The visual perks of a Cuffe Parade office in Mumbai

IMG_2298

Tucked away at the southern tip of Mumbai, Cuffe Parade is one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in the city. It is named after T.W. Cuffe, an official of the Bombay City Improvement Trust, which was created during the British rule to improve the city’s infrastructure after a deadly epidemic.

Home to the high-profile World Trade Centre, one of the tallest buildings in South Asia, Cuffe Parade is a “residential goldmine”. Not long ago, a four-bedroom flat in India’s richest housing society, located in this area, was sold at the rate of 111,000 rupees per square feet, the Times of India reported. Little wonder the Cuffe Parade skyline, with its high-rise residential buildings, looks like a cut-out from a real-estate billboard.

Shaded by a canopy of trees, Cuffe Parade overlooks the Arabian sea on one side, and, on the other, the British-era Colaba area. A short walk, left of the World Trade Centre, leads to the sea-facing Cuffe Parade garden. Its promenade is mostly visited by residents who come here for a stroll, and occasionally by office goers, like me, who want to take in the sea after work.

IMG_0206

The Cuffe Parade skyline, with its high-rise residential buildings, looks like a cut-out from a real-estate billboard.

FullSizeRender (2)

The World Trade Centre

IMG_0255

The World Trade Centre

IMG_0407

An unusual sight of a tree inside the World Trade Centre

FullSizeRender (1)

An pan-India sari exhibition at the World Trade Centre

FullSizeRender

Anonymous artwork at the World Trade Centre

IMG_1056

The World Trade Centre complex

IMG_1069

Outside the Maker Shopping Arcade

IMG_1404

The Cuffe Parade Garden

IMG_1400

View of the Arabian sea from the Cuffe Parade garden

FullSizeRender3

The World Trade Centre

FullSizeRender (3)

The World Trade Centre shopping arcade

FullSizeRender (4)

The World Trade Centre shopping arcade

IMG_1540

Inside the World Trade Centre shopping arcade

However, Cuffe Parade is not as hunky dory as it appears to be. It was from the shore of the fisherman’s colony in the vicinity, called the Macchimar Nagar, that the terrorists from Pakistan arrived on the night of November 26, 2008. The terror attack launched by them lasted three days, killing more than 150 people; and left a vibrant city in a state of shock.

Recently, the construction of the Mumbai metro (that would connect Cuffe Parade to Bandra and SEEPZ in Andheri East) has disturbed the area’s serenity.  Residents have complained against the rising noise levels due to the construction work,  as well as chopping of trees, intrusion into parks and gardens by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation.

As I spend most of my day in Cuffe Parade, I find the place revealing itself in different colours and moods. On most mornings I have marveled at the manicured beauty of Cuffe Parade, with its the tree-lined streets and dramatically blue skies. During post-lunch walks, I have sneaked into the periodic art exhibitions at the World Trade Centre, to look at Indian textiles, saris, and artefacts. On certain days, when we found our creativity being stifled by the so-called four walls of the office, we sat at the nearest Cafe Coffee Day, past roadside kiosks serving tea, cut fruits, and quick meals. The coffee shop has a permanent guest — a cat snoozing in a corner; and I just want to take it home.

Slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s