Mumbai Trip (Part 4)

Short recap: We reached Pune from Goa, then took a 4 hour mini bus ride to Mumbai; Dadar to be specific. We then took an Ola cab to the Gateway of India. The area around the Gateway of India was crowded with the Eid crowd so we left soon. We then loitered behind The Taj, where we found The Colaba Socials ❀ We walked to Book Street.

Yes, I basically wrote about walking to Book Street the whole last post. 😢🀭

Okay, so we reached Marine Drive and the weather was amazing to sit and enjoy the view in front of us and the Mumbai skyline.

A photo I wish someone clicked of us. BTW, this is the first sketch I drew of the Mumbai Trip.

The experience that I wanted to recount here was the treatment that the Mumbai Police gave to wrong-doers in the area. The first wrong-doer (who we didn’t really notice) was a guy who was drunk and still drinking I guess. These policemen suddenly appear and start slapping the guy in complete Indian Mom style. I half expected a chapal (slipper) to be involved.

There are some huge boulders on the shoreline of the Drive, called Tetra-pods (yes, I Googled it). Some men were stupid or enthusiastic enough to jump onto these tetra-pods and pose for photos. There came the police charging towards them slapping them multiple times (which made me feel like those guilty siblings who feel like they would get thrashed next). It drizzled a little while we were sitting there.

We then took a Ola/Uber from Marine Drive to Bandra. Yes, we still had energy to sit in a taxi, in the Mumbai traffic, for around 1-2 hours; just to see the Worli Sealink and reach Bandra. On the way we passed by the Ambani’s tower. Maybe if I was standing right below it, I would be impressed. But, from afar, it didn’t look all that great. Why all the grey? We enjoyed spotting a lot of purebred dogs on the street though being walked by their nannies holding poop collecting sticks; which is something we rarely see in Goa. At least around the village I live in. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

The Worli Bridge

At last we reached the Sealink which was beautiful. I enjoyed the view more than the bridge structure itself. I am usually not those people wowed by bridges. The houses which were to the right of the sealink were painted with multiple colors which was beautiful too. Now that was truly beautiful. How a place that people would avoid viewing, is turned to an artistic beauty. After crossing the sealink, we again got caught in traffic trying to go to Bandstand. Mannat was one of the go-to destinations.

The taxi dropped us somewhere near Mannat, and to be honest I was tired by then; like too tired to take another step but we went ahead to see the house of the Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan. Buuuuut, as you can guess, it was Eid and apparently SRK comes out on his balcony and waves to the crowd outside for the occasion; so, it was not surprising that the whole street infront of his house was full of excited people; with police harshly commanding all bystanders (including Ani) while waving their lathis to move away. We clicked a few photos of the house and then walked away.

While sitting in the cab on the way to Mannat, we had seen a church, so we decided to walk to it. It was the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Mary.

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Trial at sketching the beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Mary, Bandra

We reached the church and saw that opposite to it was a grotto, so we walked up to the grotto and walked back down. When we entered the church, a group was saying some prayers followed by the Angeles. Knowing the prayers and feeling like a traitor just standing there behind, I entered and knelt down, after which I sat on the pew. I don’t know whether it was the tiredness, or the fact that the church was so so beautiful inside, or some other fact that shall not be said out loud; I started crying, not the sobbing-wailing kind; the tears-dripping-no-one-knowing quiet kind. Then we left the church and sat outside it and waited for our ride to the bus station.

The Uber arrived and we left for the bus station. At the station, we sat in the waiting room. Three tired, frustrated individuals sat in 3 corners of the waiting room; waiting for the bus, that we thought we would miss, to arrive.

