' My Vikhroli - A Mini-India






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My Vikhroli - A Mini-India
By Anita Britto, Auckland

November 18, 2011


'Vikhroli' is a place which I hope you've come across 
If you haven't I shall sympathise for I bemoan your loss 
Get your Atlas, do a Google for it shouldn't take you long 
Just a glimpse of my Vikhroli makes me want to burst in song


Now I can fabricate a story and make your eyes go moist 
With childhood friends all joining in, their memories also voiced 
But I promise not to spin a tale and only truth I'll tell 
For "Satya Meva Jayathe" is something I've learnt well 


You can be my Sancho Panza while I take you down the lane
Where memories overwhelm me with a numb and aching pain
Now it's easy to exaggerate when you think about the past
And reminisce about those days which have gone by so fast 


Just the thought, it makes me happy and my heart it starts to flip
While I get into a time machine to take this awesome trip
I remember, I remember - My heart it seems to say
While I jog around the treasures of a lovely yesterday  


With Endorphins in my blood stream and thoughts all flowing wild
My hormones seem to rush in like an adolescent child
The images start rolling and I say "Action Replay"
While I see my Alma Mater and the friends of my heyday 


Udayachal was so special, a school ex- students miss
Those golden days of childhood were filled with so much bliss
While we chat for hours on Face book and talk about our school
We're holding hands around the world like "Ek daali ke phool"  


"Jitna pyaara, utna pyaara”, I believe is true
For "Mata ka Aanchal” will always stay with you
As for our lovely teachers who put up with our pranks
We remember them with gratitude and many many thanks 


A tribute I must pay now before I tell you more
To the Godrej Family whom I'm sure we all adore
They've set a great example with all that they have done
With honour and humility, our fragile hearts they've won


So dignified and simple despite their name and fame
They shook hands with the watchman and even knew his name
They made each child feel wanted and taught us to respect
Every other person, despite their creed or sect 


For in Phirojshanagar, Where folks from East met West
We had the best of both worlds and knew that we were blest
In this mosaic of cultures, "where sabka sur mile"
We grew from kids to teenagers, our best days I could say  


If I may steal a line from Wordworth, when on my couch I lie
Nostalgia seems to grip me flashing on that inward eye
I see a place like Heaven, it has to be Godzone
For seeds of peace and harmony in this playground were sown  


I don't see El Dorado where streets are paved with gold
But a place where folks were made in a very different mould
Their Mother tongues were different but their language was just one
And they spoke of love and unity and ill will there was none 


They practised different faiths but they never thought it wrong
To sing and pray   together while they all just got along
While some would say their "Aamori" and others their "Namaaz"
They all just merged together and I heard just one "Aavaaz" 


As kids we loved each festival and rejoiced in each of them
For tolerance was what we learnt, where noble feelings stem
We celebrated Onam and enjoyed our Garba Raas
And also went to Temples not forgetting Daily Mass 


The Bible, Geeta, Koran - all teach and preach the same
That Greed and Pride are sinful and are vices we should tame
Eid was just so special and Biryani was just great
As for "Patrani Machi” it makes me salivate  


I loved Mum's Kori Roti but also loved her saag
Each cuisine blending smoothly like a mellifluous raag
Our neighbour played his Manna Dey while Dad heard Nat King Cole
The fusion of these harmonies was music to the soul  


No matter where we bat and no matter where we bowl
The games we played in childhood are still tonic to the soul
With a childhood filled with riches, I say this with "vishvaas"
That "Vikhroli days" will stay with me until my "antim saas."

