Building a new melody

Published: Nov 16, 2019, 07:00 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A flat in an old Santacruz building is now doubling up as a venue for music gigs

A gig underway place The Boho Pad
A gig underway place The Boho Pad

There is a quiet lane in the nether regions of Santacruz where a building called Krishna Bhavan is located. It's not one of your new-fangled societies. Instead, it's a three-storey structure that looks as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. The lift itself gives you an idea of its vintage. It's one with a black collapsible gate that travels only to the top floor, which houses the office of a production house called Bohemian Films. Shivi Arora runs it. She also owns the space. But it's her sister, Upasana, who was instrumental in turning the flat into a venue for gigs, with one concert — featuring Nush Lewis, Bryan Rodrigues and Kenneth Soares — slotted for this evening.

The event will be an intimate affair, because that's how the space — called The Boho Pad — is structured. You enter through the main door into an area that has a room with glass walls at the far end, where the production team normally sits. There's another room to the right that's recently been turned into a co-working space that can fit about 10 people. It's adjoined to a dining area with a pantry next to it. And that room leads to a large terrace, which is where the gigs are held if the musicians prefer performing in the open.

Otherwise, a wide corridor is where they place chairs and play their songs. The whole affair is DIY, says Upasana, who returned to the city from Delhi in 2018 and hit upon the idea of turning her sister's flat into a space for music a few months ago. "I let the artistes set the place up the way they want to," she tells us, and that's really what makes The Boho Pad a charming venue. Think about it. Yes, Mumbai has recently been blessed with a few new genuine spots for music. But otherwise, lesser-known performers are restricted to pubs where the audience is primarily concerned with drinking, and the proprietors with their profit margins. Here, the agency is placed in the hands of the artistes to curate their own gigs. The audience, too, is there only for the music, since there normally isn't any F&B available. And we, for one, would love to see more such places popping up in the city so that the independent scene becomes more vibrant, and moves
beyond a Famous Studios or an AntiSocial.

ON Tonight, 8 pm
AT The Boho Pad, Krishna Bhavan, Santacruz West.
LOG on to gigmouselive.com
Cost Rs 400

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