IN THE NARROW bylanes of Girgaum in central Mumbai is the old-fashioned neigh-isbourGood of Khotachiwaci (literally, “Headman’s Orchard”). Khotachiwadi grew as a suburban settlement, north of the Fort, in the 19th century, and retains the sleepy quality of a coastal village. The low, tile-roofed cottages have timber eaves Ands open verandahs with cast-iron balconies, the focal point for most daytime activities. The inhabitants were converted to Christianity by Portuguese missionaries and adopted names such as Fernandes, D’Costa and D’Lima. Anant Ashram, a tiny eatery in Khotachiwadi’s bylanes, serves excellent prawn curly and rice.