Discovering the KITE shops of Dongri in Mumbai

Wednesday(13/1/2021) A Tourist in Mumbai :- Bombay now Mumbai is a city once divided into various segments based on communities and DONGRI is one such locale in the heart of South Mumbai. ⁸Believe it or not but in 52 years of my lifetime in Mumbai this was my first visit to “DONGRI LOCALITY” although i spent 7 years of my lifespan in nearby Byculla locality.”MAKAR SANKRANTI” is synonymous with kite flying all over India and DONGRI in Mumbai was World famous for producing the best kites and “Manja( Kite Thread)” in India. Rode the short 8 Kms distance in heavy traffic from my residence on Old Prabhadevi road to J.J. Hospital and at the first left turn on reaching the hospital road end headed left onto the street leading to Dongri. Absolutely congested with traffic and people and thankfully got my bearings right in discovering the “KITE SHOPS OF DONGRI”.The landmark ” MUGHAL MASJID(Masjid-E-Iranian)” built in the 1860’s situated on Imamwada road is the locale in which the kite shops are situated. Visited the “Dongri Kite Centre” ,first kite shop situated just next to the iconic masjid and was surprised to know that this was the oldest kite shop having been in business since 1942. Spoke to the owner Mr Mohammed. Malik. Ansari sitting at the main counter of this small unassuming shop. Different kites were on display inside the shop while a worker was busy producing ‘Kite Manja(Kite Thread )” on a “Phirki (Kite string bobpin roller)”. Memories of my childhood right upto 1975 rushed through my mind. As a kid i flew kites in Mombasa(Kenya) and later on migrating to Bombay continued my passion of kites during our residency in Byculla chawl culture . In 1975 we shifted to Old Prabhadevi road and that’s when my kite flying stopped as no one flew kites in the flat culture of our building. Is kite flying dying a slow death in Mumbai ? Yes. I personally feel so as even with binoculars i don’t see kites in the skies of the plush localities of Mumbai.Even in the remaining chawls of Mumbai it seems flying kites is no more the seasonal passion in the era of smart phones and Internet games. Change is Permanent ? From “Dongri Kite Centre” shop walked a few meters ahead and came across “Indian Fighter Kites” established in 1972. Identical to “Dongri Kite Centre” but slightly bigger .A little ahead from “Indian Fighter Kites” was the last kite shop on “Imamwada Road” , a total of only three kite shops on this road which explains the decline in the kite flying business. After a visit to the “KITE SHOPS” rode leisurely along the narrow road of Dongri passing alongside “St Joseph’s School” and later stopping at “Dongri Market”. As usual ended my short tour of “DONGRI” with a visit to the fish market where a giant fish was in the process of dissection for purchasers. Ahoy !

NOTE :- Below are photos of the Denpasar Kite festival of 2014 .Having travelled across 81 country’s at the time of writing here are memoirs of travelling across Indonesia in 2014. On Sunday(31/8/2014) during a day’s visit to Denpasar in Bali was at the right place at the right time and come across a KITE FESTIVAL COMPETITION with Kite aficionados flying giant sized kites . For the first time in my life got to hold the twine string of a 7 feet tall kite and feel the wind power on this giant kite.

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Discovering ” WORLI KOLIWADA FISHING WHARF” in Mumbai.

Having travelled across 81 Country’s feel ashamed to admit that i have not explored the iconic landmarks in my own backyard of PRABHADEVI/WORLI KOLIWADA. How many have seen the “Anus” of Mumbai’s drainage system ? There are 8 different “SEWAGE DISPOSAL” zones in Mumbai of which the “WORLI ” and “COLABA” sewage system are the oldest On Monday(4/1/2021) while on my normal cycling exercise around “Worli Seaface-Pochkhanawalla(Worli Hill)(Mt Everest Circuit !) ” road on my return home stopped at the “SLUICE GATE DRAWBRIDGE” situated next to the main entrance gate of Indian Coast Guard missile battery base “I.N.S Trata” . 18 storey “Harsiddhi Heights” towers above the “Worli-Koliwada’ fishing wharf, the tallest building in the vicinity. No tall buildings are allowed in the vicinity of “I.N.S TRATA” due to security reasons of the Indian Navy.Got a wonderful view of the small fishing boats anchored in the tiny basin of the “Sluice Gate drawbridge”. Amazing and ironic that sadly thanks to the “Covid-19 Travel Lockdown” i am a tourist in my own city of Mumbai.

