Local history, in pocket-sized doses
In Mumbai we often tend to miss out on the details, and as a result, the good stuff. This can be blamed on our rushed mindset — catch a train, hail a cab, meet a deadline. Take for example, the stretch that makes up today’s Girgaum.
Once upon a time, a huge part of this area was called Cavel. The settlement was where the early Roman Catholic converts from from Bassein, Salsette, Daman and Goa had settled down to make it their home.
For a while, it boasted of having the highest concentration of Roman Catholics in the city. With time, this population drifted to the suburbs, as new migrants settled in. Today, a few remnants like the odd cross by a road intersection, a few churches and Khotachiwadi, remain.
Cavel within Girgaum is one example of such pockets of Mumbai. If one has the time, take a stroll into Khotachiwadi’s gullies —it’s languid-paced life, guaranteed. Neatly designed bungalows that reflect a mix of Hindu and Portuguese architectural styles, laced with a sense of tranquility, rolled into a corner that is quintessentially Mumbai; from another era, of course...