Mumbai is full of these little tenements, where a lot of people live in cramped spaces. I pass by this one often. It’s tucked away in a small lane, just off the main road, and is a fairly long and beautiful old chawl. I find myself wondering what goes on in these tiny little homes, which are almost-like-but- not-quite community living. Although most of these chawls are occupied by Marathi speakers, this one is called ‘Madras Chawl’. I tried asking how it got this name, but nobody seemed to know. One resident said it was actually called ‘Bhagirath Bhavan’ and Madras Chawl was just the BMC name. Solid walls, lovely ironwork railings, a large staircase, this chawl has far more character than any new building I’ve seen.