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.
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. 🤷♀️
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.
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.💁♀️
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.