The Mumbai weekend


Dinner was at Crystal. Split into two floors, this small Punjabi restaurant near Chowpatty beach had the air of a hostel canteen: young people huddled at small formica-top tables, grimy walls leading up to a cobwebbed ceiling, the din of a market, a bald man sitting behind a small table bearing a cashier’s notebook next to an idle pen. I took an instant liking to the place.

On the right a dark, narrow stairway led to the first floor. We took a table in a corner. I looked around. At the edge of a half-peeled wallpaper on the wall behind me I spotted small whiskers tracing a pendulum’s arc: a cockroach. It was a tiny one, nothing to worry about, I assured myself.

We ordered Rotis, Aloo Parathaas, Rajma Curry, Mutter Paneer, Lassi and Pepsi. Soon after the waiter left there was a scream: someone had spotted a cockroach. A big one. A couple in front jumped out of their seats; we looked around, alert to any movement. A (brave) young chap noticed something on the floor and kicked it away. Imminent danger was averted, but an uneasy calm prevailed. We sat at the edge of our seats. Bunny rested her legs on toes (smaller chance of a cockroach crawling up the legs). When I looked behind at the spot on the wall with the peeling wallpaper, she said, “Don’t look! Just don’t think about them!!”

When the food arrived we did just that – we forgot about “them”. Every item was delicious, mouthwatering; I wouldn’t have cared if there were roaches were all over the place. In the end, remarkably, the total amount I found on the bill was 200 rupees. If I lived in Mumbai I’d go there every week.

After a coffee at Cafe Coffee Day – where other bloggers we knew (Rash, Lee, Inkspillz, Unrationsenatic) were discussed, dissected – we took the train back to Andheri. At Andheri, Bunny refused to let me take an Autorickshaw by myself. I was the gullible NRI from a small-town in Germany, and this was the big city of Mumbai – I was not to be left alone. She rode with me all the way to my hotel, convinced herself I was safe inside, then returned. I then understood the reason behind her choice of email id: ‘BunTheHun’.


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.

      Bunny

      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?!

    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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