You’ve heard from SL about the first day of the trip to Mumbai (if you haven’t then read http://wp.me/p3A254-6A), and now it’s my turn to talk about visiting home. I know that Part 2 of the Mumbai Special should tell you about our second day there, starting from where SL left off yesterday, but I think I need to go back to when we first landed. It had been a bumpy, turbulent flight, and everyone was thrilled to land on the tarmac. As soon as we got out of the airport, a blast of Mumbai’s typical heat and humidity made me forget about the impossible task I had ahead of me: to show the group all of the Maximum City in just three days. Haggling over trinkets at Colaba or Linking Road, swapping travelers’ tales at Leopold Café, drinking the hottest possible cup of chai at the small Irani joints outside almost any college building, admiring the old Victorian constructions of South Bombay, visiting the Gateway of India, with the Taj Hotel right across it, checking out the local theatre at NCPA or Prithvi, staring out at the monsoon sea at Marine Drive, Carter Road, Worli Seaface, Juhu beach, or Bandstand, wolfing down kebabs at Bade Miyan’s, Ayaz’s, Kareem’s, or pretty much anywhere else, eating at restaurants with the weirdest combinations of cuisines that you have ever experienced. I was excited.
Now that I got that out of my system, let me continue with our story. SL left off at the group going home after a day in Colaba. But one does not just stay home on a Saturday night in Mumbai. We soon headed out again for dinner at an amazing little place which had a section with black lights and graffiti on the walls. On seeing “Cornell” written in bold letters on the wall, we were compelled to defend the honour of our school. Then we decided to call it a night; we would need our rest before another day of sightseeing.
As soon as we woke up on Sunday morning, my mother insisted on stuffing us with mango milkshake and eggs (being a fan of wholesome, homemade food, she wants us to be too full to eat the street food outside). We then headed out for a drive around Bandra, past Mount Mary, Bandstand, and finally parked on Carter Road. It was low tide, and Madeleine decided that going out onto the small rocky path in the sea would be a great idea. I was a little reluctant at first, but the girls were willing to drag me out there kicking and screaming, so I decided not to argue. It wasn’t long before we were racing each other, trying to plot the quickest way over only the flattest rocks. At the end of the path, Madeleine dipped her foot into the Arabian Sea (almost an Armstrong moment there).
After getting back to the car, we headed to the Prithvi Theatre to watch The Bureaucrat, a satirical play on Indian politics. It didn’t turn out to be very good, with really obvious jokes and stereotypical characters (a corrupt politician, his bureaucrat lackey, his spoiled son and annoying secretary). The bun maska (literally means, “bread bun with butter”), chocolate chip muffin and Irish coffee at the café outside the theatre really saved the day.
Then, after eating kebabs, biryani and kheema for dinner, we headed back home. Running around the city all day was quite tiring and we did have to fly back to Bangalore early in the morning to get back to work. I loved being back in the city that I grew up in, and I hoped you enjoyed reading about our adventures.