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Khotachiwadi – The Hidden Treasure of Bombay



Bombay, for all its generosity and effulgence, has also been a  city bathed with numerous surprises. Being the great metropolis that it is, one never misses to find a unique aspect, a piece of novelty here. I nearly passed out with excitement and delight when I visited Khotachiwadi – a place which is an entirely different world in itself, a place which now has my heart.

A lane in Khotachiwadi

A lane in Khotachiwadi

Tucked away in Girgaum at the end of Jagannath Shankarshet road is a quaint little hamlet which is one of the finest representations of the history, lifestyle and cultural structure of ancient Mumbai.

A Portugese style house in Khotachiwadi

A Portuguese-style house in Khotachiwadi

This Goathan (village) was founded by Khot, who belonged to one of the Pathare Prabhu (Hindu Brahmin) families, who eventually sold off plots of this particular land to many East Indian Christians. Hence originally, Khotachiwadi was home to two communities – Maharashtrian and Christian which were then followed by many others like Goans, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Sindhis etc.

Bridget Misqitta - resident of Khotachiwad. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Bridget Misqitta – resident of Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

It is a poised and collected settlement with beautiful winding lanes decorated with 150-200 years old bovine buildings and houses. The bungalows proudly reflect the ancient Portuguese architecture of great heart and detail. Here, every lane, every alley, and every shrine has a story to tell.

Beautiful collections at Willy's house. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Beautiful collections at Willy’s house. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

The buildings of Khotachiwadi were built in the late 19th or early 20th century which were originally inhabited by the East Indian Christians and the Pathare Prabhus. Each house here displays a modest dimension to its architecture which again, is a great example of Indian craftsmanship during the British Raj.

Bridget Misquitta's house in Khotachiwadi

Bridget Misquitta’s house in Khotachiwadi

Single storey cottages richly colored in red, yellow and green, sloping tiled roofs and wooden spiral staircases along with high-raised ceilings, serene verandahs and front porches, brightly painted doors and windows and tapering lanes of never-ending beauty – Khotachiwadi has, without a doubt, stood the test of time and pleased hearts of millions across countries.

Jame's Ferreira's house. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Jame’s Ferreira’s house. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

Together, all these vivid elements radiate the charm of Konkan-Portuguese architecture. The streets are one of the strong elements of the village. To wander into the interiors of Khotachiwadi is to witness a little world – content in itself. It is no surprise how widely it’s being called ‘Mini Goa’.

James Ferreira's colonial style house

James Ferreira’s colonial style house

Right at the entrance of Khotachiwadi is the Girgaum Catholic Club, founded in 1894, which is a hub for vivid festivals, gatherings, and events.

Old Portugese architecture in James Ferreira's house. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Old Portuguese architecture in James Ferreira’s house. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

While proceeding on my tour of the village, I was pleasantly interrupted by a man who was mildly strumming happy tunes on his guitar while singing joyfully in his house.

Wilfred Felizardo (Willy) in his 120 years old house in Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Wilfred Felizardo (Willy) in his 120 years old house in Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

My further introspection led to interaction with him, was when I found myself at the receiving end of facts earlier unknown to me. Wilfred Felizardo, a native from Goa, stays in no. 57 Khotachiwadi. He is largely known ‘Willy Black’ by his resident friends and family. Willy’s 120 years old house is not merely a house but a piece of art.

Willy's house. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Willy’s house. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

Largely laden with heritage artifacts, ancient wooden pieces, lamps, lanterns, luminous chandeliers and more, it only goes to show how big of an arts and crafts enthusiast Willy is. “Enjoy life as it is, because Zindagi na Milegi Dobaara”, says Willy with a lyrical smile on his face. He is your ideal happy-go-lucky man, fully living life, not missing out on its beauty.

The Designer's touch at James Ferreira's house. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

The Designer’s touch at James Ferreira’s house. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

But every beauty has its share of shortcomings, so does Khotachiwadi. Like every other old structure, the wood works and other aspects of the village have to be extremely taken care of and protected by insects and various other elements of nature. “A lot of changes and alterations have been made in the past few years. Construction, honkings, nuisance, and disturbances have started coming in the picture which in turn led to a  number of Catholics moving out and flying to The States, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand for better opportunities” says Willy.

