Jan 31, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - Amul Butter Take


Amul Butter has released their take on Slumdog Millionaire craze. They even have a line about Jai Ho! soundtrack. Here's a link to some other Amul Butter posters.

Jan 30, 2009

Residential Property Rates Jan 2009

Here's an updated chart of Mumbai real-estate prices tabulated by region. Compared to the October 2007, the rates have come down noticeably. Perhaps, this is time to get into the real estate market. However, it is always about location, location, location.


Infrastructure projects such as metro, monorail, sealink can add to the value of the place. Also, it makes sense to keep track of the pollution index and proximity to the landfills. lastly, know about the hospitals, schools in the area. For those buyers who need to know the very last details, learn about the underworld gangs running the area.

All of these tangibles contribute to the stamp duty assessed on the properties.

Here are some links to helpful information,
Mumbai as it stands today was built by taking material for the hills to fill the shallow water between the seven islands. This meant that some of the rivers of Mumbai were redirected. Because the land between the original islands is not as porous, flooding is also a problem.

Lastly, water supply is also a concern.

Jan 29, 2009

Hospitals in Mumbai


Mumabi has nearly 40,000 hospital beds and there are plans to expand this capacity further both at state and private sector level.

Most recently, 730 beds were added by Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Four Bungalows, Andheri (w). This will address some of the concerns in the city which has most of the hospital capacity in the south side. The new hospital will have 40 specialities and a helipad.

KEM hospital is going to get a Rs 900 crore upgrade with a 21 storied towers. Hinduja hospital in Mahim will demolish its old building a build a 20 floor new tower in place.

Andheri(w) area is also getting a pediatric heart center in Brahma Kumari Innova Children's Heart Center.

Health care industry has shown resilience to the current slowdown.

Vision Juhu - 10km Walking and Cycling Track

P. K. Pandit has submitted a plan for a 10km walking and cycling track in Juhu to BMC which will transform Juhu area. The plan is called as Vision Juhu involves a green stretch along Irla nullah. Irla nullah is currently being widened and cleaned. The encroachments around it are also being demolished. This plan will expand the green space and keep the encroachments which add to the pollution and flooding away.

The plan is for BMC to develop it on a build-operate-transfer basis. The proposal is well received by BMC. Slowly but surely, Mumbai is becoming a city that can handle the transportation, quality of life, and infrastructure issues facing it.

Jan 24, 2009

Iconic Tower - Tallest Planned Building in Mumbai


Mumbai town planners have been aiming to build taller buildings to increase the floor space index (FSI) of the city. Simply stated FSI is the ratio of total floor area of the building to the plot area. Currently Mumbai FSI is around 1 - 1.2.

If Mumbai is going to grow, then it needs to grow vertically - thereby increasing the FSI. Newly proposed Iconic Tower in Wadala will have 101 floors and will rise to 526 meters. There will be a 45 meters antenna at the top as well. With a total plot area 1.4 lakh sq meters and a built up area of 5.6 lakh sq meters, the FSI of this building will be 4.

The project is expected to cost Rs. 4128 crore and will be completed by 2014.

Other tall buildings in Mumbai are,

Raheja Platinum, Worli - 80 floors
Waves, Worli - 80 floors
Jupiter Mills Tower, Lower Parel - 75 floors
Dynamix-Balwas, Marine Lines   - 65 floors
Tardeo Towers, Tardeo  - 60 floors
Shreepati Arcade, Nana Chowk  - 45 floors

Jan 19, 2009

Stamp Duty Determination Guidelines for Mumbai Properties

Officials in Mumbai have clarified fifteen criteria in assessing stamp duty on a real estate transaction. Before this, the revenue officials were using arbitrary measures to come up with a number.

Here are those fifteen parameters.

