Tucked in the leafy lane of Bandra’s D’Monte Park Road is an unassuming, ground-floor space that, when you enter, will have footwear strewn near the short flight of stairs leading to it.
Growing up in the suburb of Chembur, a library was a tiny nook where we went to borrow Enid Blyton titles. That’s it. The next access to books was when I grew up and we went to branded stores where you could read or browse if you wanted to.
The library was started in October 2011 by Sonal Bimal, Vibha Kamat and Vaishali Kamat. Pics/Shadab Khan
Had somebody asked me to paint a picture of a library then; this is what I would have painted in my head: the Maharashtra Mitra Mandal (better known as MCubed) Library.
Started in October 2011, the property consists three spacious rooms. The largest room has been dedicated to books for children in English. The children’s section has shelves thoughtfully made at a child-friendly height. Wall to wall shelves filled with books make the four sides of this room.
Cushioned benches, mats and bean bags bring in the rest of the colour. You will always find a bunch of children poring over books here. The room is so large that even when workshops are being held (and workshops are held through out the year) there is enough space for it to never seem crowded.
The reception area has books in Marathi and Hindi. The room to the left is for adults. Though this section is about kids, I must mention the space for adults. Filled with comfortable seating, a wide range of books, and beautiful, coloured paper lamps, the adult library has a ladder that you can climb (I have always wanted to do this) and look at books on the top shelf.
Even nicer my dream place is the loft with rugs where you can climb up to and read and hope people have forgotten about you. If you have a child happy to be in the children’s section, then this is where you must park yourself, as a parent, to read or to work.
With over 10,000 books and magazines, this public library is a book lover’s paradise that welcomes members, regardless of circumstances and economic background to access books. In addition, there are book readings, talks, music fests, art and craft workshops and lots of things that happen all round the year for both kids and adults at MCubed.
This is a perfect book nook.
Where: Princess Building, near Bandra Gymkhana, D’Monte Park Road, Bandra (W).
Getting there: Western and Harbour line locals halt at Bandra. Alight on the west, and head to Turner Road. On Turner Road, to the left is D’Monte Park Road, where Princess Building stands closer to its start.
Timings: Daily, 10 am to 8 pm
Charges: It is free for underpriviledged kids. Fees are R200 (monthly) and R2,200 (yearly). The library is looking at a daily fee. Till then, try it for free, for a day.
Food & drink: No food but water is available.
What’s good: It is well ventilated. Any child who loves books can spend as much time. Parents can also be around kids, and work. There are plenty of books in regional languages too
What is not good: Can’t think of any except that while the library understandably doesn’t allow food or drinking water, there is no place nearby to snack
>> Jogger’s Park
>> Carter Road promenade
>> Bandra Fort
>> Almeida and Patwardhan Park