One of the by lanes of Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy -Ethel Misquitta

One of the by lanes of Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy -Ethel Misquitta

Although being sad over the fact of his fellow residents moving out and the number of alterations being made, Willy never fails to do his  best bit to keep alive the tradition and spirit of his lovely land. He teaches and plays music to the kids especially during Christmas and other such functions.

Portugese style house in Khotachiwadi

Portuguese style house in Khotachiwadi

Moving further, I came across the house of James Ferreira (No. 47G)  – a life-long resident and a much-celebrated fashion designer. I would like to stop for a moment to purely appreciate his excellence in taste and designing skills. James’s 200 years old house is an epitome of rich Portugal heritage and gorgeous relaxed vibe. “All these are colonial artifacts which I have been collecting since over fifty years,” remarked James. He is also an active member of the workings of Khotachiwadi and stays deeply humbled with his majestic house.

A Portugese style house in Khotachiwadi

A Portugese style house in Khotachiwadi

Khotachiwadi hence has become a prime example of cultural and social development and a bridge between western and traditional ideologies. Apart from this, a rather important factor which is prevalent here is the strong sense of unity amongst the distinct communities of the village.

A lane in Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

A lane in Khotachiwadi. Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

Bridget Misquitta is yet another resident of the settlement and a lady extravagantly warm in her manners. She says, “The most important feature of Khotachiwadi is the heritage homes and many such constructions. However, recently, it is nothing less than a task to maintain these houses. Taking care of them is becoming more and more difficult due to which a lot of houses are being sold and owners are increasingly moving out.” Inspite of all the inconvenience, residents of Khotachiwadi are always on the look out for getting together, says Bridget. “We get together during festivals, church service, for Christmas fairs and bazaars and many other events apart from these. People are always found by your side, come what may. You are never alone in Khotachiwadi,” says Bridget, joyfully.

Photo Courtesy - Ethel Misquitta

Photo Courtesy – Ethel Misquitta

From the city’s increasingly volatile blitz and glam to the rapid developments and hum-drums, there lies a village blissfully resting in its southern lap, challenging its own odds and sailing through rough waters to remain the work of heavenly wonder that it is. Khotachiwadi hence has been grandly inscribed in the hearts of folks which is a reason enough to believe that its spirit will live forever and beyond.

A little suburban woman aspiring to provide the world with strong journalistic and anthropological content. Forever looking for that tenuous grind and delving deeper into the beautiful complexities of life, I strive. I go on. And on.


जम्मू-कश्मीर में गैर-कश्मीरी नागरिकों पर आतंकियों का बढता अत्याचार!



Kashmir | News Aur Chai
जम्मू-कश्मीर में बीते कुछ दिनों से गैर-कश्मीरी नागरीकों पर आतंकी हमलों के मामले सामने आ रहे हैं।

जम्मू-कश्मीर में बीते कुछ दिनों से गैर-कश्मीरी नागरीकों पर आतंकी हमलों के मामले सामने आ रहे हैं। खासतौर से गैर-कश्मीरी मजदूरों को निशाना बनाया जा रहा है। जम्मू-कश्मीर में आतंकियों द्वारा अब तक नौ नागरीकों की हत्या कर दी गई है। 5 अक्टूबर को श्रीनगर में आतंकियो ने वीरेंद्र पासवान की गोली मारकर हत्या कर दी थी। वीरेंद्र पासवान बिहार का रहनेवाला था और पिछले दो वर्षों से श्रीनगर में गोलगप्पे बेचता था। आतंकियों ने 6 अक्टूबर को फार्मेसी मालिक एम.एल बिंदू, स्ट्रीट वेंडर और एक टैक्सी ड्राइवर की हत्या कर दी थी। श्रीनगर के ईदगाह इलाके में आतंकियों ने स्कूल की मुख्य अध्यापिका सुपिंदर कौर और अध्यापक दीपक शर्मा की गोली मारकर हत्या कर दी।

