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Famous landmarks

By Nickunj Malik - Feb 28,2018 - Last updated at Feb 28,2018

Unlike the Hollywood sign — the almost 13.5-metre American landmark and cultural icon that is situated on Mount Lee in Los Angles, California — Bollywood does not have anything similar to identify itself with. Therefore, even though everybody in Bombay acknowledges that there is a thriving movie industry somewhere in the city, not many people are aware of its exact location.

Undeterred by this, the helpful inhabitants of the metropolis direct all tourists, who want to watch the shooting of any film in progress, towards the suburbs. Now, the town’s extended outer edge is such a vague and undefined area, that most people get lost trying to find it, and end up feeling disappointed.

As a consolation, when we lived in Mumbai, more than two decades ago, I used to offer to take my visitors sightseeing. Surprisingly, none of them wanted to visit the beautiful Victoria Terminus, the Taraporewala Aquarium, the Hanging Gardens or the impressive Gateway of India. Incidentally, this monument was built to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary on their visit in 1911 but they simply got to see a cardboard model of the structure, since the construction did not begin till 1915. The foundation stone was laid on March 31, 1913, by the governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke, with the final design only getting sanctioned on March 31, 1914, but here I digress.

So, my guests, many of them from Delhi or Calcutta, I must confess, were single-minded in their purpose. They did not wish to see any buildings of historical or architectural significance in Mumbai. All they wanted was, photographs of themselves shaking hands with the Indian film-stars or, if possible, lots of pictures in front of their ostentatious houses.

To be honest, this should have been an easy request to fulfil but it turned out to be a very demanding one for me because I was clueless about where the superstars lived. I mean, shifting to Bombay on a transfer, did not give me an automatic access to the homes of the glitterati. I tried explaining this to my siblings who had come visiting, but they looked at me in disbelief and immediately asked my husband to do the needful. I expected him to offer the same reasoning but to my astonishment, he loaded all of us into his car and drove towards the suburbs. 

I was as curious as my brothers to see where my spouse was taking us. I found out soon enough as he slowed down in front of a lavish bungalow before parking on the opposite side of the road. I had no idea who the residents of the palatial villa were but my husband pointed towards it and announced that it was the abode of none other than Amitabh Bachchan, the one and only celebrity megastar of India.

My relatives clambered out of the vehicle with their cameras and struck dramatic poses in and around the ornate entrance to click endless photographs. My head was reeling but I was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. 

“How do you know that Amitabh Bachchan lives here?” I whispered to my husband. 

“How do you know that he doesn’t?” he whispered back. 

I frowned in confusion but as I saw his left eyelid close in a deliberate wink, the penny dropped.

“Let’s show you Salman Khan’s house next,” I said, joining the charade. 

“He owns this entire building,” I exaggerated confidently.

58 users have voted.


You said it perfectly. And the same priority in sightseeing star home continues even now!!

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