 

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Comments on this article
santosh shetty, thaneSunday, August 16, 2015
zakaaaaaaas
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ArieMargo, mFThbfRHTuesday, July 14, 2015
This has made my day. I wish all positions were this good.
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Clarine, AndheriWednesday, April 29, 2015
Anita, very well written, indeed made me nostalgic and moist my eyes...
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Cynthia D'Silva-Carvalho, Mangalore/CanadaFriday, November 21, 2014
Very well written, Anita! Just brought back wonderful memories of growing up in Vikhroli and a joyful tear to my eye. Thank you!
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Sanu, Vikrholi-ParksiteWednesday, April 23, 2014
By chance I browsed Vikrholi on google and got to read your poem, it is worth reading. My brother and sister went to St.Joseph, I also did attend mass occasionally.
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Nitin dalvi, MumbaiThursday, November 24, 2011
Hi Anita.
Once again...really beautiful one .It made my eyes moist as took us all down the memory lane to our childhood.
Thanks for the same.
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Mahesh. K, Vikhroli - UKWednesday, November 23, 2011
Joseph, Mulund it is MOHINI VILLAS, SATKAR , Ratnakar , AKARSHAN , Sashi Punjab, Krishana , Vikroli Central, Arpan.
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R.N. Amin, Mumbai - DubaiWednesday, November 23, 2011
Vikhroli can be called Mini Manglore your can find in large number of Billawas / Bunts / Mangalorian / Goan christian and others living in vikhroli i.e Kannamwar Nagar 1, 2. Tagore Nagar 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.. Godrej Tower & Godrej Village , Park side , Hazari Bag , Haryali Village.
Place for Industrial houses like Godrej/Cipla/UHDE/TATA/ RELIANCE etc etc,
School:- Udyachal, St Jospeh High School, Vidya Mandir High School,Vikas School, Vikesh School, Siddivinayak School , Asmitha College for girls etc etc
Politician:-
Eknatha Gaikward CENTRE MINISTER
Datta Dalvi - Mayor Mumbai
Mangesh Sangle :-MNS 1 victory Seat
Raj Tackeray first speech in mumbai vikhroli ( OVAL MAIDAN VIKHROLI)
Playing Ground :-
OVAL MAIDAN
SHAMBAJI MAIDAN
TRIKONI MAIDAN etc etc
3 Police station and a high court and left over past records of major DONS gang's units...............
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Leena Fernandes, Kanajar/Mumbai/KuwaitWednesday, November 23, 2011
Nice Poem Anita. Quite interesting to read. I too remembered my old memories - St.Joseph Church where my Nuptials took place. Vikhroli is nice place na... Most convenient place. Now, close to R CITY MALL. Beautifully written Poem. All the best for the future endeavors.
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Leena Fernandes, Kanajar/Mumbai/KuwaitWednesday, November 23, 2011
Nice Poem Anita. Quite interesting to read. I too remembered my old memories - St.Joseph Church where my Nuptials took place. Vikhroli is nice place na... Most convenient place. Now, close to R CITY MALL. Beautifully written Poem. All the best for the future endeavors.
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nelson, mangalore/kuwaitTuesday, November 22, 2011
I have not been to the interior areas of Vikhroli but only as a thoroughfare from Santacruz to Kalina. Reading this article remnded me very much of the IC colony of Borvili west.
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jerry, mumbai,vikroliMonday, November 21, 2011
good article dear nice to read ,so some time come to mumbai and see how much it devolped now a days ,and meet old friends
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Evans Christopher Sumitra, Udupi/New York, USAMonday, November 21, 2011
Very nice article Anita and I recall my young age when during summer holidays where me and my younger brother would spend a few weeks at my uncle's house at Godrej colony. My uncle worked for Godrej from the beginning till he retired. We used to live in Byculla and attended St. Ignatius High School. We really had a good time in that good place visiting the shore and sometimes we go fishing. It was fun.Even though I visit this country every year I have not been to Godrej colony bot I passed through and saw a lot of changes.