Next day on Tuesday(5/1/2021) visited “Worli fish wharf” in the morning . Believe it or not that staying in the vicinity for 45 years this was the “BONNY(FIRST)” day of my visit to “Worli Koliwada Fishing Wharf”. “Covid-19 Travel Lockdown” has made me rediscover my own city and locality, a tourist rediscovering my own backyard . When “COVID-19 ” first struck Mumbai city it was “WORLI KOLIWADA” village that bore the brunt of this pandemic and was the first locality in entire Mumbai to be put under a “CURFEW LOCKDOWN”. Terrible tragedy followed with numerous deaths within this mass populated village and thankfully in 2021 the village has eradicated “Covid-19″ although still a pandemic in other localities of Mumbai.WORLI KOLIWADA FISHING WHARF” is situated in the small sheltered basin of the length of the “SLUICE GATE DRAWBRIDGE” of “Worli Gutter”.“Harsiddhi Heights”, a 18 storey’s towering skyscraper building built right above the “Worli Gutter” channel route is the landmark building in the vicinity overlooking the wharf and Indian Navy battery base “I.N.S Trata”.These small fishing boats catch small fish and occasionally lobsters which sell at Rs 1,100/Kg. The fisher folk of Worli Koliwada village have noticed a drastic drop in fish catch after the construction of the “Bandra-Worli Sea Link” and proof was in this pitiable catch of early morning fishing business where its difficult to recoup fuel cost let alone profit to the boat employee’s and owner. Could call this type of fishing business as subsistence fishing . Cycled back home with the cheapest fish for courtesy of my first visit. Have eaten numerous lobsters of this size during my 2 years (1999-2000) employment on “J.N.P.T Tugs(Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust)” at Nhava Sheva .One of the Tug’s crew was an expert fisherman and when the tug was anchored off the port wharf he would use his “CRAB NET” to catch lobsters and crabs which he would later sell. Once he caught the largest black crab i have seen in my life that weighed a few kilo’s and which he sold to a 5 star hotel.A real monster of a crab which i presume would never see in my life again. Ahoy !

Later at home got the fish cooked.After 45 years of living in Old Prabhadevi locality for the first time I was having seafood with fish purchased directly from Worli Koliwada Fish Jetty .

MOTORCYCLE CRUISE TO MATHARPACADY VILLAGE IN MAZGON

Road leading to the HOLY CROSS ORATORY

Mondjay(28/12/2020)A Tourist in Mumbai :- Visited ” MATHARPACADY VILLAGE ” in Mazagon.Was surprised that having lived in Byculla for 7 years, schooled in Byculla and later 4 years “Marine Engineering Apprenticeship” in Mazgon Docks and yet never knew that one of Mumbai’s unique villages existed in Mazgon.A local gave me directions to the various prominent locales within this quaint village and entered the village through the lane facing “Lion’s Den”, a popular landmark, and home of the Leo family sporting two stone lions flanking the entrance. Strolling across the quaint East Indian village met the owner of a prominent bungalow in this village. He explained me a bit of the local history of this village and he lived along with his brothers in a palatial bungalow, unbelievable in 21st century Mumbai.A Inherited bungalow built in 1880 and requiring expensive maintenance. Hence most of the ancestral East Indian Catholics have sold their bungalows for development as buildings and in the process a few cheated.The Holy Cross Oratory in this village was built by the residents in the late 1890s when Bombay was struck by plague and praying at this oratory has been going on for over a century.This village was officially awarded a “GRADE III” heritage structure but sadly has disintegrated in certain sections with cottages giving way to modern concrete buildings and encroachments. The ancestral house of Bombay’s First Mayor Mr Joseph.Baptista who was born in this village is today a modern residential concrete building. There is a huge large abandoned well within this village that thankfully has fish and turtles.The “Eymard Cottage” , ancestral house of the “Miranda Family” was donated to the “Blessed Sacrament Provincialate’ and is now used as a chapel for prayers. Migration to foreign country’s by most of the village resident relatives and at times lack of funds for maintenance of these palatial bungalows is what is leading to “Matharpacady Village” gradually disintegrating and hope there is a revival in restoring this heritage village in the heart of Downtown concrete jungle Mumbai.

