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 โค We walked to Book Street.

Yes, I basically wrote about walking to Book Street the whole last post. ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿคญ

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. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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.๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ

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 โค

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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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? ๐Ÿค” 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? ๐Ÿ˜‹

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? ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜œ

Ramblings: 21/09/2018

The following is a write up I read a lot in blogs, quotes and images on social media :
โ€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.โ€

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. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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) ๐Ÿ˜› Sorry Thwe ๐Ÿ˜›
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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.jpgย 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.

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! โค
My first trip to the city sans family. Yeah, it was going to be just one day! But, yayyy! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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).ย 

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. ๐Ÿ˜€ Happy fella.

To be continued…
(You don’t know how happy typing out that above line makes me! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค )

P.S. please forgive my amateur drawings ๐Ÿ˜€ You will see many more of them in my later posts so I hope I get better ๐Ÿ˜€

Movie Review: Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)

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Starring:
Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Micheal Sheen, Tom Sturridge.

Directed by:
Thomas Vinterberg

Released in:
2015
Synopsis:
A humble shepherd proposes to an independent, free spirited girl staying at her aunt’s house. She refuses his offer. But, by a twist of luck/fate their lucks are interchanged. The shepherd’s flock jump off a cliff and he is forced to leave in search for work. The girl’s uncle leaves her his estate and farm. What happens when the shepherd lands a job working in the farm that the girl is now a mistress of.

Review:
During the weekend I wanted to watch a sweet and simple love story. This is what came to my mind and it’s exactly what I watched.

The movie is an adaptation of the novel by Thomas Hardy; apparently his fourth novel, which I haven’t read as yet, so I am so in love with this movie, which may not the case after I read the novel. Coz as usual, novels are always (mostly) better than their movie counterparts.
0022bmatthias2bschoenaerts2bas2bgabriel2boakI love how Gabriel Oak, known as Mr. Oak during most of the movie, doesn’t abandon Bathsheba even when she does the most stupidest thing possible, even after Mr. Oak tells her she shouldn’t. Later she herself admits it was a huge mistake, but he doesn’t admonish her for it. He just says – ‘Go to bed, I’ll finish it on my own‘. The ‘it’ meaning covering hay stacks before impending rain could ruin them. Matthias Schoenaerts – was good in this character. I loved the way he tried to look humble by looking down and not having direct eye contact with the people giving orders.
maxresdefaultBathsheba Everdeen- the independent, free spirited woman, seems to just want to play the field but doesn’t want to marry until she meets a particular person who has her feelings in a riot. That’s when she gets married in a hurry. Carey Mulligan was good as Bathsheba. It’s kind of understandable, being young and an owner of a farm and lands; you don’t want to go, get married to someone and get your power taken away from you. I loved that her character got involved in most of the activities in her farm even though she was the Mistress. Her line to the shepherd- ‘If I ever were to marry I’d want someone to tame me, and you’d never be able to do it‘. Applause please !
mv5bmjiyntmzmja4nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzmynze1nde-_v1_cr060640360_al_ux477_cr00477268_al_Mr. Bloomwood’s character, I can’t really wrap my mind around why he did what he did. He was jilted by some old love of his, yeah. He wanted stability in his life, yeah. So, he kept proposing to Bathsheba, makes sense too. He almost seemed desperate to settle down.

madding-crowd5-e1431934665958Frank Troy and Fanny Robbin were victims of wrong timing. I can’t imagine how it felt to wait at the altar for your bride and she not arriving. I can also not imagine going to the wrong church for your wedding and realizing at the same time your fiance is waiting at another church.
Yeah, it will never happen in Goa, as the whole clan knows the where, when, who, why of a wedding.
The line Frank says to Bathsheba when she tells him not to kiss Fanny’s dead lips – ‘This woman, dead as she is, is more to me thanย youย ever were, or are, or can be.ย You are nothing to meย now‘.
According to me, being with Frank was like a slap to Bathsheba, bringing her down to Earth.
Summarizing, it is a good movie to watch when you crave a romantic movie on days spent inside your room, with it pouring outside. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyone read the novel? Is it similar to this particular movie?

Ramblings: 20/06/2018

A conversation between me and my friends (Thwe and Twinie) during lunch today:

I : You know? The goalkeeper of Egypt, who’s a Muslim, didn’t accept a Man-of-the-Match trophy! Why? because it was sponsored by Budweiser!
Friend : Ehh? Why so?
I : ย Muslims apparently don’t drink. Is that true ?
Thwe and Twinie (in unison): Yeah, they are not supposed to.
I : But, some drink right, some.
Friend : Yeah, maybe some drink, but he must be strictly following the rules.
I : But, in this age, you can’t say I am from this religion and not do a certain thing, right?
Friend : Hmm..

After maybe an hour, I realized I too am surely saying No to certain things, just because I think a Christian or more precisely a Catholic, shouldn’t be taking part in such things. Forget religion (though it seems to be one of the biggest segregating category among us), there are so many things we say No to, just because we think being under a certain category of people makes us different.
Like, for example, I cannot do that! I am an Indian (or like we Goans tend to boast – Aami Goenkar, aami kornai he kaam). Or maybe you blame it on your gender. Like I am a guy, I cannot do that !?

So easy to judge people just because they are different than us. But, when it comes to us, we too follow the same values that we despise in others.

Compliments

Friend: “you looked good today.”

I (scrunching my face): “oh please.”

Friend: “true re”

I (scrunching my face more): “what’s wrong with you today.”

Does any one else have a problem with compliments?
My friend did a good thing, giving me the ‘compliment’ after I was changed and back to my normal shabby self.
Why?
Well, I tend to go out of my way to look weird after I get complimented.
I sometimes scrunch my face even when I hear the word – compliment. scrunch
Capture

Some years back,

Colleague: Hey, good morning!

I: Hi, Good morning.

Colleague: Hey, you let your hair down today, and a new top !! Looking good!

I (scrunching my face): Hehe, thank you.

When my colleague leaves, I quietly wear my hoodie and tie my hair.

It’s like my own personal allergy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Yes, I do feel a little more confident after a compliment, but it tends to unsettle me and makes me overly self-conscious.

Psst… doesn’t that smiley look depressed and ill ? Tried to copy one with a scrunched face, from the net. ๐Ÿ˜€ I feel sad for the smiley ๐Ÿ˜€