The Sumitra Family,
Christie, Milita, Susan Joseph (Sumitra), Sanson.
New York,USA.
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Joseph, MulundSunday, November 20, 2011
Nice topic Anita Britto - The Udupi hotel outside Vikhroli (West) is a must visit. See in the excitement, I have even forgotten its name, however, I have umpteen number of times visited this place with my friends during my working tenure in Bombay. The steep sloping road outside the railway station (before the railway crossing ... in the middle) leading upwards to the highway is a very nice view. It looks like as if the road takes you to heaven. My classmates shop (Malhotra Glass Shop) is situated there for several years now. My friends father has his screen printing, binding, printing press and engineering workshop here for umpteen years now. And who can forget the Hilltop Cold Storage behind the church. I used to come here for my weekly purchase of 3kgs pork / sausages without which Sunday was incomplete. My friend's sister-in-law once worked for UHDE a major German Engineering conglomerate and several friends in Godrej too ... many of whom are still there. And many more friends still based in Cipla situated bang opposite UHDE. You can always visualize the heart beat of Vikhroli, it's the bloodstream of Bombay, the mini India as Anita has rightly put it.
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Arlene Fernandes, Mumbai /QatarSunday, November 20, 2011
My Father-in-law used to work for Godrej and my husband grew up in Godrej colony and studied in Udyachal. After I got married I stayed with my in-laws in Pearl Haven which is next to the colony. My husband and I are thrilled to see the pictures of Godrej ground, the Church and reading it all brings back a lot of memories. A big thanks to you Anita from my husband Mark and I.
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Joe Britto, Nakre/BangaloreSunday, November 20, 2011
Another great piece of poetry by Anita Britto ! The photographs interspersed with ryhming words make a perfect and pleasant reading and all Vikrolites will enjoy reading !
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arun olivera, mangalore/ dubaiSaturday, November 19, 2011
nice i can memories my childhood. i was staying in vikhroli park site 1982 to 2005 i have good exprence this place when i read this article i was ex
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Stanley Noronha, Kulshekar/KuwaitSaturday, November 19, 2011
Very beautifully worded poem, a good job well done. You are very talented, keep on writing. All the best. God Bless.
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Fredrick Correa, Pernal/MumbaiSaturday, November 19, 2011
Before I proceed, Flora DSouza, Kalmady/Mumbai. The church at Vikhroli is Saint Joseph's church. Saint Francis Xavier church is at Kanjur Marg.
My friends who used to come to visit us would look around and say that this can not be Mumbai!!! They used to admire the trees, the greenery and the whole atmosphere. During the independence day celebrations at the school, all the proceedings and speaches are given in Hindi, to give the national feeling. I wish there was a bridge for the vehicles connecting East to the West. Thanks Anita for reviving our memories.
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ujwal, MangaloreSaturday, November 19, 2011
Very Good Efforts.This article took us down memory lane when we used to visit our aunts place with many cousins located very next to the vikhroli station & the pharmaceutical company where we had memorable days.
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Edward Barboza, Kanajar / AucklandSaturday, November 19, 2011
Very nice and interesting to read childhood memories. Great poem and looking forward to read more poems. Well written and God bless you.
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Tony, Mangalore/SydneySaturday, November 19, 2011
Excellent poem Anita - I liked it! You have put in a lot of hard work and crafted the poem beautifully - well done! Yes - the Godrej Company in Vokhroli is great and a model employer, who like the Tatas, are well known to look after after their employees and their welfare.
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irene, derebail/Tracy.CASaturday, November 19, 2011
Nice & interesting article. I was staying in Vikhroli during 1968-70 and can recollect memories of those days. nice greenary on the highway with reputed companies.
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FLORA DSOUZA, KALMADY/ MUMBAI (JERIMERI)Friday, November 18, 2011
Congratulations Anita. You have nicely briefed the beauty of Vikhroli. My sister belongs to this Parish and I have experienced this place VIKHROLI as a most convenient place with Francis Xavier Church, School, Hall, Hospitals, Rly. Station, Bus stop/Bus Depot, Market of all kinds specially meant for we Catholics –Fish, Pork, Chicken, Mutton, Beef, Cold Storages, Cake Shops, also the advance Shopping Centres, the repute Malls, the multinational Cos., in one word VIKHROLI is a place of convenient for A to Z necessities for a common man to a rich man for their peaceful and posh living style.
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