Lower Parel in Mumbai(Bombay) was once synonymous with the textile mill industry the entire locality catering to the mill-workers and their lifestyle. The Textile mill strike of the 1980’s sounded the death knell of the mill Industry in Mumbai due to various reasons resulting in closure of all the textile mills in that locality.Post Economic liberalization -1992 by the Indian Government the mill owners were given a choice to sell their mill land after compensating the mill workers.This process started the gradual and later hectic pace of redevelopment of mill property in the entire “Lower Parel” locality. What was once a lower income middle-class locality of Mumbai was suddenly transformed into pockets of elite malls,Corporate buildings, residential buildings and entertainment night-clubs, something unbelievable in the 1980’s.I frequently visit “Phoenix high street mall” and the two most prominent night clubs in Mumbai, “Blue frog” and “Hard Rock cafe”, all in the vicinity of Lower Parel locality.On Thursday(31-1-2013) had visited Hard Rock Cafe for the “Zeppelicaine Rock concert”, a tribute to the legendary English rock group “Led Zeppelin”.As i walked along the street from my mobike parking slot on the road side-walk towards the Bombay Dyeing compound that houses “Hard Rock cafe” i decided to do a picture-blog of the contrasts in lifestyles of the two different faces of Mumbai.After confirming my entrance ticket to the club, entered this elite Franchisee nightclub, a total contrast to the life just outside on the streets of Lower Parel.This is what confuses most tourists and people unaccustomed to India and its very visible difference between extreme wealth and extreme poverty, most apparent in Mumbai.Hence the World’s costliest private building is in Mumbai while the World’s largest enterprising slum is also in Mumbai.I was at the club at approx 2100 hrs, a bit early and hence decided to visit the local middle-class beer bar at “Deepak restaurant” a few minutes walk across the street in Lower Parel.As mentioned the contrast in life-style and cost of living between “Hard Rock cafe” and “Deepak Restaurant” was akin to day and night, a very normal comparison feature between posh restaurants and average restaurants in any city, least of all Mumbai. What strikes a tourist or new visitor is the abrupt change in locale as a person steps out of the comfort of the luxurious restaurants into the street, not very common in most city’s.A tourist can experience the typical Mumbai street markets and chawl life-style of the middle-class in Lower Parel while at the same time enjoying the luxuries of high and expensive living of the privileged class.The fact is that everyone is happy in their own economic World although the contrasts in economic spending differs.This is the spirit that encourages economic prosperity and competitiveness in Mumbai city .Economics defines an individuals success or failure in the Megalopolis called Mumbai, same most visible in Lower Parel locality.“Deepak Talkies” , a landmark theater and one of Mumbai’s oldest still stands opposite Deepak restaurant, a reminder of the locality’s typical middle income movie clientele. After a bottle of beer at “Deepak Restaurant” made my way back across the street towards Bombay Dyeing compound and into “Hard rock Cafe”. Spent the night listening to excellent cover music of Led Zeppelin.
English-rock band “Zeppelicaine” sang cover songs from the play list of Led Zeppelin which included Black Dog, Kashmir, Dazed and Confused, Going to California, Stairway to Heaven, Whole lotta Love and many more songs. .In October 1972 Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, who were not yet the legends that they were eventually going to be, along with their manager Richard Cole had one night walked into a small pub named “Slip Disc” in Colaba, the most well known night-club of 1970’s Bombay during the “Hippy Era”.Nandu.Bhende, one of Bombay’s most famous English rock singer of the Indian rock band “Atomic forest”performed with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant at “Slip Disc”, the photos of that era becoming a collectors item. In 2013 Bombay now Mumbai has some of India’s best night-clubs in the “Lower Parel” locality while “Slip Disc” is no more in existence,economics playing a role in its demise as a night club.It was pleasant seeing and photographing the most famous voice on“MUMBAI 94.3 FM RADIO”, the one and only “RISHI K”. Akin to ” Hindi Playback singers” the “Radio Jockey” is always invisible and many of us listeners “FALL IN LOVE WITH THE VOICE” whether male or female.Among male English radio jockeys, Mr Vinod.Advani and “Rishi K” have been my favourites.Awaiting to see the most heard “Radio female Jockey” of “Mumbai FM 94.3” , the one and only “ERICA”. The concert finally wound up before midnight and as i made my way back to my motorcycle realized that in life only “Change is permanent”.What was once a low income residential and commercial area was abruptly transformed into an upscale locality of India, let alone Mumbai.This is why Mumbai was and still is known as the city that never sleeps,the economic enterprise of the poorest as well as the wealthiest keeps the city in motion, an ever-changing Mega-city.As for me, i do the “Economic balance act”daily as a self-entrepreneur,running in the same place to stay in the same upwardly mobile ever changing Mumbai!Thats what keeps me mentally as well as physically fit, the joy of living and experiencing the ups and downs of Mumbai’s financial life-style.