The India trip roundup, last stop... Mumbai !!
We spent the last 7 days of our trip in Mumbai. That meant all last minute shopping for clothes, food, books, videos, you name it.. and the usual evening outings to show the kids some outdoor fun.
The only thing about showing outdoor Mumbai fun to kids in August is you never know when it will rain. When it rains it almost always pours!
Here is a sample of the monsoon. We did not have any umbrellas on day 1 because we were still getting used to the concept. This video was taken outside Basu tailor.
All our Mumbai trips start with a visit to Basu tailor on day 1. Why? He stitches custom fit jeans for 400-500 rupees a Jeans (be it for the adults or kids) including any embroidery. Perfect fit jeans measured and stitched within 5 days!
We still have the 2003 batch, the 2007 batch and now the 2010 batch of Jeans. They are still in good condition, were it not for the expanding waistline. There is an entire street in Kings Circle, Mumbai where there are shops like Basu where you walk in, get your measurement taken, then proceed to pick the fabric from the 150 or so samples and walk out with a card. 4-5 days later, voila... you have jeans that fit you perfectly!
The next few days were spent in Mumbai malls as we switched to indoor fun. Have already mentioned the quality of the malls. They are fantastic!
The K-stars mall in local Chembur has a movie theater complex, a food court, a grocery store, a dozen apparel stores, sporting goods, etc. etc. The movie theater was state of the art!
Once we got through this mall three four times in a couple of days, the FIL decided to take us through the new Worli sea link to go to Washi.
The sea link is great. The drive alone with the water on either side is very nice. Reminded me of the umpteen trips we took on the golden gate bridge.
A long ride with a skyline view on one side.
This is the first mall that you see in Washi. Great shops, great ambiance.
Then we went to another bigger mall further down the same road as you exit the sea link. This one was HUGE! It had a food court that had a sampler of every favorite Indian joint as well as the International sampling. The Pizza hut in this mall was really classy. Have not seen any pizza hut like this in the US. Think Olive Garden interior, Pizza hut menu!
There are speciality stores that sell "only Parathas" and those parathas were downright yummy..
This mall has a t-shirt vending machine in the food court. In case you need to hide those marinara stains ?!
We also made it to the Gateway of India area one afternoon.
and went on yet another horsie ride. The kids were obsessed with horsies on this trip!
Just as we were about to get our hands on this "butta" it started drizzling. We made a mad dash to our parked car and by the time we got to our car, everyone was thoroughly drenched!
A couple of shots taken from the moving horse cart..
We also did the usual trips to Mahalakshmi temple (and ate those delicious pakoras after visiting the temple) and Siddhi Vinayak and drove through the Marine drive area a few times.
Mumbai has an ever changing skyline, a constant reduction in available open spaces, and screams "development" from every street corner.
The Taj hotel was ready to be reopened and that was heart warming..
At the end of the trip I told FIL that either Mumbai is going to be a shining example to the world or go into military rule pretty soon! Had good reasons to make that statement because there are big big holes in law enforcement and the society is truly pocketed and segregated.
It is true that when you go to SFO you see Chinatown, Little Japan, Little Saigon etc. etc. and there is a desi pocket. But there are no issues between these pockets or within the pockets (or they do not come out in the news!). Mumbai is different. It is like a reaction waiting to happen. You sense it in the air.. from small things like the Butta vendor requesting we delete his photograph because "things are very difficult for them in the Gateway area" where "them" implied "muslims" to the auto rickshaw drivers choosing select routes to be on the safe side.
This is tricky business for a city that is "going viral" like a hit youtube video!
Now we get to look forward to our next India trip....