Manpa’s bulldozer’s words: The story of Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow “Pratiksha”!

,Sharad Rai

I am the bulldozer of the municipality!

In the Todak squad of the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC), there are many mechanical men like me who are waiting for when the order is received and when we go and demolish someone’s house. Knowing how difficult it is to build a house in Mumbai, we do not care to demolish someone’s house. We don’t care… because we are conscientious machinery to obey orders, we are bulldozers!

I am the bulldozer of the area posted in the Mumbai suburb, whose area is between ‘K’ Ward (Juhu) and ‘H’ West Ward (Bandra Polyhill) to maintain the strength of the Municipal Corporation. Film people live in this area. The stronger we are, the weaker we are. Me and my other friends have trampled the walls of the houses of many stars. At one point we had trimmed down Dilip Kumar’s bungalow, scraped the walls of Sunil Dutt’s ‘Ajanta’ and Rajendra Kumar’s ‘Dimple’ bungalow.

We have also cut the walls of Shahrukh Khan’s bungalow ‘Mannat’. While sorting out the wall of Rajesh Khanna’s bungalow ‘Aashirvaad’, we got an order to go back. When our clenched teeth had to go back into our jaws, we realized what ‘star power’ is! We bulldozers have no place in front of the human spirit! By that time Rajesh Khanna had become a flop star, in spite of this, how he had wooed my masters sitting in the Municipal Corporation, we do not know… After all, we were machine tools! Even as a machine, we had a bit of annoyance when we were ordered – to brush our teeth at Sonu Sood’s hotel. What he did to help the migrants of Mumbai send home in the scary wave of Corona! And we laughed when our bosses handed over the order to destroy the office of clown Kapil Sharma.

I stayed bulldozer! Now I will tell about the bungalow which not only the common man is eager to see, but the biggest stars of Bollywood also cherish the desire to live in such a bungalow. Yes, I am talking about Big B’s bungalow “Pratiksha” located in Juhu, Mumbai. Although Amitabh has four bungalows but we are bulldozers! We will talk about that which is to be broken. We have to clear only one wall of ‘Pratiksha’ and we are working since last 4 years that when we get orders and we demolish the ‘wall’ of the biggest ‘Don’ of the screen. Definitely this wall of Amitabh is Salim Javed’s. It is not a wall irrigated with pen ink, but this wall erected with cement and sand was erected when Amitabh used to be – ‘Lambu’ and his wife used to be – only ‘Jaya Bhaduri’.

Both were newly married and lived in a rented house in Khar with their respective identities. Tarika Bhaduri, who came to Mumbai (then Bombay) after returning from Poona Institute, was fond of Bengali directors and Jaya used to recommend her longtime husband Bachchan to him. Sujit Kumar, who worked in his films with Rajesh Khanna at that time (who was also a superstar of Bhojpuri films), was also a great friend of Amitabh. Sujit used to call Amitabh ‘Lambua’. At that time no one knew that the same Lambua would shine as a big star of Hindi cinema. Yes, I am a bulldozer… Years ago we still got orders to demolish a hut to build Lambua’s house. Our job is to break. Years ago, this machinist, who broke everyone’s house, had buried his teeth on a dancer girl’s ‘cottage’ to settle Big B’s house. At that time there were kutir (huts) in Juhu in between the buildings and bungalows like – Janki Kutir, Kaifi Azmi Kutir, Prithvi Kutir (Prithvi Theater of these days). One such cottage was there – where “Pratiksha” stands today. .

Sujit Kumar knew that children used to peep into the rented house in Khar where the newly married couple Bachchan and Bhaduri lived. Sujit Kumar said- “Amitabh is a cottage adjacent to my bungalow in which a girl lives – a dancer. Will you stay there?” Amitabh surprised! Sujit said that the cottage is adjacent to his bungalow whose real owner is some Patel. Patel wants to sell his cottage to them. Sujit said to Amitabh- “You guys buy him.” Getting a hut in Juhu was also expensive. Amitabh said- “Where is the money?” Well, something Amitabh did, some Jaya did it, after taking that cottage Sujit Kumar got Amitabh given. For the first time a bulldozer had run at that place (where the wait is standing) – to build the house. The house which was named “Wait”. Later Babuji (Haribansh Rai Bachchan) came to stay there. Before that, he moved from Allahabad and lived in Delhi. The whole family moved to Mumbai. Then the address of “Pratiksha” was asked “behind Sujit Kumar’s bungalow”. Later Sujit Kumar started asking for the address of his bungalow – “next to Pratiksha”. Then several times a bulldozer was fired at Pratiksha’s chest to make her look stylish – which is today’s “wait”.

Even today… ‘Pratiksha’ keeps on fuming with the bulldozers coming. BMC’s Tok squad has sent a notice to Amitabh 4 times since 2017. The wall of the bungalow is coming in the road extension. The road from Pratiksha, Sant Dnyaneshwar Road is expanding. The road leading to the Hare Krishna temple is blocked by traffic, floods during the rainy season. There is a wall of “Pratiksha” on the way to widen the road from 40 feet to 60 feet. All the adjoining houses and boundary walls have been demolished but Manpa is not able to touch the boundary of the super star’s bungalow. Since last month, voluntary organizations have taken the matter to the Lokayukta twice. The Road Extension Department of Municipal Corporation sometimes gives some excuses, sometimes some. Recently, the Lokayukta has said that the people of the Municipal Corporation are giving very childish excuses for not breaking the wait and want to give a reason for not breaking it again for a year.

I’m a bulldozer! Know that I have to be prepared to break the “wait”. But, I also know Amitabh Bachchan’s sentiment with this bungalow and also know that this bungalow is the image-gate of Mumbai. To be honest, I do not even have the desire to demolish the wall of waiting.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an India-based Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Successful Startups like Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV & Branding Panther. Shivam has done his Master's in Computer Applications.

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