Where I live

I live in Bandra. A little suburb (11.5 sq kms to be precise) in the north-west of Mumbai. I have no idea when and how it earned the sobriquet “Queen of the suburbs” possibly after we moved into our permanent home here more than ten years ago! The city itself finds a poetic place in some great literature like Shantaram, the novel by Gregory David Roberts, Suketu Mehta‘s Maximum City and most recently in a novel by Jeet ThayilΒ called Narcopolis. Queen bee Bandra is nestled inside this great city and is home to some of the biggest Bollywood stars, old and young. It has a history that dates back to the 16th & 17th century with a Portuguese past. In many ways its like an extension of Goa. The unique cosmopolitan nature of Bandra makes it an ideal setting for writers, poets, journalists, actors, designers and musicians. The photos here serve as my compendium of outtakes from my life in the city, the suburbs and my home.

I just sensed a tremor from an earthquake while working on this post. This is what was swaying for about 8-10 seconds as an earthquake measuring 4.6 erupted in a district about 260 km from here.

01. Home

On days I have nothing to do I watch the sunlight streaming in through the windows of my house. In this case my daughter’s room.

Dazzling sunlight at about 9 a.m illuminates everything. I love the light at this hour in my home and around Bandra.

I enjoy experimenting with recipes. This one is a meatball recipe I followed from a popular website called allrecipes.com. When in doubt google the ingredients!

Whether I read all of them or not, I’m happy to be surrounded by all the literature my husband piles up in the house. They make for some interesting compositions juxtaposed with my passion to collect art posters and artefacts.

On my travels, i pick up all kinds of things. This is a colorful handmade dragonfly from a flea market in Byron Bay. It seemed to come to life in the midst of all the plants.

Bo Concept maybe an European luxury brand, but the fact is that the vase I bought from there turns my banana inflorescence into a fusion concept.

The shops in Bandra are winking with stuff teenage dreams are made of. From street shops to branded fare you can spend a lifetime hunting for some cool deals.

A gift that traveled many miles…made in China..bought in Washington…gifted in Mumbai!

You are what bread you eat. Though the humble Paav is staple in Mumbai, I prefer these professionally packed 6 grain breads available at outlets like Regal Plus in the main market.

I like to surround myself with memories past & present, my sister comes alive with the roses that surrounded her picture frame.

A thorough understanding of Chemistry begins with experiments conducted on Toenails!

The Gulmohur tree blooms for just 80 days in a year , illuminating our living room in warm summery colors.

Shells collected from our visits to various beaches are a constant design inspiration.

During the monsoon you will find little frogs jumping in the most unexpected spaces both outdoor and indoor. I prefer them in graphic expressions such as this object than the live one.

The concrete jungle is an apt descriptor for a city that allows builders to build indiscriminately. This is a view from the ugly concrete grill on our staircase.

Grills/ Lattice work are a part of traditional Indian architecture since kingdom come. The beautiful Moghul motifs seen in the grills of Rajasthani homes or historical sites like the Taj Mahal are lost to factories that produce these terrible concrete ones.

The view from my window may not be what dreams homes are made of but I can see the sea between two buildings. Bandra’s very popular Carter Road Promenade

Dust, the enemy of all things white is impossible to be rid of, what with the kids playing football in the park.

The Malla Residents cooperative had to put up a big fight with the municipal authorities of the city to have it beautified. We were happy to give the swing and slide.

Some gifts that come with the Mc Donald’s happy meals are adorable. This one dates back at least 7 years! The clay pot hand-made and painted by my daughter when she was 13.

It’s highly unlikely to find a modest home at a modest price in this megalopolis. I’m lucky that only one window in my house faces some buildings at a distance. Mumbai is the city of peeping toms, so watch for those curtains!

The Gulmohur (Mayflower) tree seems like it is old, very old. It comes to bloom very slowly, one flower at a time and then booms rapidly one fine day in May. It is home to some little yellow birds, mynas who sing and of course the mumbai speciality- the black crow 7 pigeon! I have seen some hawks, maybe eagles visit too.

The Gulmohur (Mayflower) tree seems like it is old, very old. It comes to bloom very slowly, one flower at a time and then booms rapidly one fine day in May. It is home to some little yellow birds, mynahs who sing and of course the Mumbai speciality,Β the black crow & pigeon! I have seen some hawks (maybe eagles) visit too.


26 Responses to Where I live

  1. suman sirur says:

    May I share these photos Shabnam ?? They are so so awesome and made me see the same mundane things in a very beautiful light. Thanks so much. Suman


    • shabnamphoto says:

      awww Suman, thank you so much for your most cherished visits if not to the place where I live, at least the gallery! Haha, these are still mundane, you can be sure to have very few looking into it!!


  2. frizztext says:

    my daughter, an architect, travelled through India and was very impressed by many famous buildings …


  3. Love these photos. They are just wonderful, light, colours, details, atmosphere.


  4. Joseph Eapen says:



  5. Oh, my gosh! Where you live feels like a little paradise that I wish to live one day. Beautiful images that bring is to a beautiful, peaceful, happy place. Thanks.


  6. Blood-Ink-Diary says:

    Here you go again, Shabnam !! Another delightful treat – an insightful capture into your world. Well, if I ever visit India – you may just find me lurking in your wonderful home !! lol. Keep shooting – want to see some more photo-essays, go capture the enigma! Cheers meri dost.


  7. Noeleen says:

    I absolutely love to see where ‘others’ live. Your pictures are really clear, and well chosen. Your food looks SO yum. Oh my, I never cook so well… 😦

    This was a pleasure view. Funny how ONE person’s everyday surrounds is such an intrigue to another, across the seas… πŸ™‚


  8. A brilliant gathering of beauty, in images and in words. I totally love this… and your toenail philosophy kicks ass 😎 Now, where’s the multiplike button again??


  9. Hi, Shamnam. So many intriguing and beautiful photos!!! Nice to know were you live! πŸ™‚


    • shabnamphoto says:

      Hey there Bente, you r my first blogger commentator on this post and I have no idea how I missed your wonderful comment, Thank you for the visit, appreciate it much πŸ™‚


  10. Yayati says:



  11. Anonymous says:

    Was just talking to Bindu about how beautiful your home is.
    One of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever been in, actually


  12. Never give your house up Shabs.. U have put so much into it and its a serene place… It just fits u and Uttam and the girls perfectly…Tks to u…Love , Caroline


  13. shabnamphoto says:

    At wordpress it gets pretty lonely. No bloggers in sight, moderated commenting, thank you my dearest friends from Facebook, wp has decided to honor you with the title Anonymous…so please please leave your name behind next time so I know! MMMUAH!! :-))


  14. Anonymous says:

    Great pics n descriptors Shabnam!


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