December 17, 2005 | 04:39 AM
Juhu, that once was..
Every Sunday of free drinks and open house at Kabir and Protima's Bedi's house. Little babies called Pooja and Siddharth. Running around in diapers. Mahesh Bhatt preaching Godhead and Nirvana. Parvin Babi sitting in a corner smiling benignly, smoking whatever anyone smoked those days
Big huge brother Vick, more Sai Baba than Sai Baba himself. Now teaching film in NY. Parikshit Sahini on the cusp of stardom. Like the rest of us.
Kunki (ketan) Anand just a packet of energy bouncing off all the walls absolutely refusing to treat anything too seriously. Cracking jokes that had everyone laughing.
And who else ? Occasionally Smita Patil. . The whole advertising crowd from the other side of town. The models not so conscious of themselves as they are now. It was not a real profession them. Just something you did.
Like everything else in those days in Juhu. It was just something you did.
Like swimming in the clear sea. Like trying to hitch a ride on Adi Godrej's speedboat. Or just lazing on the beach. No one really except the local fishermen, who were our suppliers for fresh fish or the local brew. The old Narial Wala. One narial for 2 rupees.
The Crazy Juhu Crowd. That was us. Wandering straight from the sea thru the palm trees and into the village. Yes that was Juhu not so long ago. Sea and Palm trees. All the models (and the super star of the day - Parveen Babi) in their bikinis and us guys in swimming trunks wandering through Juhu Village right up to the Church. But not an eyebrow raised. Well, not many eyebrows around at that time either.
But that was long before Protima's body was found buried deep in the mud on her way to Kailash Parbat. Still mourning for Siddharth. That was long before Parveen's body was found in her flat in Juhu days after her spirit had long abandoned her. But not long before Smita Patil gave her life giving birth to another.
But that was before all the trees died, and the sea died and the air turned putrid. That was before Juhu was raped by builders that ensured that there were swathes of land that they walled in for themselves, but threw everyone else into relentless and teeming filth.
That was all before the Spirit of Juhu had long since fled.
I do hope our children and our grandchildren find another paradise that was Juhu.
Juhu was something then, something you just did. It was where the soul found peace. It was where friend found friend. It was where all competitiveness disappeared and sharing took over. Before it was all lost to madness called development.