The little shelter in the vast city like Mumbai is known as “chawl” that are of many kinds. Some also call it by the name ‘kholi’ in the typical Bambaiya language. Each room is mainly 10×30 that is divided in common front room, a small kitchen and some also has a bedroom. All the rooms are in a row attached to each other and thus that never makes your life feel dull. The people who stay there live a very open door life. Chawls may sometimes lack the very basic facilities, but the love the affection that you get here is so true. Thus, I would like mention few points that only a chawl people can relate to!
1.All know about each other
All the family living in a chawl next to each other are aware of all ins and outs of the each family.
2.Share the things
Even if you get a kilo of apple it’s shared among the kids in the house or whoever passé by your door. Also the lunch and the dinner time is always accompanied by some of you neighbour.
3.The Water fight
Some chawls in Mumbai have common water connection that gets water only few hours a day at fixed timing. The people at this timing become to best enemies of each other to get the most water. They fill their corrugated iron drums that are used throughout the day for domestic work like cooking, mopping and washing.
4.Carving the natural amenities
The people living in chawl carve to get many natural things like enough sunlight, or greenery around. The all you can see around is the tall buildings.
The common toilets are always at the very far distance from your house. Every room that you pass by or person sees you knows that you have to go toilet and also as you reach there… the hassles of lining doesn’t end!
None of the war is a single rooms riots, it’s always the rumble of your friendly neighbours when it breaks out. The elderly neighbour “Ba” plays the role of lawyer in such.
7. Mixed culture, tradition and food
All of the activities just happened with each other all day long. Such stay is fun and warm when you get to share even meagre things. People share their festivals, delicious food and even love with each other. Go to every room’s Ganapati Pooja to get a free modak wit your friends!
You can surely go to any of your neighbor to have the evening tea- the door is always open.
The working TV has enough crowds when all’s favourite show starts. And even if you have to place in the room, you can always stand at the door or at window to have a peep in.
10 .Love and affection
It’s always very affectionate to grow up around with such lovely crowd. You learn things like caring and sharing when whole big happy family. Your neighbours are even closer than the relatives in the thick and thin.
11. Random chow-chow
The surprise visit of aunties and cribbing is such as if we have never faces any trials and tribulations in the lives. So to act as a counsellor is the best thing to do.
12. The little games
There is no such things called as playground, the place where you see the empty is a your “playground”. The gully cricket, lagori, kabbadi, chippi, chupachupi, pakadapakadi, langadi, khokho are games played to make life full of fun.
Though the chawl houses aren’t too big…. but people here are defiantly happier, human, affectionate and helping.