Mumbai jottings – 1

Just back from a refreshing, albeit hectic, visit to Mumbai…

By some smile of Karma, this time in Mumbai, I got to stay at a guest house right on Marine Drive. Pinch me. I still am in a daze. Imagine going for a nice long walk, all along the curve of sea on the marine drive walkway…I got to do that on Sunday night, after supper, 9:30 pm or so. And then again, the morning after. Joining the low buzz of Bombay bees. Walking along Mumbai’s road of gold, with a magnificent view of the sweep of the sea, in an atmosphere of lighthearted joy that one and all seem to exude in that ambience, I felt a genuine sense of freedom – almost like being a part of a loose formation of birds, up high in the sky.

Land’s end at Marine Drive. Place to be. The smell of the sea is energizing, life-giving. The skyline is enchanting. The shoreline is fairy-tale stuff, with all the triple-cone-edged concrete piles, piled up as bulwarks against the sea, making one wonder if Asterix and Obelix had come to party here, and piled these up as a prank they played on British pirates.

Salaam Mumbai!

Wednesday morning, saw a couple of us colleagues take off at 7 am, seeking a Balaji temple that someone had said was there in the vicinity somewhere. Some enquiries narrowed the google-earth focus to Charni Road station and thereabouts. Going past Churchgate Station, one was awake to the morning vibrancy of  Mumbai, with the sight of countless office goers buzzing out of the railway station, like an endless swarm of locusts. We were halted by a one-way road somewhere opposite Charni Road station…(Charni Road, by the way, was apparently so named because it used to be a place earmarked for cattle to graze, all those years ago..)…The driver of our cab, Shatrughan, a veteran of Mumbai, knew his roads, and so decided to treat us to a special Mumbai intro, by driving us through intricate inner lanes…More often than not, our progress was halted by a crush of vehicles frozen in stalemate…A garbage truck reversing down our road added to the melee. If we were blood vessels, we might have been traversing some intricate maze of arteries and approaching multiple blocks on the way to the heart.

Life in the inner lanes sure was a show of vibrant tapestry. The buildings lining the lanes had all woken up, yawned, and breathed out a whole lot of people, who were all peacefully ensconced all over here and there…School kids were walking and cycling…So many people, so many vehicles, so little space to live and move. But all the crush didn’t cause any heartburn. No one grumbled, no one seemed to bear any grudge. Perhaps that’s the charm of Mumbai. Somehow, one and all made way for each other, all the while progressing oneself. We too moved sideways and forward, turning here and there, and suddenly, there we were…

At the temple of Balaji…In the heart of Mumbai, a south Indian temple…

Sri Venkatesha Dewasthanam, Seetharam Poddar Marg, Phanaswadi, Mumbai….

                                                                        …To be contd….

3 Responses to “Mumbai jottings – 1”

  1. bala Says:

    kamesh,

    its been over 22 years since I moved out of what was then Bombay. You have captured the charm and essence of Bombay in your description of the people. When I moved from Delhi that was the first thing I noticed and eventually got to like Bombay a lot more than delhi with its punj culture.

    From what I hear traffic has become so bad that one cannot easily go from the suburbs to the city that easily. I used to enjoy my trips to the city on weekends. I used to have some friends who lived in the city including R. Ramesh/ SR and we used to have a good time at all the restaurants and bars and view of the ocean along marine drive..

    I have good memories of my 4 years spent in Bombay..

  2. ramey Says:

    bala….

    i still remember when i gatecrashed into ur PAD in Chembur saras baug…

    cheers.. ramey

  3. gkamesh Says:

    ramey

    it seems that the gate has still not recovered🙂

    cheers

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