“LIONS DEN ” bungalow owned by the Leo Family.
MATHARPACADY village Well .Not in use .
“MARY LODGE” , Family home of Baptista family.
Formery “EYMARD COTTAGE ” donated by Edward.Miranda family to the Catholic Church and now the ” BLESSED SACRAMENT PROVINCIALATE” “
Unbelievable that MATHARPACADY village exists in Downtown Mumbai surrounded by skyscrapers .
Clean Narrow lanes inside MATHARPACADY village.
HOLY CROSS ORATORY
Candle offerings at HOLY CROSS ORATORY
Children playing in the narr6lanes of MATHARPACADY village
Heritage cottage houses and small buildings inside MATHARPACADY 6 in the midst of the 3rd most populated city in the World.Unbelivable
Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph, A,Furtado on a Heritage locale cruise of Mumbai city.In MATHARPACADY village. Ahoy!

Motorcycle Cruising to KOTACHI WADI in Girgaon in Mumbai

Monday(28/12/2020)A Tourist in Mumbai:- At Classic gem of a village ” KHOTACHI WADI” in congested locality of Girgaon in Downtown Mumbai.Totally camafloge entrance from the narrow main road into this unbelievable village .” BUNGALOW N0 58″ a palatial bungalow greets your eyes as you enter this village with a tiny ” JESUS GROTTO” facing this bungalow.In KHOTACH I WADI the bungalows dont have names but NUMBERS.Among the most iconic structures besides ” Bungalow N0 58″ is ” BUNGALOW N0 47 G” of prominent fashion designer Mr James.Ferreira.Next to James .Ferreira bungalow is a lodging hotel” GIRGAON PALACE” with a rental of Rs 2000/Day .
KHOTACHI WADI” village is truly a Oasis in the midst of the skyscraper concrete jungle of Downtown Mumbai.During the Christmas festive season visit this village at night to view the lighted Christmas Decor
Hope this village is preserved.Ahoy !

“JESUS GROTTO ” at the main entrance to KOTACHI WADI.
Main entrance road into KOTACHI WADI fro. Bustling Girgaon locality of Mumbai
CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES DECOR in this unique East Indisn Catholic village
Bungalow “N0 58” , a beautiful residence at entrance to KOTACHI WADI
” Bungalow 47 G ” owned by Fashion designer Mr James.Ferreira.
Fat Cat on a hot tile roof in KOTACHI WADI.
Classic Cottage houses surrounded by concrete jungle of Girgaon
Seafarer/Blogger/Traveller Rudolph. A.Furtado exploring the unique KOTACHI WADI village in Downtown Mumbai.
Beautiful garden in a classic Bungalow compound in KOTACHI WADI
Cruising and sightseeing Mumbai on my ” Standarf Bullet 350″

A brief visit to “Probably Paradise Shelter” in Karjat .

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Mrs Roxanne.Davur in the main foyer of “Probably Paradise Shelter”.

Thanks to “FACEBOOK” got to read about “Probably Paradise Shelter” and Ms Roxanne .Davur who owns and manages this shelter and hence decided to visit the same before the onset of the Monsoons.

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A view of the open grounds of “Probably Paradise Shelter”. This donkey instantly became my friend .

On Monday(10/6/2019) rode 80 Kms on my “Bullet 350” from my residence in Prabhadevi to Takwe village in Karjat to visit the “PROBABLY PARADISE SHELTER” owned and managed by Ms Roxanne.Davur. Reached the shelter at 0930 hrs greeted by the loud barking of dog’s at the entrance gate.Ms Roxanne.Davur is a elderly Parsi lady who has now devoted her life to maintaining a shelter for destitute and abandoned animals on her 1.5 acres land in Takwe village of Karjat.

