Sushant Divgikar, Cyrus Broacha on their favourite hangouts as kids in Mumbai
On Children's Day, six famous millennials and xennials recall their favourite hangout spots as kids in Mumbai
Our memories of time are always attached to a location. But monotony can often hinder this. So, in order to make sure that performing artiste and singer Sushant Divgikar, 28, didn't while away his weekends by playing video games, his father would take him to Almeida Park in Bandra.
Sushant Divgikar at Khar Gymkhana; (right) Divgikar with his father
"We played every outdoor sport. I also remember our meetings with my cousins at Otters club, Khar Gymkhana and Sea Princess Hotel where we would swim. I would also play football and cricket at Chand Terraces grounds," he recalls. And today, even though those venues remain, according to Divgikar, much has changed. "Sea Princess used to have fantastic brunches with live music but now it's pretty dull.
I still go to Khar Gymkhana and Otters, who have upped their game. Almeida Park has been beautified while Joggers Park has lost its charm," he says, adding, "Children's Day was special for the family. Dad would take us shopping and mum would buy pastries from Gaylord's," he recollects.
Amyra Dastur was a tomboy as a kid
It's a match
For actress Amyra Dastur, growing up was all about sports. "I was a tomboy," she says. A SoBo girl, Dastur, 25, remembers playing throwball and badminton, while football was her favourite game.
"I'd play with my friends at 'Friends Garden' in Cuffe Parade, Oval Maidan and Azad Maidan. My brother would come with me sometimes when our after-school timings matched, and then on the weekends we'd play from 10 am to 6 pm. We always had an adult along to take us to eat lunch around Marine Drive so we could all chill by the sea and then return to the ground when we wanted to start a new match," she recalls.
When comedian Cyrus Broacha, 47, tells us that he was just the kid goofing around with his air gun home alone in the 80s - it's hard to imagine. "I'd also use my garage as a squash court with a tennis racquet and a ball.
Kamala Nehru Park in Malabar Hill that is part of the Hanging Gardens Complex
There was also this great place called the Pastry Palace at Napean Sea Road, where the choco mount cake was a favourite. Those were the days when you didn't care about diets and a cake was just a cake. I'd also visit the Shemaroo Library at Kemp's Corner to pick up some books. We'd play cricket around Malabar Hill, and the ball would usually find it's way to hit old ladies," he chuckles. When asked if he has a special memory on Children's Day, Broacha clearly states, "We had half days in school. But now, I just avoid all the children!"
(left) Devavrath Kamat at a kiddie birthday party
No Monday blues
The weekend came on a Monday for Devavrath Kamath, 37, of Cafe Madras. "My father was busy running the restaurant and had a Monday off. He says, "We whiled our time away at Juhu beach where I'd go for the camel and horse rides.
We'd also visit my cousins in Santacruz. We loved the bhel puri at Guru Kripa in Sion. My weekends on the other hand was spent by just playing cricket all day. In the evenings, we'd visit the tiny park near my home in Sion."
Little Pria Sutaria poses for the camera
Up the hill
Hanging Gardens at Malabar Hill brings back fond memories for 22-year-old ballet dancer Pia Sutaria and theatre director Quasar Padamsee, 40. For Sutaria, who pursued a lot of extra curricular activities as a child, the garden allowed her to let loose or simply just have a break. She elaborates, "It was right next to my ballet class and my mum would often take us before or after class.
I remember getting really excited about sitting inside this big shoe, which is in the park, with my twin. It felt like such an adventure! Till date, I fall asleep on the grass every time I find a clean park, in India and all over the world. There's no feeling like it."
Quasar Padamsee recalls visiting Hanging Gardens
Padamsee, on the other hand, says he grew up in a Bombay where there was very little to do. "I was fascinated with the cemented plane on Linking Road in the Aeroplane Garden at Juhu-Santacruz, and distinctly remember the incredible smell of urine. I didn't actually visit the place but it stayed with me because I passed it so often. I later went to boarding school. These spaces have changed a lot today." he shares.
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