Director Rumi Jaffery takes us around his home in Versova, Mumbai. Rumi begins introducing his home by quoting a friend. My actress friend jokes, ‘Rumi Bhai please give me this flat; you just tell me where I should sign and how many films should I do for you’.
When I came to Mumbai and first went to Javed saab’s house, I was completely taken by the sea view from his house. I dreamt of having my own house with a sea view and God heard my prayers. Today, I have two sea view flats.
I wanted to shift from my earlier Lokhandwala house because of the traffic disturbance. I almost bought a house in Yaari Road and even paid the token amount for it. A few days later my broker called and insisted on my seeing this flat. I saw this flat in the evening; and the sunset was so beautiful that I instantly fell in love with the flat. I also learnt that Kamal Amrohi used to stay in this building. I thought if such a legendary writer has stayed in this building, it will have good vibes. Moreover, my wife said, “Whenever you travel anywhere in the world, the moment you check in a hotel, you ask for a sea view room. So if Allah is giving you a house with a sea view, don’t say no.”
Being a writer, I find this place inspiring. When I sit here alone, I feel closer to a spiritual power — God. Plus living in this house makes me feel that I am away from the maddening crowd of the city, because from my house you can only see the sea and Madh Island in the distance. I have seen a very few houses where the view is the same from the hall and both the bedrooms.
The house is done by my wife. I tell her what I want and she does the décor accordingly. I had a lovely collection of antiques. I even had a throne in my earlier house but it didn’t fit here so I gave it to my art director. There is a very old photo of a distant relative, which has travelled with me through all my houses. There’s a story attached to it (photo). This realtive of mine had shot nine tigers in a day. I have put up his photo so that no one repeats this sin again. There was also a beautiful idol of a girl. But my mother started feeling that the idol was speaking in the night, so I shifted it to the office. But there, my domestic help also started complaining that she (idol) wakes her up in the night. Finally I had to throw it in the sea.
I don’t drink or party but I often have friends over for dinners and lunches. My friends relish the food my wife cooks. In my earlier house, all my friends would gather and play cards till the wee hours. But when Divya Bharti, who was my rakhi sister, moved in with us, I banned parties at my place. I believe it’s different when a girl is staying in the house. After her death, I never felt like partying.
Safe at home
During the recent high-tide, all the neighbouring sea facing buildings got affected except our compound. Tsunami se kya darna, maut to kahin bhi aa sakti hai.