I feel like writing a lot these days. Things that seemed as usual is giving me spirits to write about. Well, such are days. I almost abandoned my blog few months ago; the phase might visit again, who knows! But yeah as long as it goes.
We have two shutdowns each year at work; its an unwind mode - both for man and machines. Usually, the second shutdown is during Christmas until New Year - get about 10 days off. For Dec 2012, I decided to visit Mumbai.
It was for sometime that I was talking about visiting Mumbai to Neha. I have a connection with that city; I was born there. That's that; soon transported to Bangalore and been living since then here. I have not visited Mumbai earlier and no nothing or anybody there except for Neha. So, finally decided to visit Mumbai and from there on, we made plans.
Neha didn't surprise one bit; having known her for more than 3 years now; she was the same as she is on chat. Oh! by the way she is one of the two females I am ever friends with. Somehow I can't gel with females :-/ No offense ladies.
I must confess that Mumbai was different certainly than the other cities I've visited in India. The people especially; they are so bindaas to quote in a typical Mumbaiya style. I loved the vada pavs and the chais; so very cheap!!!!!
I loved the freedom women get there; I thought Mumbai and Bangalore are two cities where women can be free spirited. Oh! and the roaming around yeah. Had to visit the famous hotspots; obviously! So yeah the Gateway of India, the Taj like a typical tourist. What I loved was the tour of the Elephanta caves; going on the Arabian sea for 2 hours to reach the Elephanta island; seeing lot of oil rigs over Bombay High was good.
Another thing that pleasantly surprised me was the ease of availability of public transport - be it rickshaw or taxi. In Bangalore; the auto rickshaw guy is the king, you go where he goes and you always pay "meter-mela extra". I remember we had to take a rick to a place less than 1 km at 6 AM in the morning. The first auto we stopped agreed to take us. What more! I gave the guy 20 Rs and didn't expect the Rs 5/- back. But he made sure he gave it back to me.
Its not only easy to get an auto at that unearthly hour in Bangalore; its impossible to hire them for less than 10 mms and they would quote double. I want to relocate a percentage of auto folks between Mumbai and Bangalore :)
Neha showed me her famous Sydenham and the ever more famous Tea Center; we had tea and lemon tarts. And she was very patient with me while I was clicking numerous unwanted pictures. Here are some photos. Akhil, Neha's friend was very accommodative and made me comfortable through the stay. I didn't even email him after getting back :-( I should do that right away!
Tan..tadaaa.....Opening scene of any movie :-P . Captured this on the way to Elephanta
Huge cargo ship offshore
The Trimurti at Elephanta. I visited lotta caves in Maharashtra. There will be a separate post dedicated to caves.
On the way back while discussing guys and their stupidity, I noticed this chubby guy taking a nap. Loved the way he was sleeping.
It was a sunny day, the photos are not clear due to the sun rays
Mount Mary church
Loved the colorful candles
Neha and her friend Akhil took me to Walkeshwar Ban Ganga temple. We sat for a long time at the pond watching the swans and pigeons and ducks. I clicked lot of pictures; these two are my favorite.
11th century Ban Ganga tank amidst concrete high raises
While walking back from the tank, noticed this old temple; seemed out of place. Later I realized, its the skyscrapers that have popped up around it
A bylane at Walkeshwar
Hard at work. I wanted to taste the black nut and he readily cracked one and offered me.
The chariots near Marine Drive
The Taj at night
Boats waiting to ferry passengers
VT - It was not light since they were mourning the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim.
Neha mentioned that this building was a hospital. Reminded me of Satya Sai hospital in Bangalore; but yeah this one is on the seashore.
Night photography is impossible without a tripod!
A happy family
I am not saying where I clicked these since the guy who took us at this close range may be under fire. Isn't he cute?
Ummm..no words; majestic and royal
Bliss...Pure Bliss. She was happily playing in her very own jacuzzi without a care for the world.
Lemon tart and Chai at Tea Center