The house, a ground plus one structure with a terrace, completed a 100 years in 2014. It’s a Grade II heritage house, that has now completed 104 years
“Eclipsed by the high-rises that have mushroomed in the neighbourhood, it still stands tall, digging its heel deeper and deeper into the soil of its remarkable personal history.” – Chandrima Pal, in the novel, “At Home In Mumbai”, published in 2017.
Heta Pandit author of the books “Walking In Goa“, “In And Around Old Goa“, “Walking with Angels“, “Hidden Hands: Master Builders Of Goa“, also an architectural historian, got Tehmi Terrace as a legacy from her mother Manijeh Rustamjee Patel after her demise. It was built in 1914 and was first called Soona Villa. Later, the house was renamed after Heta’s grandmother, Tehmina Rustamjee Patel. She says that it was the norm in her family to name the houses after the women – wives and daughters. Heta’s grandfather, Rustamjee Patel bought it while it was cheap in 1942.
In previous articles about her heritage house, Heta explains that while the essential style of the house is inspired by British architecture, it was built by a Maharashtrian and has some Indian features. Thus, while you have the Grecian wreath at one end of the house, you have the Indian third eye (meant to ward off evil) on the other. The dining room has a table and chairs that date back to 1929.
The first shooting of the house happened in the year 1984, for Dhara vegetable oil, that’s how Heta’s mother Manijeh opened Tehmi’s doors for commercials and ad shoots after realizing there was money in it and the income from this can help in maintaining the building. One wall is adorned with various wedding photographs from ceremonies that took place in the house. “We rent out the place for weddings on and off. It’s not like we planned on doing it, but one day someone approached us and it just happened,” Heta adds.
“Kedar, my brother-in-law suggested Tehmi Terraces in Bandra, and the very same day even my mother-in-law recommended Tehmi. You know, the best part was that I had shot a lot in that house, always loved it. In fact, I had imagined living there someday – of course, that would never happen because they’d never sell, so this was the closest I could get. It is a 100-year-old house, it was in the 99th year when we got married there,” said Vidya Balan in an interview.
If you’re in Bandra, don’t forget to visit Tehmi Terrace.