Soon a girl and her brother entered the room, and that’s when I noticed most of our bags were kept on a chair away from all of us. It’s funny how strangers can get us to be so paranoid. The girl started asking me questions in a language that I didn’t really know. She then changed gears to Hindi, those I understood. But as I was being paranoid, not all her questions were answered. Social conditioning.πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

Once we sat in the bus to Pune, I again found an empty window seat for myself. After a tiring day, I needed space to clear my mind and the window seat was a bonus. We were so tired, even when we stopped for dinner, none of us got out. We reached Pune at around 11.30 – 12am.

That was our day in Mumbai.

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Mumbai Trip (Part 3)

Short recap: We reached Pune from Goa, then took a 4 hour mini bus ride to Mumbai; Dadar to be specific. We then took an Ola cab to the Gateway of India. The area around the Gateway of India was crowded with the Eid crowd so we left soon. We then loitered behind The Taj, where we found The Colaba Socials ❀

Continuing, we left The Colaba Socials happy and satisfied. The “happy” needs to be highlighted in bold and underlined as much as possible. To be honest just coz we were Happy; not coz of the bill to be completely honest. πŸ˜€

We had decided to visit the Book Street, which was according to Google Maps a short walk from our then current location. So, we marched forward, with Ani trying his best not to look like he was accompanying us. We had a short washroom detour at a coffee place – I will need to confirm the place with Thwe. Was it Starbucks? CCD? πŸ€” All I remember is I saw it, walked in and asked where the washroom was and directly walked towards it. I think there is a “Washrooms are never to be denied to non-customers” rule? πŸ˜‹

The whole atmosphere of walking on the Mumbai streets towards Book Street was totally different than in Goa. It just felt nice. It could be because we were in another city, walking with friends, away from home, a kind of freeing experience?

We reached the Book street and as usual just jumped right into browsing through the countless book titles and reading through all the summaries. The book-sellers were basically geniuses in what kind of books would sell. They brought up title after title enticing us to buy them. Thwe, Ani and I ended up buying a total of 9 books; a haul that wouldn’t usually happen anywhere else. Those books are still on my TBR list.

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After the book gawking was done, we booked a cab to take us to Marine Drive. A must go-to place for tourists, right?

Now, that experience needs a post of it’s own, don’t you think? 😁😜

Ramblings: 21/09/2018

The following is a write up I read a lot in blogs, quotes and images on social media :
β€œThe Japanese say you have three faces.
The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family.
The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”

I agree with the above saying.

But, what about the faces that appear depending on our current state of mood.

Like for example, if I am sad I will obviously act totally different to a situation than if I was happy or in a normal mood.

Friends might be talking about a topic that would usually amuse me and have me exchanging comments; but in a bad mood I just sit cold there, occasionally looking up when a comment strikes a nerve.

It is like within the above faces mentioned by the Japanese saying, there are different personalities too, depending on mood and situation.

Just an observation. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Mumbai Trip (Part 2)

Short recap: We reached Pune from Goa, then took a 4 hour mini bus ride to Mumbai; Dadar to be specific. We then took an Ola cab to the Gateway of India.

Continuing, on the way to our destination, we passed by so many eye-catching old buildings, that I was stuck saying, Oh-My-God! Oh-My-God! continuously. I so love old architecture. Though, I wouldn’t know the exact name or timeline of the architecture, I just love looking at the buildings, knowing they belonged to a different time, when people from a different generation with a different outlook to life were roaming around and living/working in them. I am not really sure which street we were on but we passed the Mumbai University and a bank’s HQ.

I think this is a building of the University. I somehow managed to get the angle all wrong while sketching.

It was Eid, the day we decided to visit Mumbai, so you can guess the number of people at the Gateway of India. The entrance itself was so crowded, as there were detectors placed (I’m guessing bomb detectors?). The ladies line was short, so it was easy for Thwe and me. But, Ani was stuck in a huge throng of men, all trying to get in. We looked at the Gateway from as close as we could get without being stuck in too much of a crowded place. Clicked some pics, watched the pigeons having their aerial dances and then left.

