Known as the highest point of South Mumbai, Malabar Hill is a SoBo area that rhymes with everything plush greenery, breathtaking views and seemingly ostentatious living given the endless list of influential surnames that reside in the area. Besides these, if we had to go by the Jal Darshan society on Napean Sea Road, we would even say that the area now reveals a level of escapism at its best.
Five buildings within one complex, 128 apartments and over 400 residents all nestled up in one of the most prestigious areas of the city, where the price of a square metre reaches new heights on a daily basis, the Jal Darshan society prides itself on being a amicable, environment-friendly and welcoming place to live in. Mona Patel, secretary of the society, opens up about the ‘green and clean’ focus that the 11-member board has undertaken since they were elected in 2013. Patel’s mandate ends in 2015, when the residents will choose the next board. “We have a 35 year-old cycad in our garden that we felt the need to save and after two months of work, we can now say that it has been salvaged,” explains Patel. Why the need to save a tree amongst so many, you would wonder. Here is the answer: “It is a very rare tree that we are lucky to have around here and it should be preserved,” she enlightens us while highlighting the need to safeguard the fauna and flora of Malabar Hill and Mumbai as a whole.
Patel and the board’s vision for the society is one that echoes most of the residents’ views. She reveals, “Of course, we also have people who may not be in agreement with certain steps being undertaken, but our residents have so far been extremely fair in making it a harmonious place to live in.” From eventually making it an energy-efficient society that also understands the need for water conservation, Patel explains that these measures will be taken right after the society’s repair work has been completed. “We are looking at three years of external repairs to be done on all the buildings of the society,” shares Patel. From having the buildings repainted to fixing the usual wear and tear, the revamp is one that the board believes is now necessary, after having already worked on fixing the fogging and the garbage issues with the BMC recently.
Republic Day, at Jal Darshan, is yet another occasion to come together and make merry as a large family. “This Republic Day, many of us gathered in the garden, where we had the flag-hoisting ceremony and munched on some snacks,” shares Patel. In fact, it is the second event organised by the society just one month into the year as Patel explains how 175 residents got together to ring in the new year just a few weeks ago.
The tone, she leaves us with, is one of harmony and togetherness at Jal Darshan.