16 अक्टूबर को अरविंद कुमार साह पर आतंकियों द्वारा गोली चलाई गई, उन्हें गंभीर स्थिति में श्रीनगर के SMHS अस्पताल ले जाया गया जहाँ डॉक्टरों ने उन्हें मृत घोषित कर दिया। अरविंद कुमार बिहार के बांका जिले में रहनेवाले थे और श्रीनगर में गोलगप्पे बेचते थे। 16 अक्टूबर की ही शाम को आतंकियों ने पुलवामा में सगीर अहमद नाम के व्यक्ति की गोली मारकर हत्या कर दी। सगीर अहमद उत्तरप्रदेश का रहनेवाला था एवं पेशे से वह एक कार्पेंटर था। 17 अक्टूबर, रविवार को आतंकियों ने दक्षिण कश्मीर के कुलगाम में के तीन मजदूरों को गोली मार दी, जिससे दो मजदूरों की मृत्यु हो गई और एक मजदूर बुरी तरह से घायल हो गया।

कश्मीर के अलग अलग हिस्सों में अनेकों प्रवासी बसे हुए हैं। अधिकतर लोग रोजगार की तलाश में बिहार से कश्मीर आए हुए हैं। लोगों का कहना है कि वे अगले महीने तक अपने घर बिहार जाना चाहते थे मगर दहशतगर्दों के कारण उन्हें काम छोड़कर बीच में ही जाना पढ़ रहा है। लोग डरे हुए हैं कि यदि स्थिति जल्द से जल्द सामान्य नहीं हुई तो उनका रोजगार और बच्चों की पढ़ाई छुट जाएगी।

27 वर्षों से कश्मीर में रह रहे 45 वर्षीय पंकज पासवान का कहना है कि उन्होंने इतने वर्षों में कश्मीर की इससे भी बदतर हालत देखी है। उनका कहना है कि एक के बाद एक हो रही हत्याओं से कश्मीर में दहशत का माहौल बना हुआ है और वे भी इस समय बिहार लौट जाना चाहते हैं। आतंकियों द्वारा निशाना बनाए गए नागरिकों का कहना है कि अनुच्छेद-370 के हटने से और कश्मीर के विकास से आतंकी बौखलाए हुए हैं। इसी वजह से वो लोगों पर हमला कर रहे हैं। नागरिकों का कहना है कि रविवार को हुए आतंकी हमले से पहले उन्हें उम्मीद थी कि हालात सुधर जाएंगे मगर लगातार हो रही हत्याओं से उन्हें भी जान का खतरा बना हुआ है।

पीडीपी अध्यक्षा महबूबा मुफ्ती का कहना है कि, यह घटना निंदनीय है। भोले भाले लोगों को बेवजह मरना और उनका रोज़गार छीनना बेहद दुःख की बात है।

बीजेपी के प्रवक्ता अल्ताफ ठाकुर ने कहा कि यह शत प्रतिशत नरसंहार है, गैर-कश्मीरियों की यह भीषण हत्या बिल्कुल अमानवीय है और यह आतंकियों की बौखलाहट को दर्शाता है।

सीपीआई के नेता मोहम्मद युसूफ तारिगामी का कहना है कि भोले भाले मजदूरों की हत्या एक जघन्य अपराध है, सिर्फ निंदा करना काफी नहीं है, ऐसे समय में सभी को एकजुट होकर इस तरह के अपराध के खिलाफ आवाज उठानी चाहिए और आतंकियों को कड़ी सजा देनी चाहिए।

जम्मू कश्मीर की लेफ्टनेंट गवर्न मनोज सिन्हा ने कहा है की निर्दोषों के खून का बदला इन आतंकियों से लिया जायेगा, कश्मीर की शांति को भंग करने कि कोशिश की जा रही है, लोगों को आगे बढ़ने से रोका जा रहा है, कश्मीर के विकास को रोकने की साजिश हो रही है मगर हम ऐसा नहीं होने देंगे। मनोज सिन्हा ने अपने रेडियो कार्यक्रम ‘आवाम की आवाज’ में कहा “आतंकी हमले में मारे गए के लिए मैं शोक व्यक्त करता हूं, हम सभी लोग आपके साथ हैं और आतंकियों से हार एक हत्या का पूरा बदला लिया जायेगा यह मेरा वादा है”।

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Ram Mandir Opening For “Darshan” In 2023



Ram Mandir Opening 2023 | News Aur Chai

The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to allow visitors by December 2023, with the completion of construction only in 2025.

