In the bustling suburbs of Mumbai, addresses run into four to five lines. But ask for Mannat and you will be dropped outside a tall gate at Bandra Bandstand, behind which superstar Shah Rukh Khan lives with his family. At any given time, at least a dozen tourists hover around the gigantic gate, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Bollywood bigwig or his family members.
Apart from being home to one of India’s top movie stars, Mannat is also a popular spot for tourists and Mumbaikars alike. “Every trip to Bandra definitely includes a visit to Mannat,” said Pankhuri Shukla, a resident of Powai. “It has become a habit,” she said.
Khan’s plush six-storey mansion is situated right across Bandra Bandstand. For Sanjay Singh and his family who are in the city on a vacation, Mannat was a “can’t-miss spot”.
“Mannat was right up there with CST and Chowpatty”, said Singh, who is from Delhi. “Shah Rukh Khan is such a huge celebrity but seeing his home makes him appear a little more human.”
There is a BEST bus stop right in front of the gate of one of most famous addresses in Mumbai. Named Bandra Bandstand, it is commonly referred to as Mannat, a landmark in the area by the seaside.
“Hardly anyone refers to it as Bandstand,” said Kishanchand Shinde, a conductor on bus number 211, which is the only bus that has a halt at the stop.
With such fanfare, one might expect the security at Mannat to be harrowed by eager visitors and fans. However, fans have generally been courteous, according to the guard at the gate.
“Some of them just enquire if he’s (Shah Rukh Khan) at home. But otherwise, they don’t disturb us,” he said.
“I make about four to five trips to Mannat daily,” said Mukesh Yadav, an auto-rickshaw driver. The crowd doubles during the weekend, according to Yadav.
After the holy month of Ramzaan comes to an end, Khan is expected to come to a meshed gallery in his bungalow and wave out to his fans.
“During Eid and on his birthday, we raise the fair to Rs 60 per seat,” said Yadav, who otherwise charges Rs 20 per person for a ride in his three-wheeler.
In spite of knowing that Khan is busy shooting, fans throng in front of the gate.
“The name of the building reflects the mannat in our hearts – to see him, even if he is entering or leaving home,” said Vishnu Venugopalan, who was visiting from Pune.