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A view of a part of the palatial 1.5 acre fenced “PROBABLY PARADISE SHELTER” in Takwe village of Karjat.

She had a successful career in the airlines and hotel Industry and trained as a master trainer in animal welfare in Delhi later working in Ooty as a “Animal Welfare Inspector” and a “Racecourse Inspector” at the Ooty Racecourse.

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Roxanne Davur with her cats inside the “Cattery Lodging” where over a 100 cats reside. Amazing.

 

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The visitor/narrator at the “Probably Paradise Shelter” .A few of the 100 + cats were all over me and Ms Roxanne Davur and never before in my life i had these many cats wanting my affection and pampering. At home i have two Traditional Persian cats and have owned pets since childhood previously owning dogs.

She started this shelter in Takwe village of Karjat in December 2012 and is helped by the locals of Takwe village in daily maintenance of this sprawling complex which costs Rs 6 lakhs/month in maintenance alone.

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A view of the recent addition of a “Dog Kennel” on the 1.5 acre “Probably Paradise Shelter” estate.

I was the only visitor early in the morning and she explained me the basic layout and management of this private amazing animal shelter where discarded pets and street casualty animals can live the rest of their lives in this Paradise for animals.

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Roxanne having a cup of tea in the company of her beloved non-human companions.

In human terms i would compare it to a “Old Age Home” for pet’s and abandoned domesticated animals.We humans have a tendency to treat pets as commodities that can be abandoned and tragically most abandoned pets die miserable deaths as they cannot survive on the streets or wild akin to feral dogs or cats .

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This dog would have not survived a few days on the streets and here it is happy and contended in “Probably Paradise Shelter”.Its such pathetic and hopeless animal medical cases that are handled free of charge at this unique animal shelter .

Most important is that all the dog’s and cat’s get along together although the cat’s due to their vast numbers have a separate cattery enclosure.

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Roxanne administrating “Intravenous ” medication to “Ebony” the mix-breed abandoned dog that suffered a partial heart attack .

The animals at times are medicated by Ms Roxanne.Davur herself and during my short visit she administered a intravenous saline medication to “Ebony” , a abandoned mix breed that had suffered a heart attack at night .

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WHO SAYS CATS AND DOGS DON’T GET ALONG ? This particular cat doesn’t mingle along with the other 100 + cats in the “Cattery Residence” of the shelter but gets along very well with this dog. Both are kept isolated in a separate pen and enjoy each others company as can be observed in this photo.

Roxanne.Davur has led a very privileged life and lifestyle and is still in touch with the “Who’s Who” of the “Horse racing and Celebrity” world and at times donations from the wealthy do help in supporting the “Probably Paradise Shelter” that is unique in our Country where most philanthropists donate wealth only towards “Human Hospitals” or “Human Welfare”.

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Ms Roxanne Davur in her palatial “PROBABLY PARADISE SHELTER” in Takwe village of Karjat in the State of Maharashtra in India.

On Thursday( 9/2/2017) Roxanne.Davur was recognized for her charitable work towards the welfare of animals and awarded the “Yes Foundation Everyday Hero Award -2016” in the presence of  Union Minister of Railways Mr Suresh.Prabhu ,actor Abhishek.Bachchan and the founder chairman of GMR group Mr G.M .Rao.

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Made the 80 Kms motorcycle ride from Prabhadevi in Mumbai to Takwe village in Karjat and later back home to Mumbai.Here i am at Vanjarwadi (Kadav) in Karjat having overshot my location by a kilometer. On inquiring with locals finally found my way to “Probably Paradise Shelter” .The entrance to the shelter had a dirt road and was akin to riding a motorcycle “Dirt Race” also proving the durability and adaptability of my “Royal Enfield Bullet 350” .It was peak “Dry Summer” but once the Monsoon sets in this entire locality would be a carpet of natural greenery.Just 2 1/2 hrs drive from concrete jungle Mumbai is a real paradise of natural forests and farmland. Numerous resorts are being developed in the vicinity and only hope some legislation is enacted in not converting the entire “Green Belt” neighborhood of Karjat into a cluster of artificially landscaped resort and holiday villa’s.Thank’s to my visit to the “Probably Paradise Shelter” that i got a view of Karjat as a tourist.