Sources in the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra have revealed that the colossal project of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be opening for devotees towards the end of 2023. In contrast, the project’s entire construction completion is expected towards the end of 2025. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), along with the mandir’s first floor, will be ready by December 2023. Devotees will be allowed to visit the long-awaited mandir soon after the construction is completed.

An ANI report said, “The grand Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya will be opened for devotees from December 2023. Sources told ANI that Garbhagriha, all five mandaps and the first floor will be ready by December 2023 and the mandir will be opened for devotees”.

The sanctum sanctorum will be as high as 161 feet and built using Rajasthani marble and stones. Engineers and architects are taking all measures to ensure the longevity of this enormous project. The second stage of construction is expected to begin in December this year. Currently, the structure is at a standstill as a result of monsoons. Another reason for the delay is the coronavirus pandemic that depleted the force with which the mandir’s construction was expected to go on.

The announcement of the mandir being opened to visitors in 2023 has brought up questions about the political agenda. It is believed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to use the mandir to catapult themselves into a position of advantage during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Opening the mandir to devotees in December 2023 will give the BJP an easy 6-month gap to the general elections in 2024.

The opening of the long-awaited Ram Mandir in Ayodhya could be the factor that diverts the public, at least the Hindu’s in favour of BJP. Thus, securing them a vote bank based on religious sentiments upheld by the party in their previous tenure as the ruling party.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be 360 feet long, 235 feet wide, and 20 feet high mandir will be completely ready by the end of 2025. The project will include amenities and structures like museums, archives, research centre, Sant Niwas, gau and Yagya shala, Etc. The main attraction is the Ram Mandir.

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How SEBI’s New Margin Rule Is Affecting Retail Traders?



SEBI Margin Rule | News Aur Chai

Securities and Exchange Board of India has introduced new margin rules for traders. Traders and Brokers are not happy with the new regulations because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trade.

SEBI had introduced the new margin rule in the year 2020 for intraday traders. It is being implemented in a phased manner. Traders were supposed to maintain 25 per cent of the peak margin in the first phase; the margin was raised by 50 per cent in the second phase. In the third phase, as per the new margin rule, intraday traders will have to pay a 100 per cent upfront margin. According to new norms, the margin requirements will be calculated four times during every trading session because the money margin must be greater than the need.

As per the new rule, brokers must collect margin from investors for any purchase or sale, and if they fail to do so, they will have to pay the penalty. Thus, brokers will not receive power of attorney. Brokers cannot use power of attorney for pledging anymore.

Those investors who want to make use of margin will have to create margin pledges separately. As per the new rule, investors will have to pay at least a 30 per cent margin upfront to avail a margin loan. Shares brought today cannot be sold tomorrow. Funds from shares sold today cannot be used for new trades on the same day.

The market experts said that there must be proper adjustments for implementing new rules, or it may create chaos, trouble and disturbance to the market participants. The CEO and founder of Zerodha broking firm, Nithin Kamath tweeted that, “the day when the new rules came into effect was the dreaded day for brokers, exchanges, intraday traders”.

Traders Are Not Happy:

Changes in rules have evoked strong reactions from traders because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trades as per new margin rules. Even the trading in futures and options will become more expensive. Traders are disappointed because they will have to pay up more money to bet in stock markets. As per new margin rules, Traders are also liable for the penalty if the rules are not followed during the trading session. If a trader wants to buy Nifty worth Rs 10 lakh, he will have to pay a 20 per cent margin of around 2 lakh. If the margin of the trader does not meet the need, he will be penalized. Traders will have to pay the minimum amount for opening the Multilateral Trading facility account, and they have to maintain a minor balance at all times.

Why Gas SEBI Introduced A New Margin Rule?

SEBI has introduced new rules to protect retail investors from purchasing difficulty. The intended goal of SEBI behind new margin rules is to bring down the difficult market situation and avoid huge fluctuation in stock markets during extreme stress. The new margin rules are likely to bring transparency to the market; it is expected to strengthen the market’s safety.

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