We had planned to go to The Taj and have a cup of “tea”. Yes, tea at The Taj. Which is supposedly something that should be in our to-do list when in Mumbai. Guess how much that cup of tea is. Rs. 200 – 450 depending on which place you enter within Taj. Rs. 200 for something that I can get for Rs. 20 here. But, it might be more about the experience, than the drink/eatable that is consumed. Like, “I had so-so at The Taj, Colaba!”

The Gateway of India with the throng of tourists!

But, apparently to enter The Taj, we need to have some class; and simply entering it, I mean simply walking in from the street is not classy enough. So, Ani changed his mind and we continued walking behind The Taj; debating where we should go next. While walking, I saw a board that looked interesting; so, I went ahead to read the name of the place. Socials! It was the infamous Colaba Socials! The place that was always praised a lot by a few of my friends. I had to go there. It was on my go-to list for so long, even when I was not ever planning on a Mumbai Trip; and it was lunch time. Soooo…… I basically forced Thwe and Ani to come along (who I am guessing were relieved the “Where-do-we-go-now” debate was over) πŸ˜› Sorry Thwe πŸ˜›
And that’s where we encountered the Longest Long Island Iced Tea and the yummiest Mutton Dhansuk (not that I ever tried it before), which was heaven!

Colaba Socials! The three of us with our LLIITs and the food. I was enjoying the match being played on the TV too. FIFA Season!

A granulated cylinder (I thought it was just a huge beaker, apparently not) full of LIIT later, and after the delectable tender mutton and the sweet rice of the Mutton Dhansuk was enjoyed and praised, we left for our next destination.

Let’s continue the remainder of the day in the next post.
This post took a long time to appear I know. But, better late than never right? πŸ˜‰

Tattoo (2)

Well my brother came down last month and spend around 23 days here in Goa.

He always wanted a tattoo on his thumb of a crucifix. The crucifix and the position of the tattoo is like a common sight on most Goan Catholics including my Mom. Seeing it as a way to get initiated into the world of Tattoos, he kept reminding me about it.

This year, we made it a point to find out from all cousins if they knew any good tattoo artists with a reasonable rate and we hit jackpot with one of the artists.

The artist was ready to come to our house and he quoted a rate that was almost half the rate I paid for my first tattoo. Who was I to say No to cheap tattoos? Yeah, cheap tattoos are supposedly hints of infection and disease. But, the guy seemed trust worthy.

As my brother’s tattoo was simple and small, my cousin also came along. I too got excited and thought of getting my second tattoo. I wanted to get the same one, that I planned on getting in June, when Thwe and I went to Pune.

20180813_205503.jpgΒ A tattoo resembling the beach. A place that no matter what calms my nerves, my body and my mind. A place I always stayed near. The beach brings to mind so many memories of spending my childhood swimming with my Dad into the deep, then chickening out and swimming back to the shallow; memories of walking on the beach sand with my cousin mornings and evenings just venting out things that don’t matter anymore; memories of mummy peacefully floating on her back, along with daddy.

Wherever I was, I basically spent half my life on the beach.

Well, that was Tattoo number deux.

The End of the F***ing World (Series Review)

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The series released this year on the 5th of January, is a dark comedy with a hint of drama, made up of just 8 episodes. But, the episodes pack an amazing punch. I watched the whole series in a night. Which was easy as each episode is 19-22 minutes long.

A newcomer, Alyssa randomly talks to James at their school. James who fancies himself to be a budding killer, agrees to go out with Alyssa thinking he can try out his new plan of killing a human.

The series continues with how Alyssa has plans of leaving her family consisting of her Mom, step-dad and step-siblings (twins), and going to meet her dad. James goes along with Alyssa, trying to give the impression of being her faithful boyfriend, but actually with a plan to kill her. Many mishaps and accidents occur, which only bring both of them together.

To be frank, I found this series to be a cute little love story between two confused and lost teenagers; who were only searching for their place in the world, maybe finding themselves, but were at the wrong place at the wrong time and somehow managed to understand the other.

