Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bandra Home Of The North Indian Migrant

I came to Bandra from Colaba ,, you can call it relocation , we lived earlier on rent at Ranwar off Veronica Street and than moved to De Monte Street Bandra Bazar Road and this was a long time back .. we shifted from De Monte street to a cusp between Bandra Reclamation and Bandra Bazar Road,,
This area has a lot of North Indian migrants , the earliest ones were the Washer men and their families known as Dhobis ..they had their shanties as this are was all coastal area touching the sea ,, they were given rooms when th shanties most gave place to buildings build by Rizvi Builders .. they still use their rooms as workspace for ironing washing clothes ,,they are very low profile and pre dominantly Hindus ,, they have not yet lost touch with their hometowns .
The next lot of North Indians that came gradually were the cooking class ,Khansamas cooks who worked with the Bohra caterers like Jeff Caterers and than branched out made their own identity starting their own business and later buying property and the influx continued .. and these are predominantly Muslims ,, some of them have done very well for themselves .
Than came more Muslim migrants from UP , these are guys with handcarts selling maize bhuta , sweet potato and moong phali .. they literally live sleep on the carts. Highly enterprising the carts multiplied , they bought in more people from their hometown.. and the picture tells their story.
The third lot and highly populous the ricksha drivers , Bandra Reclamation became a hub of these mostly Muslim drivers from Kannauj and Makanpur ,, they live on rent in the Nargis Dutt Nagar slums Bandra ..those are affluent rent rooms with a dozen guys living together ,,those that are poor live in the riicksha and weave their dreams of making it big one day.
One thing is sure what these guys have done is filled a void that the common Marathi Manoos was not interested in at all.. as this story is of the North Indian migrant I wont delve into why the Marathi Manoos did not take this imitative of entrepreneurship .
There are guys all North Indians that own a lot of riickshas the big bosses and give out the rickshas to these migrant drivers from their hometown.. so there is a cohesive collective ethos binding each ones struggle and survival.
Similarly you will find Biharis mostly Hindus ricksha drivers and their hub at Gazdar Bandh Santa Cruz .