Club memberships in Mumbai – Annuity fund maybe?

Thought of how to start the post and decided to first look up what Wikipedia had to say about the word Club – A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal.

I have been a member of 2 local clubs – Matunga Gymkhana opp Podar College and Matunga Gujarati Club Ltd. near Aurora Cinema. Besides these I also am a member at Garware Club House (Wankhede Stadium) at Churchgate and Otters Club, Bandra.

What has amazed me is the fees that one needs to pay to become a member! Matunga Gujarati Club Ltd. is the at the lowest of the rung with memberships going to open at 0.3 million Rs. + 12.36% service Tax! Then comes Matunga Gymkhana which is currently at 1 million + 12.36% service Tax! Garware Club House – I do not know the present membership rate but should be at 1.5 million atleast + service Tax and followed by Otters Club at a whopping 5 million + service Tax!!!! I wonder what is the reason people are willing to pay top dollar to get into clubs? Is it because there is no open space? No common facilities for use too. Little space for parks or gardens.

When do I use these clubs?

  • Matunga Gymkhana has the only swimming pool in our area and I use it every morning either for swimming or yoga. Since I go there so frequently I get to know of some other activity or the other like the Splash event coming up on Saturday so I am going there for the heck of it. Then we have Housie there on the 2nd Saturday of every month that Kavya enjoys. Plus the Diwali function over the past two years has been amazing with the live singers performing chartbusters of the days gone by. Must thank this one for this is where I learnt swimming at this age and so did Kavya. Used the gym before but now am totally drenched in the pool:-) Learnt yoga here too. Who would have thought that with my girth I could so Shirsasana.
  • Matunga Gujarati Club doesn’t have a swimming pool. I was using their Gym once upon a time but since I became a member at Matunga Gymkhana, I have stopped going there. They have banquet halls so Kavya’s first birthday was celebrated there plus some other events too. Typical Gujarati catering and no liquor served here. The restaurant is meant for people who will wait for maybe 3 hours just to eat there and yet pay their bill too! I am not a frequenter there. Sparingly used but once their renovation plans are approved, you never know I might turn a new leaf:-)
  • Garware Club House – A decent club which was recently renovated. Known for the cricket stadium on premise. As a child I used to go watch live matches there but these days TV does a better job of that so I don’t go there to watch matches. Occasional meeting in town or the dinner etc. happens there. They have the same 25 metre pool as all clubs but is much deeper than the one at Matunga Gymkhana.
  • Otters Club – Now this is a club that people seem to give an arm and a leg to get it considering their membership fees! The club is awesome as it is jutting into the Arabian Sea. Amazing view, amazing breeze (at times), huge as in huge pool (even if it is 25 metres only but the L shaped pool has a deep end and is used for diving from 3 levels!). Nice restaurants, nice bar. They have awesome events too. Kavya loves their Library a lot there as she gets to draw and colour. As a child I remember my sister and me would go for the Xmas parties and while so far Kavya hasn’t been to the Xmas party, this year she will surely visit. The Club Day is also happening with all members coming together. There are Bollywood celebrities around so Kavya is naturally most tickled. All in all a fab place to be in. Have spent so many precious moments there with my better half, then with Kavya too there and with friends. So many Sunday evenings spent there with Parin and Namrata just sitting at the far end of the club touching the sea.

But I wonder if these memberships are sustainable at these rates? Rs. 5 million? I am sure someday all these memberships become transferable and tradeable. Would be a good retirement fund for me then as who know prices would have more than doubled by then:-) Wishful thinking but well not a remote possibility.

PS: The picture above is of the awesome pool at Otters Club taken thanks to Google Image search.

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Jhankaar Beats

I know what comes to mind is why am I posting about a movie which was released way back in 2003! Well for one I saw it yet again on Sunday during my journey to Delhi. A fortnight ago, I watched the brilliant Pancham Unmixed yet again (and all ye R D Burman fans, DON’T MISS IT FOR ANYTHING UNDER THE BLUE SKY!). I am now so much into Panchamda’s music and only listen to that. Jhankaar Beats is a tribute to Panchamda’s music. The music no doubt is brilliant but there are more reasons for me to love this movie:

  • The song Sunoh Na sung by Shaan is a brilliant number and I used to sing this every night to Kavya to put her to sleep (don’t know if she found the lyrics soothing or my voice was too hoarse but she would sleep:-)). The song is shot near Otters Club (as are many more scenes in the movie) so it brings back a lot of memories. I still love that song.
  • The film stars Juhi Chawla, an actress who even to date sports the best smile in Bollywood. I would give anything for a smile from her.
  • The movie has a light pace and nothing seems to be enforced into it. All jokes fall into place even if some are corny but then it is an Adult movie so you can’t expect kiddie jokes.
  • There is a particular scene in the movie that chokes me always when Rahul Bose is going abroad and the conversation he has with Sanjay Suri. Always reminds me of that night I said bye to my dear friend Parin, when he was migrating to the US. I cried that night like a child honestly and this scene always reminds me of that day. Of course Parin and me haven’t separated or such just the we meet once in a year or two but talk most regularly.
  • Shashikala’s dialogs on the dining table when she equates Burman to Bachchan amongst other things
  • The song they sing in the church “Tu hi dil hai” – What a song.
  • The list goes on and on….