I loved this scene of both Alyssa and James talking while sitting on the beach. By this point, they pretty much trusted each other.

The End of the F***ing World
Anyone read the comic book, that this series is based on ?

Swim swim swimming

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Recently, my brother and I decided to spend at least an hour everyday swimming. But, entering the cool pool water during the monsoons is a whole another feeling. As my brother starts shivering with the cold, I can only look and laugh as my body stubbornly declines in giving me the same reflex. We then begin to cruise the length and breadth (literally!) of the pool, practicing our strokes, or rather lack of strokes. My main worry being whether I look like a mini storm, instead of gliding past smoothly and carefree.
My swimming instructor had given me steps to follow during my freestyle stroke – two strokes and then turn your head out sideways for air.
As we practiced, I felt the need to come out for air in two strokes lesser and lesser. So, basically I swim across the whole breadth of the pool in one breath; (breadth breath πŸ˜› English!! ) but this new trial of mine turned out to be a bad move later, when I burst out breathlessly from the water, and then spent 5 minutes breathing hard, gaining my lost breath. Bad amateur move.

It is calming and peaceful though when we are floating on our backs staring at the clouds passing by.

World Cup 2018

It’s 11th July 2018, 11.30 pm, England vs Croatia

I am comfortable in the sofa watching TV, ready for the game, nervous that the giant will crush Croatia. Five minutes in, Trippier nudged England ahead with his free kick. Yeah, it was impressive. Like, I can’t imagine the amount of talent required to curve the ball over the players ahead and then make it go into the goal. Impressive!
But, as I was supporting Croatia, it just got me down, and I decided to skip the game and just go to sleep.

And yes obviously I regretted it the next morning at 3 am, when I checked the score and it was Croatia 2-1 !!!! I actually screamed out with joy in the eerie quiet; Croatia was going ahead to the Finals !!!!

A friend teased me later that I don’t have trust on the team I support. What could I do? I was supporting the so-called ‘Dark Horse’ of the tournament!

It’s 14th July 2018, 7.30 pm, England vs Belgium

What a game! What a game!Β What A Game!

The Golden Boot winner, Harry Kane was nowhere to be seen or heard of during the match; while most of the Belgian team made an amazing effort during the whole of the game. Lukaku, De Bruyne, HAZARD! Courtois!

Belgium defeated England the second time this World Cup. πŸ˜›

It’s 15th July 2018, 8.30 pm, Croatia vs France

I am comfortable in the sofa watching TV, ready for the game, nervous that the giant will crush Croatia. Croatia are really giving France a hard time and it really amps up my enthusiasm. This is the kind of team you support for a World Cup Final. The team with the do or die attitude, with the resilience of a racing horse.

The team played an awesome game, and the mishaps giving France the first 2 goals were just that, mishaps. It was almost like they were handed on a silver platter 2 free goals. The next 2 goals by France – they were pure talent. Amazing goals. But the first two ? Nah, that was chance, luck, error of judgement.

The equalizing goal by Perisic was… wow! I need to learn more adjectives.

I am not proud to say that I gave up watching the game after France’s fourth goal at the 65th minute. I couldn’t bear watching after that goal. So, I missed the 69th minute goal by Mandzukic. slapping forehead

A newspaper headline read ‘Our head was won over by France, but our heart by Croatia’. That is perfect! ❀

To summarize, this World Cup though not one of my favorite ones as compared to the others that I remember watching, was pretty entertaining. The first World Cup that I remember watching was with my family and it was the 2006 one. The one which ended with Zidane’s head butt! There is not much that my Dad and I bond over, but that year we spent nights in front of the TV watching games between countries we didn’t support. The same was for the 2010 World Cup, with our family divided against each other. The 2014 World Cup (Germany!! woohoo) and this one, I was not with my family and I silently enjoyed it at home. But, who knows where I will be for the next World Cup.

