A warehouse for Mumbaikars

Jun 09, 2014, 09:34 IST | Kanika Sharma

Brainchild of 25-year-old Rohita Kilachand, The Warehouse is a fresh and hopeful space in Mahalaxmi that aims to offer the average Mumbaikar a memorable learning experience

Dusty spaces across Mumbai are finally opening their shutters to give the arts and culture a big, warm welcome. Two weeks ago, Whistling Woods Andheri Base announced its arrival in the western suburb of Andheri, promising engaging nights to professionals who tire themselves day and night in front of computer screens and grilled train windows. Giving South Mumbai’s cultural landscape a fresh lease of life, The Warehouse, a one-time furniture shop, is set to turn its timber walls and smooth wooden floors into a buzzing hub.

The Warehouse
The Warehouse is spacious and accommodating for various kinds of activities

Open from Wednesdays to Sundays, the slope-roofed structure is currently hosting workshops and meet-ups. Rohita Kilachand, the 25-year-old owner of the space, believes in three magical words: ideas, inspiration and knowledge, and would like to fashion this space into a platform unto three aims.

Warmly lit, the place has a positive vibe

Space centre
In its initial few days, the community hub seems to be rolling out off-beat programmes such as copper enamelling, furniture painting, typography, dance movement therapy and more. Decoding Kilachand’s mantra, we ask about the origins of this idea. The chatty former brand management intern shares, “This idea was in my head for two years. I believe strongly in the power of experiences and connections that make you grow personally and professionally.”

The small pin-up board keeps visitors abreast of activities

Expanding on the thought, she narrates, “A researcher associated with the Harvard Business Review once wrote of a Honda engineer who goes for a bread making class. While at it, she sees a way the bread is being churned in the machine and something clicks in her head. She takes back that inspiration and creates a fabulous engine. So, you never know when seemingly unrelated experiences can turn into valuable opportunities — a belief that defines the spirit of The Warehouse.”

Rohita Kilachand and Kiran Seth
(From left) Rohita Kilachand and Kiran Seth at The Warehouse. Pics/Emmanual Karbhari

Two of a kind
Kilachand’s youthful optimism seems infectious as the former Teach For India Fellow feels that people need to be understood in a larger context. Kilachand exemplifies, “Let’s say, you see a kid beating up another kid. Rather than yelling, I went to his house and I got to know that his grandmother tied him to the bed for four hours,” stressing on how that experience was outside her comfort zone. She continues, “The grandmom was a very warm lady and, in turn, I got to know that her son is an alcoholic and as she has to go to work, she ties the kid to the bed. Such complex situations require greater decisions.”

A big banyan tree overlooking the verandah where people can discuss their love for the arts

Integrating that, The Warehouse has a unique feature called The Gathering Nights where people come by to share their stories. Kilachand clarifies, “So that’s why we have two forms — workshops (the kind of experiences where you learn) and you have the gathering nights which is through people are sharing what they have gone through in life; you absorb that you learn.” Inculcating a culture of learning, she hopes for people from all economic stratas and backgrounds to come, share, teach and learn ranging from the mentally challenged taking workshops, artisans from remote regions of India teaching their talent to an individual who has undergone a sex-change operation talking about his/her life.

On: Open all days except Wednesdays and Sundays
At:  Laxmi Mills Estate, off Dr E Moses Road, near Famous Studio, Mahalaxmi.
Call: 8108902293
Log on to: www.thewarehousemumbai.com

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