Hats off to the whole team who gave us such a fantastic movie that I enjoy even today. A must watch if you haven’t.

Republic Day January 26, 2012

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Today is the first time in my life that I am attending the Republic Day celebrations with my Dad and Kavya at Otters Club. This day so far always meant a holiday and no more. But Kavya was very enthusiastic about what it was all about. Just as I was leaving office yesterday I received an e mail about the celebrations at Otters so it was fresh in my mind. When the topic came up, I told her about the flag hoisting at 9 am and she was all set. So we went there this morning, enjoyed the patriotic songs. One thing I learnt was the significance of Republic Day aside of being a public holiday and I had to read up to answer her queries. So yes I did learn something thanks to her posers.

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The sheer pleasure of swimming

Just returned after a good 90 minutes of swimming at Matunga Gymkhana and I must admit it is a sheer delight. It is difficult to muster the courage to learn it in your mid-life I know but been there, done that so just overcome that mental hurdle and take the plunge literally. I am no expert or such but the very fact that I have over come this fear of drowning or whatever (when with my obesity infact I would be floating better!) and am now enjoying it speaks volumes. Please ensure kids at the age of 3 learn it. My Dad was always for it and took us to Otters Club so often but it was me, the egg head that did not learn. But well better late than never so here I am all of 43 years and now learning to swim and with a 6-year-old Kavya in tow too. Enjoy…..

Father and Daughter’s day

It’s today, it’s today, it’s today…. Just like that little boy, George in Stuart Little I want to scream out. Yes today is the day when Kavya and me are going to be all alone in the evening and we are sure going to have a blast. I am all revved up (woke up at 0340 am:-))  She wants to go to a garden and play so we will be doing that. Once she is done with that, dinner of her choice (even if it means Chinese at Otters Club, no complaints today). Just Kavya and me…. I sure am all excited about that. Love you Kavya……

X’mas in the air

Christmas is just 2 days away and I can sense the festivity in the air. Not because of anything else but Kavya who is all revved up.

  1. She thinks Santa Claus still exists and will come down with her gift. Now she wants to know why there is no fireplace or a chimney in our house. How do you explain or rather shatter a child’s imagination? So I am keeping the story going that he will come in through the balcony.
  2. Why don’t we have snow? She see images of Europe getting snowed out and so is all set to move to Europe. While I was in Delhi last week, I told her on the phone that it was cold and she was under the impression there is snow in Delhi so the response was I want to come to Delhi. When I returned, I explained to her so she moved geographically to Europe. My dear friend, Marina (Marinafai for Kavya) took pictures of the snow fall there and sent it for her. She now is all set for Venice if not the entire Europe.
  3. Yesterday she had her Xmas party in school and she was excitement personified since morning as she could go in her party dress rather than the school uniform. Added to that no books to take so it was pure bliss for her. They had Santa Claus there as well and she was narrating to me what they did at the party.
  4. This evening she has a party at Matunga Gymkhana. She will meet a lot of children of her age and so is obviously hyper about meeting yet another Santa who probably give her some gift.
  5. Tomorrow there is a party at Matunga Gujarati Club so she is going to be there too to meet a Gujarati Santa who knows 🙂

When I was young, the only time we went to the party was when Otters Club had it and now a days children have so many choices. Of course Otters had a party but it was held last Friday when I was in Delhi. I know from experience that Otters parties were excellent in my times so maybe next year for Kavya.

Swimming Again

Finally have re started learning how to swim with Kavya. Imagine father and daughter under the same tutor…. Just that I have always wanted to learn how to swim and despite enough opportunities as a child, I never made the most of them (Sorry Papa I goofed up big time on this one). Matunga Gymkhana has swimming classes and so got Kavya enrolled from November 1. Day 1 was when she was in the pool and I was twiddling my thumb sitting in the sun (No I don’t think I need Vitamin D…. surplus of everything in my body:-))) Got inspired then and paid up for myself immediately. Classes on Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 4 pm so my Sunday siesta goes for a toss but what the heck? The next weekend Kavya was in Bharuch and I had some other commitments so skipped class. But last Saturday and Sunday was there with Kavya both days. Some day hope to swim without any float at the huge pool at Otters too. Hum honge kaamyab ek din…. man mein hai vishwas, pura hai vishwas….