Kannan Iyer chose Navi Mumbai as his home 10 years ago, as he considered it to be a well-planned city for the 21st century. And till date his this belief has not changed.
“Comparison of Navi Mumbai with Mumbai is inevitable, as the former is a better place to live in. Unlike Mumbai which is cramped, it has many open spaces and big, wide roads,” says the Koparkhairane resident, who previously stayed in Vashi. He added, “One does not have to depend on trains alone for transport as connectivity of buses is quite up to the mark.”
He is all praise for the fact that Navi Mumbai is a colourful mix of people of all communities and religious identities, but that there is no dearth of friendliness in them. “For instance, my society is close-knitted and everyone is very helpful. It is often said that in Mumbai, people do not even know their neighbours, but here people just love to come together.”
Essential facilities being available close at hand is an another boon, says Iyer who is fortunate to live in proximity of APMC market. “The city is replete with modern amenities, right from markets to malls. My daughter, who stays in Matunga, gets shocked when we tell her the prices of fruits at APMC.”
Iyer spent 37 years of his life in Bhopal working for a private company. A few years after he made Navi Mumbai his home, an unexpected opportunity came his way for cultural contribution.
“In 2009, founder secretary of Vashi Fine Arts passed away and I was given the responsibility of the secretary. We had our lows initially as funds dipped and we were struggling to put together good programmes. But, slowly that changed and due to collective efforts, we have come a long way today.”
Being retired, Iyer’s goal for some years have been to take VFA to new heights. And having an avid interest in cultural activities he keeps himself abreast of other organisations in and around Navi Mumbai.
Also, spending quality time with his family, his two grand-daughters keeps him occupied. Going for long drives and being surrounded by the lush greenery in Pandavkada waterfalls or among hills Panvel, at 67 he does it all. “I also love reading books, my favourite genre being crime thrillers,” says the happy retiree.
However, since no city can be perfect, Iyer feels a lot can be done to improve the city. “Roads are filled with potholes, so the least politicians can do is to have credible contractors to lay them. Cleanliness is another area where we lack.”