Along the Away

travel, dream, create, inspire, appreciate

I’ll definitely be coming back to Mumbai; but unlike all the other places in India I’ll be back to because I loved them THAT much, I’ll be coming back to Mumbai because I didn’t really like it that much at all. But there’s something odd there; Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, I’m meant to love it… What’s wrong with me? I’m putting it down to bad timing; at the end of four months in India my enthusiastic embrace of Indian mayhem is perhaps not at full capacity.

Following five weeks of life on the road and after almost four months in India I’m tired of looking and appreciating; and on my first Mumbai afternoon I got sick with head cold thingy complete with headache and hacking cough. Horrible but on the bright side, good timing as I’m trying to shed as much luggage weight as I can before my homeward flight – I was popping pills from my untouched medical supplies with happy abandon, happily justifying having lugged them around with me since I got here. See, I did need them!

But aside from all this, I did get out and about a bit and I think on another visit I’d probably find much to love about Mumbai. On this visit, I found it just like other Indian cities but a notch more intense in the noise, traffic and population departments. Beautiful buildings though, architecturally impressive and worth wandering around with eyes up. But there are lots of staring boys; lots and lots and lots. Nearly started giving them the finger actually, that’s sorta where I’m at with that Indian peculiarity. But the women are gorgeous and wearing some of the best fashion I’ve seen in India.

I cobbled together a walking tour of sorts, from the lonely planet and from a map given to me by my previous tour leader who lives in Mumbai and is in the middle of creating urban adventure walking tours here.

I was staying in Colaba, right near the Gateway of India so that was my first stop. Then I walked past the Victoria Station – Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus – it was pretty impressive. I walked up MG Rd to the Flora Fountain and walked along the promenade at Chowpatty Beach (it was so hot but the beach was quiet and dirty – apparently it’s much busier at night). I went to the Gandhi Museum and that night went to see a Bollywood film at the Regal theatre. All of this lacks the lustre of my previous posts as quite sadly I can’t find the photos I took towards the end of my trip!  I’m missing Mumbai’s photos altogether so I’m sorry that this post is devoid of any visual appeal… I am still trying to figure out where I put them when I came home.

Naturally, I spent a bit of time shopping and eating, two things I have become an expert at doing in India.

I also spent more down time at my hotel than I have at any other time in India. Next stop for me is a flight back to Bangalore where I plan to visit my friend and Janaagraha colleague Rashmi one last time (and pick up the stuff she so kindly has been holding for me like my laptop). I also need to visit a tailor where I left my Goa-bought sari quilts to have cotton backings sewn on, and then get a taxi to my week of blissful R&R – a week at Shreya Yoga Retreat outside Bangalore.

To be honest my heart had left Mumbai before I actually did – it was sitting in anticipation on a yoga mat in an outdoor shala at Shreya’s waiting for me to finally sit still for a minute. I left Mumbai feeling a little guilty I hadn’t given it a real chance to charm me.

Maybe next time.

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A traveler, dreamer, designer and optimist sharing all of the above.

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