Story 24: Memoir | Houses of India


The beauty of old Mumbai, hidden away in the bylanes of Bandra.

Hidden away in the oldest parts of Bandra, behind a dense wall of tropical trees, is the West View bungalow. With a very distinct vintage architectural style and design, this beautiful house is situated right behind the famous Mehboob Studio.

The home is now co-owned by two siblings – Mrs. Pinto and Mr. Fernandez. Mr. Fernandez stays with his family on the ground floor, and Mrs. Pinto stays with hers upstairs. With roots in Honnavar, a port town in Karnataka, the family came to be residents of Bandra when their grandfather built this house.

Story 25: Memoir | Houses of India

 

The story of West View is the story of old Bandra itself. The West View bungalow was built of wood, and still retains most of it; along with its old-world charm! It also had a garden which was almost double the size of the house, a garage, and a shed for cows. At the time, Mehboob Studio had no walls, and so the family’s children would play around, pluck the dates, guavas and many other fruits from the trees in the compound they shared.

The family’s neighbours were mostly the Catholics, Parsis and some Kolis that were native to this part of Bandra.

Story 25: Memoir | Houses of India

 

The family used to own a private school on Pali Hill where Mrs. Pinto taught for several years. However it has now been taken over by restaurants in the area. The family also had to sell off the plot of land that had the garden and shed and, now there stands a building.

Such high-rise buildings and the increasing number of movie and TV stars occupying houses in Bandra have made old bungalows like Mrs. Pinto’s a rare commodity in the city; and has also sent property rates soaring, which makes it difficult to for older families in the area to survive.

 

Story 25: Memoir | Houses of India

 

Mrs. Pinto has many fond memories in this house. From Christmas nights and making sweets, to playing in the garden or simply sitting in the veranda and talking all day, to raising her kids here, she has seen and done it all in this house.

Story 25: Memoir | Houses of India

 

‘Houses of India’ is our weekly photo-story project, where we discover one home, and its story. Follow us on Instagram @housingindia, and join us on this beautiful journey across the country.

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