A visit to the “Probably Paradise Shelter” in Takwe village of Karjat.

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Mrs Roxanne.Davur in the main foyer of “Probably Paradise Shelter”. The beautiful labrador was abandoned by its owner.Tragic that many pet owners abandon their pets if they have bahavioural problems or are expensive to maintain.Maintaining a “PET” is expensive requiring personal human interaction with the pet 

Since the purchase of the   Royal Enfield “Bullet 350” motorcycle in March 2016 its been a addiction of long distance motorcycle cruising  after my 11 days  2000 Kms epic riding odyssey from Mumbai to Barkur and back to Mumbai.

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A view of a part of the palatial 1.5 acre fenced “PROBABLY PARADISE SHELTER” in Takwe village of Karjat.

Thanks to “FACEBOOK” got to read about “Probably Paradise Shelter” and Ms Roxanne .Davur who owns and manages this shelter and hence decided to visit the same before the onset of the Monsoons.On Monday (10/6/2019) rode 80 Kms on my “Bullet 350” from my residence in Prabhadevi to Takwe village in Karjat to visit the “PROBABLY PARADISE SHELTER” owned and managed by Ms Roxanne.Davur.

 

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Reached the shelter at 0930 hrs greeted by the loud barking of dog’s at the entrance gate.Ms Roxanne.Davur is a elderly Parsi lady who has now devoted her life to maintaining a shelter for destitute and abandoned animals on her 1.5 acres land in Takwe village of Karjat. She had a successful career in the airlines and hotel Industry and trained as a master trainer in Delhi later working in Ooty as a “Animal Welfare Inspector” and a “Racecourse Inspector” at the Ooty Racecourse. She started this shelter in Takwe village of Karjat in December 2012 and is helped by the locals of Takwe village in daily maintenance of this sprawling complex..I was the only visitor early in the morning and she explained me the basic layout and management of this amazing private animal shelter where discarded pets and street casualty animals can live the rest of their lives in this Paradise for animals. In human terms i would compare it to a “Old Age Home” for pet’s and abandoned domesticated animals.We humans have a tendency to treat pets as commodities that can be abandoned and tragically most abandoned pets die miserable deaths as they cannot survive on the streets or wild akin to feral  dogs or cats . She showed me  the “Cattery Housing” where  over 100 cats are enclosed inside spacious “Apartments(Flats)” akin to humans living in houses.On sitting on the sofa inside the “Cattery Flat” the cats were all over me and Roxanne wanting to be petted and pampered.Besides the “Cattery enclosure ” there are pony’s , donkey’s , dog’s and a pig on the shelter premises.Most important is that all the dog’s and cat’s get along together although the cat’s due to their vast numbers have a separate cattery enclosure.She has also built a new kennel for dogs at one end of the estate .The animals at times are medicated by Ms Roxanne.Davur herself and during my short visit she administered a intravenous saline medication to “Ebony” , a abandoned mix breed that had suffered a mild  heart attack at night.The maintenance of this shelter costs Roxanne.Davur approximately Rs 6 lakhs/Month not taking into consideration  the personal devotion and emotions attached to almost every four legged animal inhabiting the shelter. On Thursday(9/2/2017) Ms Roxanne.Davur was awarded the “Yes Foundation Everyday Hero Award -2016” for her dedication to the care and welfare of animals.She was awarded a prize money of Rs 1 lakh in the presence of Union Minister of Railways Mr Suresh.Prabhu , actor Abhishek.Bachchan and founder chairman of GMR group Mr G.M.Rao. She has and still interacts  with the “Who’s Who” of the “Horse racing and Celebrity” world and during our conversation her name-dropping of icons of the  business,Political  and celebrity World was akin to my nomadic travels and extreme adventure sports across various Country’s.At times donations from wealthy patrons do help in supporting the “Probably Paradise Shelter” that is unique in our Country where most philanthropists donate wealth only towards  “Human Hospitals” or “Human Welfare”. At 1245 hrs I finally bid her and the unique “Probably Paradise shelter” goodbye  with her engrossed in giving “Ebony” the intravenous saline drip and a chance to live a normal life .