1. Property will be more valuable if it is close to railway station, a bus stop, a market, multiplex.

2. Property close to the sea will cost more - due to cleaner air and sea breeze.

3. If the property is closer to crematoria or other polluting units, then the property will cost less.

4. If the title is disputed, then property value will be lower.

5. If the property is closer to schools or gardens then will cost more.

6. Uninterrupted supply of water, power, proper sewage service would add to the value of the property.

7. Higher the Floor Space Index (FSI), higher the value of the property.

8. The property is more valuable if it on a level land instead of a hilly area.

9. If the property is free of debt then the stamp duty will be higher.

10. If the property is well connected with the approach roads, then the value of the property will be considered higher.

11. Clear view of the surroundings will add to the value of the property.

12. Ownership property will be more valuable that leased.

13. Properties on irregular shaped parcels will cost less.

14. non-agricultural land will cost more.

15. smaller plot will be proportionately cheaper than the larger plot.

Property value determination is important because in Mumbai the stamp duty is nearly 5% of the higher of property value or the market value.

Jan 18, 2009

Kishore Kumar - Live

Kishore Kumar was such an entertainer. However, early in his career, he used to suffer from stage fright. He would kick people out of the studio during recordings. He overcame that eventually. If you look at his live concerts, where he is seen interacting with everyone on and off the stage, it is difficult to imagine a star who would sing on the stage only with is entire body shielded from public view.

Sanjay Gandhi wanted Kishore to sing in a political rally in Mumbai. When Kishore refused, his songs were banned from All India Radio. His income tax troubles also began mysteriously at the same time.

The maestro had to do several public performances to raise money to pay off his income tax debt. He also performed for charities. 

Here's kishore.

Jan 15, 2009

Mumbai to get a wax museum

Marie Tussuad used to travel across Europe in late 1700s with her was sculptures is the name associated with wax museums across the world - the most famous being in London. The Baker Street museum was established in 1835. Now Mumbai is going to get its own was museum.

There are three wax museums in India in Goa, Ooty, and Ludhuiana. Mumbai's wax museum will be at Girgaum Chowpatty at Birla Sports Center. The center will have a budget of Rs 30 crore in 2009-10 and it is expected to boost tourism revenue. A wax statue costs Rs 3 - 15 lakhs depending on the size and details and it takes 16 weeks to make one statue.

We can only hope that the place is not filled with statues of Indian politicians.

Jan 7, 2009

Gangs of Mumbai - underworld players

Once upon a time, Dawood Ibrahim controlled entire Mumbai. Now with Chhota Shakil, Chhota Rajan, Arun Gawli, and Ashwin Naik claiming their share on the city, the underworld is decidedly communal with Hindus against Muslims. 

The battle has essentially narrowed between Rajan and Shakil with others supporting one of them. Ashwin Naik supports Shakil from London. Rajan has support from Gawli. Here's a current map of Mumbai with the names of the controlling gangsters.

Chota Rajan used to work with Dawood before the 1993 blasts in Mumbai. However, after the blasts Rajan blamed Dawood for being anti-Hindu and anti-national and vowed to kill all 180 considered guilty. Rajan formed his own gang.

In 2000, Dawood tracked down Rajan in Bangkok. Shakil led the hit. In a typical Bollywood style, Shakil's men posed as pizza delivery men. Rajan made a daring escape by running away over the top of Bangkok rooftops. He was shot, but recovered and evaded capture by the authorities.

For a while, the Hindu political parties were supporting the Hindu gangsters. Current relationship is not as overt. State intelligence agencies, however, may be using links with these underworld individuals. Recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai (11/26/08) have brought the relationship between Pakistan's ISI and Dawood to forefront.

Jan 4, 2009

RD Burman Chowk at Santacruz


Rahul Dev Burman passed away fifteen years ago on January 4th, 1994. Today, a chowk at Santacruz (west) near his house was named after him. Attending the ceremony was Singer Asha Bhosle - who was married to him, and lyricist Gulzar. Here's a wonderful song where they collaborated to create magic.

RD has not left us. He is still setting the standards for Bollywood music.

