MUMBAI: A city apartment blocked by high-rises and smoke screen from the constant construction frenzy and congested streets, or a spacious suburban layout staring into a lush green cover with a slice of cosmopolitan urban lifestyle.
Without doubt, the preference of scores of born-and-brought-up Mumbaikar’s is moving into the suburbia of Thane, an hours ride from the hustle-bustle of the metro city.
While the morning dew on the balcony deck and the all-amenities clubhouse inside the complex are a big draw, the lake city, in the last couple of years, has transformed into a one-stop destination for brand-conscious shoppers, food connoisseurs and patisserie shops for sweet tooths.
No longer has one to make a rush to Pallidium mall for a Zara or a Marks and Spencers or to Bandra-Khar to flavour the sizzle of Yoko’s and the thin-crust of a Pizza Hut. Instead, all the big brand outlets are a magnet for the Generation Y in Thane, having opened shop at the sprawling malls along the Eastern Express highway and the Ghodbunder Road here.
I don’t really miss out on Mumbai as we get a slice of the big city in here itself. No doubt, there is no NCPA or a Pritvhi for a Vagina Monologues, but the city has its indigenous cultural identity. The houseful shows of Marathi plays and music events at the Gadkari and the Kashinath Ghanekar auditoriums are example of the vibrant culture scene here,” said Noopur, a one-time Juhu resident who moved into Thane some time back, whose only refrain is the absence of night out spots here.
Mumbai has become too affluent, out of bounds and very polluted. Though Thane could be called a close clone of Mumbai, in terms of high-rise, malls, traffic, etc the city still has a lot of green space and fresh air. More importantly, it is an affordable alternative to Mumbai as it gives you more space for the money you spend,” said Nandgopal, a one-time Chembur resident who shifted to Thane some years back.
To most, it is not the cost of the flat but the quality of life which is the deciding factor. Mahesh Nawar, who moved from Bhandup, to Vasant Vihar, said, It is so serene here with tree-lined roads, the Yeoor mountain, the Upvan lake, a club house, a huge playground…, all things which I have missed in my childhood, but would not like my child to miss out now. It was a conscious decision to move to Thane and it has really helped my family and we do not miss out Mumbai as we get the best of things and more importantly the peace of life in here.”
While the daily commute from suburban Thane to Mumbai for work and the high costs of purchasing a car is one aspect that remains a bone of contentions to the new Thaneites, most are of the opinion that, it is a small sacrifice for living away from the maddening crowds and the traffic rush. Moreovoer, with the city dotted with excellent schools providing reputed ICSE and CBSE syllabus just round the corner, the suburbs are any day a better bet,” Nawar said.