2020! In Qatar!! Not that I will be in Qatar πŸ˜‰ The World Cup will be held there.

P.S. I did watch more games, but that would make this post so, so, so long.

Ramblings: (13/07/2018)

While driving back home, I usually take a route which includes driving past a lot of residential areas; so I tend to encounter many pets and strays on the road, sometimes even squirrels and frogs ! But usually, I see them from afar. So I get the time needed to mentally prepare for any sudden movements.

Well getting back to the story, yesterday night I left for home a little later than my usual late timing. On a particular road, I could see two cars heading towards me; that I can handle. It is a two-lane road. But, what I didn’t calculate for was a dog suddenly popping out from the scary amount of shrubbery on the side of the road. So, he was basically 2 inches from the car; and as usual I was driving at 50-60 km/hr. Involuntarily, I braked sharply and swerved to the right, directly in front of the two incoming cars and somehow managed to swerve to the left in some seconds; avoiding the cars altogether; and most importantly avoiding the dog, who when I looked through my rear view mirror later, was happily jogging along the road.

That moment scared me so badly that I spent a good 10 mins driving at 30 km/hr. I know it’s minor compared to other accidents, but so many things raced through my mind later. Maybe it’s a survival instinct; the mind is configured to show us all we could lose, all that could happen, if we went ahead with a scenario that scared us badly, to tell us not to try that again.

Mumbai Trip 2018

We reached Pune one fine sleepy morning, sat around for sometime, then I being a little nervous about the trip, hustled everyone to get ready.
We were going to Mumbai! ❀
My first trip to the city sans family. Yeah, it was going to be just one day! But, yayyy! πŸ˜€ We then went for breakfast and then hurried along to catch the bus.

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That’s Shweta and Me in the front, and Ani sitting behind us. That scary looking black thing is my interpretation of a lady with a scarf on her face (to save herself from the sun).Β 

The bus, actually a Traveller, Force Traveller, which was being called a tempo for some reason dropped us at Dadar. The journey was around 4 hours long, but we passed a lot of long, dark tunnels (I actually planned on keeping a count of the tunnels, but then I grew bored of them, could be 6-7 tunnels or more), too many tolls and some really beautiful valleys. It was raining on and off; so every time it did start raining, Thwe and I would turn to Ani and scream, ‘Ani!! It’s raining!‘. Mostly it was me, as I was not prepared to walk around in the ever so popular pouring ‘Mumbai rain’. Yeah, being a Goan, staying in Goa, I am not expected to complain, but I am usually in the comfort of my house, office or car when its pouring cats and dogs outside. Ani did this funny thing of poking his head in between our seats prompting us to call him ‘Mundi’ (Head).

It had just stopped raining when we reached Dadar, so you can guess how wet and icky the road was. We hopped and jumped from the Traveller (mini-bus?) onto the footpath.

Our next stop was the Gateway of India. We had to decide whether to travel by the local buses or book an Ola/Uber. While I was practicing my Hindi reading (reading names of places buses were bound for), Ani booked an Ola which took some time to arrive. The funny thing was a guy who got down with us from the mini-bus got into a cab while we were booking the Ola and all we could do was stare at him in shock and then scream at Ani like, ‘Ani!!!‘.

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Standing on the footpath at Dadar waiting for the cab.

The cab driver came in maybe 10 mins, by which time it drizzled a little. The cab driver started the journey with a small joke like look how much time this GPS is showing on my application. Go to see it was showing 3 hours to go from Dadar to Colaba. 3 hours! For a moment I did really think that it would take that long, as traffic is something I hear a lot about in these metro cities. But, then he burst out laughing; so I kind of understood it was a joke. πŸ˜€ Happy fella.

To be continued…
(You don’t know how happy typing out that above line makes me! πŸ˜€ ❀ )

P.S. please forgive my amateur drawings πŸ˜€ You will see many more of them in my later posts so I hope I get better πŸ˜€