Jan 2, 2009

TATA Airlines Route Map 1939


Here's a route map of Tata Airlines in 1939. It exaggerates regional stereotypes. One of the regions' description is not far from the truth even today. Take a look at the top left of the map. Afghan-Pakistan border is still full of feuds even in 2009.


Tata Airlines became today's Air India.

Amul Butter's take on JRD Tata


Readers of this blog know that if Amul Butter makes a poster about something, then it is a really important event in India. Here's an old, undated poster about JRD Tata. It's a take on Superman theme. It says - It's aapro (ours in Gujarati) Superman.


Just as Jamsetji Tata was a trailblazer by being the first Indian to own a car, JRD Tata was the first Indian to have civilian pilot license. He also founded Tata Airlines which a precursor to Air-India.

Tata Airlines - a precursor to Air India


Tata Airlines founded in 1932 by JRD Tata later became the airlines known as Air India. 

JRD Tata flew for the first time as a passenger when he was 15 in France and he fell in love with flying. So in 1930's an Englishman named Nevill Vincent suggested to JRD Tata that he should operate India's first airline, he jumped at the suggestion. Nevill was in India to make money by offering joy rides, but he spurred something more meaningful.

On October 15th, 1932 JRD Tata took off from Karachi to Ahmedabad and on to Bombay in a solo flight carrying postage mail. He landed at the Juhu airstrip and India's civil aviation took off. In 1946, Tata Airlines became Air India and in 1953, the company was nationalized by the Government of India.

In 1962, Air India became worlds first airline to fly all-jets fleet.

JRD Tata in the meanwhile re-enacted his solo flight couple of times. Once on the 30th anniversary and then again in 1982 on the 50th anniversary. 

They Met In Bombay (1941) Hollywood Movie

Romantic sparks fly in this whirlwind adventure about two thieves lusting after the same jewel. Clark Gable stars as Gerald Meldrick, a clever scam artist who comes up with a brilliant idea: He'll allow his attractive rival, Anya Von Duren (Rosalind Russell), to do the hard labor of lifting the famous gem from its rightful owner, then swoop in and pluck it out of Anya's unsuspecting hands. 


Things don't work out quite as Gerald envisioned, though. Anya gets wind of the plan, and, in no time at all, the two of them are headed to the Far East with the law hot on their trail. 

Finally, the hero and heroine team up to outwit a scheming inspector (Matthew Boulton) and a powerful freight captain (Peter Lorre) while questioning their life of crime. This swashbuckling MGM spectacle from Clarence Brown is a dazzling romantic adventure full of thrills and high-seas romance.

Here's a French poster of the movie. Doesn't the plot sound just like any Bollywood masala movie - minus the song sequences? Incidently, you won't see Bombay other than in the title since the movie was shot entirely in California.

Jan 1, 2009

Jinnah House in Mumbai

Jinnah House in Mumbai was the Mumbai residence of founder of Pakistan - Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The house stands on a 2.5 acre property in Malabar Hills area on Bhausaheb Hirey Marg (Mount Pleasant Road) right in front of the official residence of Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Jinnah had purchased this house in 1917 and had it rebuilt by architect Claude Batley with Italian marble and walnut wood in 1936 at the cost Rs. 200,000. This was the place where at the age of 41 Jinnah fell in love with young Parsi girl Ruttenbai and married her after she turned 18.

This house was the place where discussion regarding partition of India were help. Exactly an year before India gained independence, Jinnah and Nehru met at this house to hold talks that altered the course of Indian history.

Here's a photograph of Jinnah announcing formation of Pakistan from his residence.

Jinnah was extremely attached to this house and had requested Nehru to allot the house to any foreign consulate. British deputy high commissioner occupied this house from 1948 to 1982. Part of this house is now occupied by Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Jinnah's descendants in India, the Wadia family (Bombay Dyeing) have staked a claim on this property. It is currently worth about US $15 million.