The Mumbai weekend


At Kala Ghoda, we walked a short distance to the Gateway of India. The site, a plaza ringed by an old stone wall that separated it from the sea, was full of people: locals, tourists, police men, construction workers and hawkers of all kinds: photographers, telescope vendors, snack vendors, bubble-machine vendors, middlemen, ferry ride sales-persons. The Gateway monument and the Taj hotel flanked its boundaries, horse-drawn chariots competed for space with BMWs and Toyotas: history and modernity together, side-by-side. I heard six languages in our thirty minutes there. It was a microcosm of India itself.

It was, in a way, unreal to be walking those streets, places I had read about in books and watched in movies. The city had an established place in my imagination; I was curious to see how reality would alter that picture.

The Taj was still under renovation – you could spot workers at windows, polishing an edge or drilling a hole – but the facade no longer had the burnt-down look we’d seen on TV after the terrorist strike. Near us some tourists were looking up at the building, discussing the event in 2008. Long after the physical traces of violence are gone, an uneasy memory – and abundant curiosity – remains.

18 thoughts on “The Mumbai weekend

  1. Such riches here, in photographs and words and the feelings behind them! I’m glad to discover Bunny’s blog, too, as well as her bookshelf.

    Happy New Year.

  2. Great post. I never had the opportunity to see Mumbai through the lens of someone who had never visited it. You had a great guide; pointing out Chetan Bhagat’s residence notwithstanding 🙂

    1. What to do, Patrix, he refused to be taken to Shah Rukh’s bungalow and Amitabh’s bungalow and Salman’s building, I had to show him SOMEthing of Bombay’s Famous People’s Houses.


      1. Bunny, just as you’ve wondered if you look like “crystal vase person”, I’m beginning to wonder if I look like a person who’d take a detour to see Salman’s building. How could you even suggest it?!

    2. Thank you, Patrix. It looks like you would have ‘Desipundited’ this post, if the service was still functioning. I do miss such a directory.

      1. I definitely would have. I might just start a personal directory. The expectations that DesiPundit eventually built up just got too heavy.

    1. Don’t worry Rash, I forced him to look at it in passing when we walked out of Prithvi. Only Jalsa, not Prateeksha, but at least it’s a Bachchan bungalow.

  3. You had your eyes closed? Tch tch Parmanu, even if you aren’t an Amitabh’s bungalow and Salman’s house sort of a person, it’s a mandatory part of Mumbai’s charm ;-p
    In Bangalore? No celeb houses thank you. That is only reserved for Mumbai. And I don’t need to point out the Chinnaswamy stadium to you either, since you have lived in this city. We could do a food tour though. There are some lovely, laidback cafes.

  4. and you didnt let us pay at either crystal or cafe coffee……totally out of mumbai trip ethics!! 🙂
    bunny’s bookself is a dream…..anybody will be forgiven for losing control…hehe. btw…there are tons of crystal-like joints in the fort area filled with yummmmyy food. u gotta come back soon 🙂

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