This is where the underbelly and upper crust of Mumbai meet, a seam of land hemmed in by the fishy ocean and patterned with pleasures both high and low. There’s something for everyone here, they say. bpb puts this claim to test, scoping Colaba out for the weirdest fetishes we could find.
Agalmatophilia – Statues, mannequins and dolls are your thing
National Gallery of Modern Art: The NGMA might be accused of calcification, but for you, it’s a rock hard option. The sculpture collection here is extensive, diverse and – in case you were wondering – features plenty of nudity; see Pradosh Dasgupta’s “In Bondage” and Meera Mukherjee’s “Spirit of Daily Work”. Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public Hall, M G Road, Fort, call 22881971.
Souvenirs – Lots of dolls at this toy store. You may even score a pair of handcuffs as bonus. Shop no. 117, Malabar Mansion, Garden Road, Colaba Causeway, call 22884066.
Arachibutyrophilia: You’re turned on by peanut butter
Indigo Deli: It may sound extremely strange now, but take one bite of the orgasmic peanut butter jelly sandwich at the Deli and tell us you didn’t feel a tingle. Featuring thick slices of French toast, nubby peanut butter and warm chocolate, this might be the sexiest sandwich in town. Also try peanut butter brownies at Theobroma. 5, ground floor, Pheroze Building, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharishi Marg, Apollo Bunder, call 6655 1010.
Catoptrophilia – Mirrors make you crazy
Bungalow 8: Small and framed in silver, embossed in white with a grip-worthy stem, set amongst glossy curls of wood, lying at your feet (well, that’s glass, but close enough): whatever your preference might be, you’ll find it mirrored at this store. Beds, chairs, rugs and even an antique bathtub are conveniently scattered around, should the urge overwhelm you. 1st, 2nd & 3rd floors, 17 Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba.
Butterfly Pond: Cool haircuts and a happy ending. Also find mirrors galore at neighbourhood salons Jean Claude Biguine, Tony & Guy and Trend Set at the President, where Doreen performs the most painless Brazilian wax in the city. 58, Royal Terrace, Wodehouse Road, Colaba, call 22182516.
Chremastistophilia:You get off on being robbed or held up
Starboard, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower: Yes, they make it with imported avocados and it’s the best in town, but Rs 1,676 for a small bowl of guacamole with tortilla chips is nothing short of highway robbery. It does peel good, though. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Apollo Bunder, call 66653366.
Ellipsis: Manned by the Voltaggio brothers of Top Chef fame, a meal here can cost you a cool Rs 5,000 per person – and that’s without alcohol. Read our full review here. B-1 Amarchand Mansion, Madam Cama Road, Colaba, call 66213333.
Eremophilia – You think deserted places are hot
The Courtyard: Once a thriving hub for fashionistas and boasting stores like Fish Fry by Manish Arora, Narendra Kumar, Rohit Bahl and more, this shopping complex is now a ghost town with only a couple of functioning shops and virtually no footfalls. A reluctant, verdant oasis, this is perfect for you. PS: Stay away from the Saturday night throngs at Prive, right next door. Otherwise, you’ll never come (here) again. The Minoo Desai Marg, Apollo Bunder.
Mukesh Mills: You have to see it to believe it, the ruined, blackened carcass of a mill, sprawled over acres and acres of seaside land, rattling with ghosts but not a single soul. Wide open!
Formicophilia - You enjoy insects crawling all over you
The Bombay Natural History Society – A voyeur’s dream, the BNHS insect collection has over 50,000 specimens, the bulk of which are pretty, multi-hued butterflies, all clearly displayed in glass and wooden boxes. Other insects include beetles and mantis. Hornbill House, opposite Lion Gate, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, call 22821811.
Melophilia – You erotic worship music
Gateway of India: Don’t dismiss this Mumbai landmark as just another monument – that would be a gross phallacy for it often serves as a stage for elaborate musical concerts (the likes of Zakir Hussain and Jagjit Singh have performed here) and also as entrance for the dark, moist caves of Elephanta, site of the revered Elephanta Music Festival. G-Spot, indeed!
Colaba Causeway: Here you’ll find pirated albums, dodgy players and maybe even some vinyl. For those who like seedies.
Pogonophilia – You like beards
Arthur Bunder Road: You can’t take two steps on this street without running into a long, lush beard. Plus, there are plenty of shady hotels that rent rooms by the hour, should you find a honey.
Voodoo: In its heyday, this used to be one of Mumbai’s most happening gay night clubs, currently shut down due to a raid and mostly frequented by prostitutes and johns. You won’t need a beard here, though. Kamal Mansion, ground floor, Arthur Bunder Road, call 22841959.