The tragic negligence of the ancestral 150 year old house of “Pai Tiatr Joao . Augustinho.Fernandes “in Modsai in Margao.

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The crumbling 150 year old Portuguese era house of the “Father of Konkani Tiatr ( Theatre) ” Joao .Augustinho.Fernandes at Modsai in Margao.

 

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A decaying “HERITAGE HOUSE” in urgent need of a internal repairs facelift .

 

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A view of the decaying ruins of “Pai Tiatr ” heritage house in Modsai.

 

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A view of the 150 year old crumbling “HERITAGE HOUSE” of “Pai Tiatr”.

 

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A different side view view of “Pai Tiatr” heritage house.

 

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Mr Godfrey.J.I.Gonsalves. and self inside the 150 year old crumbling house of “Pai Tiatr” in Modsai.

 

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A Internal view of 150 year old “Pai Tiatr” heritage house.A typical Goan Catholic house decor although 150 years old internal structure. In urgent need of repairs to preserve this heritage house.

 

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A Internal view of 150 year old “Pai Tiatr” heritage house.A typical Goan Catholic house decor although 150 years old internal structure. Religious icons in the house. In urgent need of repairs to preserve this heritage house.

Had been on a solo motorcycle ride from Mumbai to Barkur and back to Mumbai on my “Bullet 350 Black BS IV” with in-between rest-stops of a few days in Goa. On my return ride from Barkur to Mumbao on Monday(6/5/2018) had a 2 day stop-over at Margao.On Tuesday(7/5/2019) decided to explore some of the locales in Margao while cruising  the city on my motorcycle.Just rode my bike randomly around the main city circle towards Holy Spirit church and came across some old Portuguese era bungalows .Stopped my bike in the vicinity of Modsai village and just strolled aimlessly wandering and admiring the architecture of these beautiful palatial bungalows. A gentleman on a scooter stopped besides me and  i was lucky to have a chance meeting with socialist activist writer  and tiatrist Mr Godfrey.J.I.Gonsalves.

 

 

Ancestral House of Musician Chris.Perry in Modsai village of Margao.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             He explained me the heritage importance of this locality in Margao  and showed me the heritage house of Goan musician,composer,songwriter and film producer  Mr Chris.Perry who was a gifted trumpeter and also the person responsible for launching the singing career of Lorna.Cordeiro, called the nightingale of Goa.           He later took me to the house of Joao. Augustinho.Fernandes who has been honoured with the title of “Pai Tiatrist(Father of Theatre)” and after  whom  the main auditorium hall at Ravindra Bhavan is named.  Joao. Augustinho.Fernandes  has been honoured with the title of “Pai Tiatrist(Father of Theatre)” by the State Govt of Goa and after  whom  the main auditorium hall at Ravindra Bhavan in Margao  is named.Sadly his relatives now residing in this heritage house cannot afford the repairs and maintenance of the building and the same as seen in the photo is in gradual decay  Thanks to social activist and free lance blogger Mr Godfrey.J.I.Gonsalves who knows the family personally that i got entry into this historic crumbling house as also to view the awards and literature on Joao.Augustinho.Fernandes and his spouse Regina.Fernandes who was also a actress in the World of Goan Tiatr(Theatre).With real estate prices zooming in Goa this house would have been redeveloped into a palatial modern building or resort had it not been for a few activists like Mr Godfrey.J.I.Gonsalves who created awareness for preserving the  house of  the father of Konkani Tiatr. The Government of Goa has declared this house as a “Heritage Monument” and hope it is internally repaired while preserving its main 150 year old external structure.Tremendous tourist revenue could be generated by exhibiting such houses as living museums. I myself would have paid a entrance fee to visit this house and get a glimpse of the residence of  the founder of Tiatr in Goa..

