Founded by Diego Miranda and Glenice D’Sa in January, Bambai Nazariya is a transgender-run Chai house in Versova that offers great food, Pink chai in a warm, homely ambiance.
A socially inclusive Chai house in the by lanes of Versova, Bambai Nazariya, welcomes its visitors with smiling faces and a very warm vibe. The outdoor seating area has two small tables, some greens, and a blackboard that reads, ‘Nazariya Badlo, Nazaara Badlega’. Well, these lines sum up the entire motto of Bambai Nazariya, as this small cafe is on a mission to change the perception regarding the transgender community and give them the love and respect they deserve just like everybody else.
An idea 7-year-old
“The thought came 7 years back and then I shared it with my friend and co-founder Glenice D’Sa. The name also popped in my head just like that. ‘Bambai’ because we wanted to evoke the old Bombay feeling and ‘nazariya’ because we want people to change their nazariya or perception. We both always wanted to do something together. So, then we started off by selling street food for a while as at that time we did not know how to get the money. But since we really wanted to start with something, we did that, too”, said Diego.
For the next few years, many challenges came in between Diego and Glenice’s way. Diego even had to take up a job due to some personal reasons, but they never forgot about Bambai Nazariya. “It used to run in my mind all the time. I really wanted to make it happen, and so when one day Glenice said, let’s do it. I took a paper, and that’s how we started”, Diego mentioned to Local Samosa.
But it wasn’t as easy as taking up a paper and writing everything on it. The duo had to face many difficulties and it was indeed a tiring task. But, as the popular proverb says, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. And, so the universe helped Diego and Glenice, too.
“The biggest challenge for sure was getting funds. How do I even start without enough money? And, so we had to self-fund ourselves. The second challenge was about hiring. So I got in touch with Humsafar Trust, an LGBTQ organization advocating for the Health and Human Rights of LGBTQ. They have been a big help and support. They invited me and helped me know about the community better. They’ve also helped me put up the stalls, and helped me with hiring as well”, he mentioned.
After that, the duo finally started Bambai Nazariya in the month of January. The cafe oozes a very comforting vibe. The decor is quirky and has colourful elements, books, CDs, a gramophone, comfy couches, vintage frames, chai kettles, and many more such old-school elements. ” We wanted it to be very homely and wanted people to feel at home. Glenice has worked really hard on the interior and the decor. She has poured her soul into it”, said Diego.
The menu features typical bambaiya dishes and offers a good range of snacks like Pav bhaji, missal pav, keema pav, croissants, Poha, beverages, especially the pink chai of Kashmir. ” I handle the kitchen and my experience has been amazing. I feel proud when the visitors appreciate us”, said Sonya, one of the staff members of Bambai Nazariya.
It’s indeed a delight to see a cafe with such a beautiful concept in the city and we are glad that Diego and Glenic did not give up on their dreams. ” The reaction has been overwhelming. People have been appreciating us. There was a group of students who once came to do their project here. One of the students had even brought their mom along. I remember before leaving she told me that she used to be afraid of transgenders earlier. But now her perspective was completely changed. Hearing that from a parent did motivate every one of us in fact here and it was soo good to know”, said Diego while smiling.
In a very short span, Bambai Nazariya has made a special place in peoples’ hearts with its warm service and delectable food. If you are anywhere near Versova, do visit them as it’s all worth the hype 🙂
Where: 30, Jeet Nagar, Versova, Andheri West, Mumbai
When: 10 am to 9 pm
Price: Rs.600 for two.