Diamond Garden, one of the landmarks of Chembur, is a favourite hangout for residents. Celebs like Ayesha Takia frequented the place as a kidChembur is known for many things its pockets of greenery, the streets choc-a-bloc with food joints and for being a cultural hub for dance and theatre enthusiasts.
But what most residents here might take as a norm and outsiders are unaware of is the high celebrity quotient of the suburb.
Despite being a complete anti-thesis of glamourous suburbs like Andheri and Bandra, Chembur has somehow thrown up a veritable talent of singers, musicians, actors and actresses.
METRO got four celebs who have moved out of Chembur, to tell us why they think this suburb is full of fun. We come to know that these celebs have still maintained strong ties with the place through friends and food! METRO also speaks to Chembur residents Shreya Ghoshal and Shveta Salve who still think home is right here in Chembur.
We miss eating ice-cream at Yankee Doodle
Sisters Malaika Arora Khan (left) and Amrita Arora moved out of Chembur in 1992 to shift to BandraActresses Malaika Arora Khan and Amrita Arora lived in Borla in Sindhi Society for nearly a decade before shifting to their Pali Hill flat in Bandra in 1992
Malaika Arora Khan
I have got a treasure trove of fond memories of Chembur. I have spent my formative years here some credit for how I carry myself today goes to this suburb it has groomed me well.
For my schooling, I went to St Anthonys and later to Swami Vivekananda School. Those days were a blast. I remember my first picnic here, my first girls night out and even my first crush! My favourite hangout during school days was right outside the school.
Chembur is also the place I best remember for its vada pavs. Theres this vada pav wallah near the post office and I guarantee he makes the best vada pavs in the world. I also miss gorging on ice-creams from Yankee Doodle and indulging in the variety of sweets from Jhama.
We moved out of Chembur in 1992 and I cant say I would want to live here again as the suburb is fast developing into a crowded place. I feel the green cover has shrunk and there are too many construction projects coming up.
I will always have a soft spot for Chembur. I have spent a large part of my life here and have forged some of the closest friendships with people from this suburb.
I did some years of my schooling at St Anthonys and I remember hanging out with school buddies right outside the school.
The one thing about Chembur that no one can resist is its eateries and food joints the place is choc-a-block with places to hangout and eat at.
Jhama Sweets, Yankee Doodle and Croissant were the places where I used to gobble food at and while away fun-filled hours.
Chembur had a calm and relaxing atmosphere which sadly is changing today. But I still feel its a beautiful place.
Ritika Kamat, neighbour to the Aroras in Chembur
Amu (Amritas pet name) was my neighbour in Borla and we were also school buddies. We hung out together, went to parties and shared some candid times. Today, we are still good friends and keep in touch as and when time permits. Amu doesnt have any airs despite being an actress and having acquired a celebrity status.
The same can be said about her family. Although we cannot meet as often as we would like we chat on the phone frequently. Recently she had come to Ghatkopar for a fashion show, we revisited all our old school haunts and reminisced about the early years.
I had fun at Diamond Garden
Actress Ayesha Takia stayed in Shreenivas building in Chembur for over 15 years before moving out in 2000 to Bandras Pali Hill
Ayesha Takia studied at
St Anthony's schoolAyesha Takia
We moved out of Chembur in 2000 because I had joined a new school in Bandras Pali Hill and the everyday commute from Chembur was becoming a hassle. After school and college I started acting, so there was no question of shifting back there.
But I have fond memories of my time in Chembur. The best part of the suburb is the amazing variety of food one can find at roadside joints. I loved the Punjabi food at Vaishali and the food at Geeta Bhavan too. Diamond Garden was also my favourite hangout where I had a lot of fun. I still keep in touch with my friends from Chembur.
Praful and Indu Vora, neighbours to the Takias
Ayesha used to stay at Shreenivas when she was a school kid. After coming home from school she used to stay with us. Ayesha was an obedient child and never got into mischief. We are really happy to see her successful.
Those were the best years of my life
Singer and musician Shankar Mahadevan lived in Chemburs Anand Bhavan building near General Education for over 20 years before shifting to Vashi
Shankar Mahadev loves Chembur as this is where he met his wifeShankar Mahadevan
I spent the best years of my life in Chembur. I lived at Anand Bhavan building for 20 years and moved to Vashi recently as I was getting a bigger house there.
I used to study at OLPS and loiter around with friends after school, visiting Chemburs food joints for delicious snacks. Even today, I make it a point to visit Sadguru Juice Centre, where you get amazing mousambi juice and Geeta Bhavan. The Gupta Bhel Puri Wallah is my favorite chaat haunt.
I started learning music too in Chembur and I owe my success to this place. It keeps you grounded and the place is quiet and peaceful without the frenzy of other suburbs.
Chembur will always be close to my heart as this is where I met my wife. My best friends live in Chembur and we hang out together whenever I am there.
SS Mani, secretary of Anand Bhavan and Mahadevans neighbour
Today, Shankar has become a big singer but he is still the down to earth boy I remember him as. He calls me mama fondly and we chat on the phone. I have asked him to perform for an Anand Bhavan party and he has promised me hell do it. I also remember the time when he started going to music classes all his hard work has paid off.
I have been living in Anushakti Nagar for the last nine years and I absolutely love this suburb. Usually, people in the entertainment industry field shift to Andheri or Bandra as thats where all the studios are situated. But I love the peace of Chembur. Theres an open maidan in front of my house which I really appreciate. I have a temporary base in Andheri as it takes me more than an hour-and-a-half to reach there. But Chembur is where home is. Shveta Salve, actress
I have been living in Chembur for more than 15 years and have a house on Deonar Palm Road. I have done my schooling from Loreto Convent school and I assure you there are some fun hangouts here. I frequent Jhama Sweets for the gulab jamuns and the eateries in Sindhi Camp for their pakwans. I do have a house in Lokhandwala but I love staying in Chembur.
Compiled by Mrugaya Davane