 

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Literature and write-ups in the house on media write-ups on “Pai Tiatr Joao Augustinho Fernandes” . Also the awards by the State Govt of Goa. The present descendants inheriting this historic house do not have the funds to maintain or repair this 150 year old Portuguese era house. Awards and Press write-ups do not automatically convert into mega bucks money.

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” PAI TIATRIST JOAO AUGUSTINHO AUDITORIUM ” in RAVINDRA BHAVAN in Margao.

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Recognition and honour by the State Govt of Goa to “Pai Tiatr”.

CHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ PARK :-“Cradle of Indian Cricket” and ” Political Gatherings”.

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Shivaji Park ground littered with garbage at its central locale..

Just happened to visit “Shivaji Park Ground” early in the morning  on Sunday(24/2/2019) between 0700 hrs -0800 hrs and was sad on seeing almost the entire historic playground littered with plastic waste, paper and plastic water bottles.

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Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Ground( 1925) is the cradle of Indian Cricket. Many “Cricket Pitches” with Nets are erected at various places on this sprawling ground.

A political rally organised by Mr Prakash Ambedkar and Mr Asaduddin Owaisi’s was held the previous night on Saturday(23/2/2019) and hence the litter the day after this massive political rally. Shivaji Park was established in 1925 as the “Mahim Park” until its name was changed to “Shivaji Park” in 1927 and over the decades has been the venue for the Indian Freedom movement during British rule and post Independence the venue for various political parties most notable the “Shiv Sena”.

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Notice the litter of waste in the middle of the ground which is in the process of being cleaned.

Beside’s being the “CRADLE” of “Indian Cricket” having nurtured some of India’s house-hold cricket names Shivaji park is also famous for its large political rallies like the one held yesterday.The cleaning of the park was identical to cleaning Prabhadevi sea beach at low tide as such was the amount of waste litter on this large beautiful playground.

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.Young budding cricketers undergoing their daily grueling fitness training exercises.

      Local budding cricketers were practicing at the “Nets wickets ” nurtured at certain spots on this large  27.9 acres ground, the largest ground within Mumbai city.Came across “Achrekar Sports Club”  training nets on one end of the ground where Cricket Coach Mr Vivek.Todankar was guiding young girl’s and boy’s in the skill’s of the game.

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“Gulli Cricket(Tennis Ball Cricket)” being played on the periphery parts of the ground.Playing on the “Net Pitches” is charged while “Gully Cricket” is free and popular amongst those not able to afford attending a “Cricket Coaching Institution” or hiring a cricket pitch for a few hours. Shivaji Park accommodates all types of games with football being popular during the Monsoon season.  Player’s from various economic strata’s of society get a chance to use this ground throughout the year .Who know’s ? One of these “Gully Cricketer’s” could become the next State level or International level cricketer.

Aspiring cricketers were practicing at the Nets which cost a hire rate of Rs 800 for  2 to 3 Hrs. The tuition charges for the cricket classes  were  Rs 1000/ month with a entrance fee of Rs 6000.                                                                                                                                       

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“Achrekar Cricket Coaching” classes being conducted on a section of the ground.Coach Mr Vivek.Tondankar  coaching the young girls and boy’s on different “Net Pitches”.Here the Girl’s are being coached.

Holding large rallies is normal as has been since the formation of this park  but we Indians attending these rallies should observe some civic sense and see that plastic bottles, eatable wrappers and other waste is thrown into a rubbish bin and not onto this large sprawling ground.

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“Big Boy’s” practicing at the net’s on a section of the ground.Charges for renting a part of the ground for a day’s cricket game range from Rs 20,000 – Rs 25,000. 

 Why are we Indian’s so callous in observing basic civic sense in our own country but would avoid the same when touring outside India where in some country’s it’s a punishable crime to throw litter on the streets.I am not trying to change India and my own city Mumbai but hope to create some awareness about basic civic cleanliness .