Mumbai, with its contrasts and quirks, offers rich fodder for
stand-up comedians. Whether it's the baffling real estate or
Bollywood, nothing is off-limits for stand-up comedian, playwright
and screenwriter Anuvab Pal, who makes sense of Mumbai with his
infectious humour. Anuvab has written the comedy Loins of
Punjab and the mockumentary The President is Coming.
As a columnist and author, his writing touches on all that is
unique about the city of Mumbai.
Comedian and Mumbai local Anuvab
Pal gives us his tips on Bandra
Anuvab Pal is a quintessential Bandra boy, a suburb he loves.
Home to film stars, designer boutiques, charming cafes, street
shopping and lively restaurants, Bandra has become a popular place
to set up shop in the city. Despite the new high-rises, Anuvab
finds plenty of quaint pockets here worth "loitering about in".
Start off at Mount Mary Church and see Bollywood superstar
Shah Rukh Khan's heritage bungalow, Mannat. Enjoy the breezy
promenade at Bandstand before walking past Mehboob Studios, where
many cult Bollywood films have been made. Visit St Peter's
Church and wander into the bylanes off Hill Road. Bandra holds
the record for the most Roman Catholic churches in the world,
each with their own separate parish.
Mount Mary Church is a Bandra
landmark © Prasad Chavali/iStock/Thinkstock
Tucked away in this part of town is Ranwarpakhadi (hamlet), a
heritage precinct with quaint bungalows that retain a strong
Portuguese influence. Veronica Road and Chapel Road are full of
vibrant street art, so remember to bring your camera.
Stumble upon one of Anuvab's favourite eateries, Kakori House
(Dunhill Apartments, 26, Waroda House, Bandra West), serving
delicious Awadhi cuisine. Try the richly textured creamy mutton
galouti kebab. The mutton haleem - a tricky dish to prepare - has a
beautiful balance of meat and spices.
Walk past the Portuguese facade of St Andrew's
Church and reach another Anuvab Pal favourite, Pali Village
Cafe on Pali Naka (Pali Naka, B R Ambedkar Road, Bandra West). This
quirky space attracts Mumbai's stylish set with its distressed
décor, roof terrace, old photographs and rustic flair.
Bandra is particular popular with expats and local creatives for
its central location and seaside setting. Head north, and it's
Bollywood Central. "The restaurants, cafes and bars are full of
movie people. People probably think poverty is the main problem
with Indian cities. Look at the Bandra to Andheri movie stretch and
the opposite seems true," observes Anuvab Pal. Whether it's the
swanky Novotel bar overlooking Juhu beach, the cafes
near PVR cinema in Juhu, or the big movie studios in Andheri, films
here are designed to offer some sort of release.
Prithvi Theatre in Juhu is one of Anuvab's favourite venues ©
Escape from the movie madness at Prithvi
Theatre in Juhu. One of Anuvab's favourite theatres, the
intimate venue was opened by actor Shashi Kapoor and his late wife
Jennifer Kendal in 1978 to honour the legacy of his grandfather
Prithviraj Kapoor. Enjoy the Irish coffee at Prithvi Café before catching a performance.
High-end, Japanese restaurant Yuuka is
something of a celebrity haunt © Yuuka
Head south of Bandra to the new creative hub in Lower Parel. The
upscale Blue Frog (New Mahalaxmi Silk Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe
Road, Lower Parel) hosts live music while Cafe Zoe in Mathuradas
Mills Compound (Todi Mill, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel) is
another one of Anuvab's favourites for its inviting high ceilings
and raw industrial decor. It's also near the shopping district of
Phoenix Mills and Palladium. The luxury Palladium
Hotel's high-end Japanese restaurant, Yuuka, has become something of a celebrity
In Palladium, you'll also find Canvas, a
fantastic venue for live comedy. Anuvab also enjoys performing at
Godrej Theatre at NCPA in South Mumbai. With a
seafront setting at Nariman Point, the NCPA is Mumbai's premier
Eclectic gallery Volte is
another Bandra highlight © Volte
For art lovers, Anuvab recommends the galleries around Colaba.
Hidden away in the bylanes are galleries like the eclectic Volte, Chemould
Prescott (one of the oldest and most prestigious galleries in
Mumbai), the minimalist Project 88 and the cutting-edge Gallery
With Anuvab Pal's guided tour of Mumbai, you'll soon discover
some of the most exciting, creative spaces in the city.