Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected

The life at Chembur & BDD Chawl Hostel

The days of struggle and hardship

After spending the day at JJ for admission process, we returned to Dombivli at night and stayed with Nana, Bapu’s brother. He himself was a paying guest but somehow, we managed the night with him and others, sleeping inside mosquito nets (first time ever) amidst a swarm of mosquitos.

Next day, we went to Chembur. Akka, Rayataai and Nago Jija welcomed us warmly and treated us to a good lunch. Taai even took us for a movie ‘Zakhmi’ at Vijay Talkies. They were kind enough to urge me to stay with them.

I was hesitant, since there were already 6 members in a small 12’ x 14’ hutment. However, as days passed, it became difficult to manage in a room where Nana was staying, and I had no other option but to relocate at Chembur. Soon Jija created a wooden loft alongside the wall and that became my independent workplace and bedroom.

This way, I managed to complete the first year at JJ. Second year onwards, with the support of a classmate, I got an admission at a Government Hostel in BDD Chawl, Worli. It was huge blessing, as the primary need of a shelter was taken care of. Not only the accommodation, even the food, study material and transportation fare from hostel to college was handled.

I was sharing a room with Anil Bhingardeve (Law Student) and Vijay Mohite (JJ Classmate). Both were closely associated and supportive. I could gain a lot of life-experiences from them.

Though the place, the facilities and the quality of food was moderate, I had nothing to complaint. I accustomed myself with what was available that time. Every weekend I would go to Chembur and spend time with Jija, Taai, Akka and kids and sleep in my cosy loft-room.

Those were the days of struggle and hardship, but each time I was blessed with support from someone or the other and never realized how soon those long 5 years passed and I completed my diploma at JJ….