Bandra Slow | Verve Magazine



Text by Shirin Mehta. Photographs and captions by Milonee Madiyar.

“A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.”

Leisure by William Henry Davies

“Bandra has something for everyone,” says Milonee Madiyar, manager at Veronica’s, Mumbai’s in-demand sandwich shop and cafe located in the suburb — and a recent model in Verve’s fashion editorial. “People flock to this area to grab a bite at the eateries that dot the numerous bustling lanes. Many youngsters now live here amongst their new-found community of freelance creatives. Old-time residents have seen this small village gentrify and change a lot over the last few decades.” 

Eager to go beyond the crowds that typify this area, even if just for moments, Madiyar trains her lens on the suburb’s quieter side, discovering flashes of solitude in a space mostly known for its energetic hustle. “It’s been a journey to experience ‘slow’ mornings in Bandra, which isn’t the most obvious adjective that comes to mind when you think of the suburb,” she stresses. The idea of observing the “everyday, seemingly mundane occurrences” is what she finds enthralling. “You’ll step out and you will see neighbours popping their heads out of their windows to see what the neighbourhood ruckus is about, or a cheeky cat hopping from roof to roof….”

Here’s Bandra through Madiyar’s lens of solitude…

Shadow Play
People don’t have time to stand and stare. But if we stop and look around, we will see things that otherwise would’ve been missed — like the sun creating shadows. And then, for a brief moment, we could enjoy some childlike fun.


Puckering Up
The best part of working in a cafe is to be able to have fresh coffee as and when desired. The sound of the coffee machine and being able to see the brew being made first-hand — from bean to cup — is a great experience.


By The Meter
For people living in this part of the city, this is what their daily commute looks like. Here, we witness a moment of silence before the neighbourhood autowala gets ready to swoosh through the maze of the suburbs.


At Break Of Day
An early-morning smile can be very contagious. Some people wake up earlier than most to get small chores done — like washing cars —and get things ready to sparkle for the day.


It’s A Sign
Veronica’s is named after the street that the cafe is located on. Every time we open the cafe door and see the signpost, we smile.


Conscious Delivery
How difficult it must be to always run against the clock and deal with the city’s incessant traffic…all in an effort to deliver happiness.


Go Local
Fresh veggies, right around the corner. The experience of venturing out to buy your greens has in general become a rarity thanks to hyperlocal apps offering home delivery. The smell of fresh vegetables is a simple joy.


Neighbourhood Watch
Surveillance conducted by sincere gentlemen, relaxing cross-legged, fuelled by a well-earned cup of chai.


Sun Dried
A nice sunny day. Great for hanging things out to dry. A simple mundane task that all of us do, but it looks so different depending on where and how we live. Here’s a quick peek at a neighbour utilising his space creatively.


At Play
The happiness of cycling around the bylanes of Ranwar village in Bandra never gets old — the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. This simple pleasure captures the carefree spirit of childhood. Watching kids zip around these narrow streets, with the infectious joy radiating off them, reminds us to savour life’s little moments of pure, unbridled fun.


Sleeping Cars
Some well-maintained automotives. The covers don’t let the dust settle. It’s a standard practice — perhaps quintessentially Indian — that we have seen unchanged across time.


Inquisitive Neighbour
Ranwar village, situated on a busy street that has seen many changes over time, is filled with old homes and locals, many of whom are surprised by the way the environment has altered.


Time Out
Don’t we all sulk when our playtime is cut short? Some things never change. And the simple joys of childhood that make us lose track of time remain universal across generations. This scene captures a quintessential moment of a child reluctantly pausing while having fun — the emotion no doubt resonates with any adult who recalls the carefree days of youth.


Closing Time
Coffee cups at the end of every day, cleaned and stacked before the shutters go down.


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