And here it had lain, the very piece of land with dumps of garbage, unclaimed and undeveloped. Surrounding the area were five-star hotels and resorts, all about fifteen to twenty storeys high. This patch of land seemed like an uncleaned wash-basin in the middle of a beautiful hub of colourful and glittery buildings.
Intrigued by its location and its contents, I drove up to the area. A heavy stench seemed to enter my nose and I felt nauseated as soon as I got down from the car. The bleak reality of the the development of Mumbai stood infront of my eyes, a scene that seems eternally etched in my memory. Not only did the stink, but the sight of the place with everything from unnecessary linen to rotting food made me sad. No wonder where diseases in Mumbai came from, I thought to myself.
Not one person bothered to get down from the garbage trucks as trash was being unloaded. I moved around the place, clicking as many pictures as I could and talked to the locals about the ownership of the land. They said that it belonged to none, but was used by all, all starred-hotels in the locality, to dump their garbage. The land in which I stood cautiously, so as to not dirty my shoes, was a stark contrast to the comfy bed in the JW Marriott where I was staying back then.
I came back from the place, still unable to figure out why a place like this, worth millions, lay with heaps of garbage, unattended and unclaimed. It always influenced me, and somehow that stink and terrible sight, always drew me. I came to the place, day after day, as I explored it's contents. One day, I was aghast. Under a small pile of food leftovers found a dead body, half-eaten by ants. The skeleton lay intact. I clicked photographs of the site, and after publishing them online, went to sleep. All of them went viral.
Not only did these photos being to the fore the reality of the 'Swacch Bharat Abhiyan', but they also brought forth the cause of the spreading of diseases, and the unimaginable crimes that may have been committed. The BMC (Municipal corporation of Mumbai) geared into action. The very next day, the garbage was beginning to be cleared in the search of any crime evidence. The police was suddenly alarmed.
Twelve years have passed since and the landscape has miraculously changed. The place stands out even now, being the location of the tallest building in the Juhu area. Not only has it been converted into a shopping arcade-cum-resort, it also has a helipad designed exclusively on the terrace for its guests and customers. The place has surpassed all the other known ones, also it's adjacent JW Marriott and Novotel. The mighty tower now rises from the middle of the middle of assortments of buildings. And to land on the top of this gigantic building felt surreal. The last time I has been in this area, I had been nauseated. Now standing on the top of a 100-storey building, adrenaline pumped into my veins and I was thrilled.
The seaside to the right of this Mumbai Tower is a sight worth experiencing from the top. The beautiful ladies, who escort you from the helipad, don't seem to realise that the building on the top of which they proudly stand, was once, nothing but a heap of garbage.
It all started one day when I discovered a dead body and the cleanliness work began. The police and the forensic scientists did not find any clues about the murder and almost three years later, the investigation was closed due to lack of evidence. But there was one useful outcome, the dump was cleaned. The government, not knowing what to do, put up the land for auction. And this was when the land began undergoing 'Regeneration'.
The developers called Ambience took over the place and they worked hard. This place is now nothing less than inspiring. The brands that now boast of having a shopping outlet in here, had once been throwing their leftovers over here. The air that had once been nauseating and full of stench, now smells of rose and jasmine. Woah, I am in love with this place!