented with equal ardour and faith.
Threshold of Mumbai’s international airport:
Forget the Pyramids of Giza, the Coliseum and Machu Picchu; put paid to the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China, if there’s anything that could compete as a serious contender to the wonders of the world LIST it is naught else but Mumbai’s very own Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport, where day in and day out a bewildering array of stars passes through the great portico of the city’s international airport in a never-ending assembly line of inappropriate dressing, PDA and preening. On and on it goes, this mind-numbing display of celebrity fluff, dust bunnies and exhibitionism, leading star-gazers to converge at its peripheries like moths to a flame.
Approach to Gateway of India Jetty
Designer duffels bags, bespoke hoodies, luxury sneakers, expensive haircuts, pet pooches in monogrammed carry ons and artisanal pizzas… where else will you spot them along with South Mumbai’s celebrated babalog but at the pier at Apollo Bunder, where the city’s hoi polloi makes its weekend getaway on speed boats to live the simple life across the harbour, in their luxury Alibag homes?
Forget the vaulting domes of the Taj or the fluted turrets of the Gateway of India, if you wanna do some serious tourist exploration, this jetty is where it’s at.
Vestibule at Sportsfield
The late test cricketing legends Polly Umrigar, Ajit Wadekar, Eknath Solkar lived here, as did the late world billiards world champion Wilson Jones. As do Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri amongst many others; which makes the foyer of Sportsfield, the 9 -storey building in Worli’s seaface the cynosure of every sport lover’s eyes and an aggregate of sporting excellence. One can only guess the calibre of conversations and inside scoops overheard, while waiting for the lifts in this building. Except, of course, being the legendary sportsmen they are-none of the residents must take the lifts…
Portico of Sabyasachi showroom
Pouty princesses, blushing brides, bashful bridegrooms, weary wedding planners, sexy stylists, flamboyant fashionistas, faltering fashion victims, aesthetes, actors and arrivistes at some point or the other show up at Sabyasachi’s majestic new flagship establishment at Kala Ghoda. Here you will run into serious shoppers, glossy magazine editors and desperate housewives who come to pay homage to the designer’s citadel of creative virtuosity, making it a people-watcher’s delight.
Lead up to Bandra Yoga Studio
A dusty by-lane in Bandra, an apology of a pavement, a winding little alleyway- but boy- it sure boasts the best views in the city. Luscious luvvies in their AIRism lululemon UV-protected leggings and their Racerback Active wear bustiers, pop in and out of this hot spot as if they were walking the ramp at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Forget the auto rickshaws, the gaping urchins and the pot-holed roads, The concourse that leads to this particular Yoga studio in Bandra, is known to attract more babes than Leonardo DiCaprio.