• Discover haunted spots on a late-night cycle ride in Mumbai

    Krutika BehrawalaMumbaiOct 10, 2017, 13:53 IST

    A cross at Nasserwanji Wadi in Mahim. Pics/Atul Kamble
    A cross at Nasserwanji Wadi in Mahim. Pics/Atul Kamble

    Five minutes from Mahim West railway station is a building complex called Nasserwanji Wadi. The story goes that two decades ago, its landlord Nasser, a Parsi gentleman, stood his ground when builders wanted to buy the plot for redevelopment. One night, Nasser was burnt alive. Locals claim that his spirit has been guarding the plot since. "A security guard told us there have been cases where people who have tried to trespass, have felt a stinging sensation on their face, as if being slapped by an invisible person," reveals Yogesh Chande.

    Organisers Priyank Deshmukh and Yogesh Chande.
    Organisers Priyank Deshmukh and Yogesh Chande.

    A wailing well
    He will narrate this eerie tale to 25 cyclists on Friday night as part of The Mystery of Mahimawati, a bicycle trail through the dark and quiet lanes of the suburb. Presented by The Legend of Bombay Bards, a travel-storytelling firm co-founded by Chande and Priyank Deshmukh, the three-hour trail starts near Mahim railway station and ends at Shivaji Park.

    Watch the walls cast eerie shadows as you pedal through the Pitambar Lane
    Watch the walls cast eerie shadows as you pedal through the Pitambar Lane

    As the cyclists pedal through the five stopovers, the duo will regale them with dramatic narrations of local spooky myths. A haunt that is part of the trail is D'Souza chawl, located near Paradise Cinema. The chawl houses a well that is now covered. There's a myth that a woman, who was a resident of the chawl and a mother of two, slipped and fell into the well when she had gone to collect water. "Neighbours told us that on certain evenings, they hear her wailing. The landlord places flowers on the well every day to appease her," adds Deshmukh.

    The site of the well in D'Souza Chawl near Paradise Cinema
    The site of the well in D'Souza Chawl near Paradise Cinema

    Know the history
    Like their previous theme-based trails that weave in stories of historical figures and families integral to Mumbai, this ride will be flecked with the suburb's history. "Most Mumbaikars think that Mahim is only limited to the stretch between St Michael's Church and the dargah. However, it is much bigger and full of spooky stories. In fact, the suburb derives its name from Mahima, which means miracles. We weren't able to cover everything in this trail and will plan a second edition soon," says Chande, adding that the trail, open to all above 15, also includes games.

    ON: October 13, 10 pm to 1 am
    MEETING POINT: Cafe Coffee Day, outside Mahim Junction West Railway Station.
    CALL: 9833855671
    COST: Rs 1,499 (cycles will be provided); Rs 999 (for those bringing cycles)

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