Out of control Bombay

I arrived after a fairly crazy overnight bus trip, and was only too ecstatic to be meeting up with 2 of my ashram friends. As luck would have it my host, Aditi, is a Bombay local and it is to her that I owe huge thanks for showing me all the sides to this amazing city.

Our weekend was packed with fun things to do, and I’m glad that it afforded me the time to see a side of Mumbai (Bombay as the locals refer to it) that in normal tourist circumstances I would not have gotten to see.

We started it off with an incredible brunch at Indigo’s, an awesome upmarket restaurant near the Taj Mahal Hotel, where I first got to see that everything in Mumbai runs with a valet service. Due to lack of space, most of the good restaurants in Mumbai take your car keys, easily disposing of your car for you, while you relax and chill out in their blissful air-conditioned and clean space – sipping on fresh watermelon juice. Brunch is a very popular Bombay weekend past-time, whereby locals sip cocktails and dance to loud vibey music before noon. The food is incredible and company relaxing – definitely something I want to bring back to South Africa.

We then hit the streets of Colaba – seeing many famous iconic buildings such as the ‘Gate way to India’ and ‘The Taj Mahal Hotel’ (which incidentally also serves the most delicious cold coffee with ice-cream that I have ever had. You probably are wondering if I have had many cold coffees – but it seems to be way up there along with Nutella pancakes which most restaurants serve to keep tourists happy – not very Indian).

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Bombay is a city of such stark contrasts. On one hand, you have an incredibly iconic and beautiful 5 star hotel and then right out side are homeless people with not a cent to their name.

It was at ‘The Queens Necklace’ where I really fell in love with Mumbai. The stretch of Marine Drive lit up by the street lights at dusk and the view of the city skyline across the bay is truly magnificent. The three of us doing yoga on the promenade, with warm wind blowing through our hair.

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I was supposed to go to the Ajunta caves – instead I started a love affair with a city that has no middle ground.

This love affair took me to the Blue Frog, where Shankar Tucker was performing Indian Classical music mixed with Indian Folk music traditions. It was an awesome combination and it allowed me see an intellectual side passed on from generation to generation.

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It continued when we went to see D’Lo at the St. Andrews Auditorium. This Sri Lankan comedian had us all in stitches with his very honest, but funny comments on coming out and how an Asian family living in America dealt with it.

Our next stop was the Smugglers market tour through Chor Bazaar with ‘Magic Mumbai Tours’. It was on this tour where I learnt that the Portuguese actually introduced chillies to India. It was also on this tour that confirmed that mutton on menus is actually goat. Walking through the bazaar was a delightful assault on the senses. The colours were amazing, seeing different cultures live so closely yet so separately was inspiring and feeling old antiques (of all kinds), found down narrow shops that never seem to end, was adventurous. I could write about Chor Bazaar for hours – but instead I will leave a few photos and tell you to go experience it yourself (huge huge recommendation).

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But what is a city without some night-life fun, and Aditi was so good at getting us out and getting our dance on. It was fun dancing until the cops came and shut down the club (something that happens world wide I see;) ). It was more fun trying to put our new Bollywood dancing techniques into practice. The coordination you need to sway your hips and flick both arms (in different poses) was well beyond me – and I ended up doing the same movements over and over again.

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And with that I’ll leave you with my theme song for Bombay – from someone who knows how to dance Bollywood! {please click on the link – you wont regret it}
Sheila Ki Jawaani

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Categories: India | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Out of control Bombay

  1. Love your theme song! 🙂

  2. lovely post!

  3. Awesome Raine!

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