This bi-lingual lecture will rediscover Vile Parle’s cultural significance from the eyes of a resident
Prahlad Bhavan, the Art Deco residence of Prahlad Dalmia built in 1949
- Art Deco Mumbai Trust will host a public lecture on the suburb Vile Parle
- This bi-lingual lecture will be held in Marathi and English
- How redevelopment is leading to the demolition of several heritage buildings
In what the Art Deco Mumbai Trust calls its first attempt to go local, it will host a public lecture that revolves around the historical and cultural significance of the suburb of Vile Parle this Saturday. Conducting this bi-lingual lecture in Marathi and English is Mumbai-based historian, archaeologist, author and a Vile Parle-resident Sandeep Dahisarkar.
“It is the story of Vile Parle’s transformation from a hamlet to a modern suburb,” says Suhasini Krishnan, head of outreach and content. Dahisarkar, who was awarded the Gulestan Bilimoria Junior Research Fellowship by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai in 2017, has written two books. His first one, The Pathare Kshatriyas of Bombay was an outcome of this fellowship report, while the second one in Marathi named Parle: Jaat Agyat, published in 2023, is a collection of research articles on the history of Mumbai’s suburbs. Krishnan remarks, “Whenever we think about the history of suburbs, it somehow, always ends with Bandra. Even for Bandra, we have a lot of content available on religious history, and not much on the cultural front. It is important to explore suburbs like Vile Parle that have a lot of cultural significance. Few people know about the suburb as much as Sandeep, and of course, other residents who will make part of the audience.”
Dahisarkar tells us that among the topics that will be discussed, he will include history and development of Vile Parle before and after the arrival of the British, the shaping of Vile Parle as a cultural centre, important names like Rao Bahadur GK Mhatre, Seth Govardhandas Goculdas Tejpal, artistes KR Ketkar, PuLa Deshpande and Vijay Tendulkar who found a home here, its heritage structures and the Swarajya Movement. “Vile Parle is also known as the Tilak Village because his followers were known to reside here. Hence, we will talk about the Swarajya Movement as seen in the suburbs after Lokamanya Tilak’s death. We will also look at the suburb through a modern lens, and discuss how redevelopment is leading to the demolition of several heritage buildings, including old marriage halls, temples — many of which were made in art deco style,” he says.
The informal setting will make this session interesting; here, residents will engage with the lecturer and share about their neighbourhood, how they have adapted to time, and the cultural and architectural shifts. “With this initiative, we aim to go local. Mumbai is a city that cannot be categorised or placed in a single template. You don’t have to travel for miles to notice the vast difference in demographics. For instance, look at the many Hindu colonies adjacent to Parsi colonies across the city. This difference and the similarities in cultures can be explained best by locals. Hence, this lecture is an attempt at drawing out local history and appreciating the diversity of the city,” Krishnan signs off.
On: September 30; 6 pm onwards
At: Keshavrao Ghaisas Auditorium, behind ML Dahanukar College of Commerce, Vile Parle East
Log On to: @sandeep. jagannathji; @artdecomumbai (registration link in bio)