Monday, April 15, 2013

UBC 15 - AtoZ - Mumbai


Day 15  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  M  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge


M is for ....  Mumbai

After posting a very serious post for L I thought I would lighten up a bit and write about my memories of Mumbai. So here goes ...

I would get a rupee a day as pocket money. I usually spent it on a choc-cream ice cream and peanuts. And I still had a bit left over at the end of the week that went into my trusty piggy bank. Over the 5 years at Senior School the peanut packet got progressively smaller exemplifying the law of diminishing returns.

A plate of Bhelpuri or 5 dahi puris cost one rupee. I remember many years later when I asked for a rupee plate of dahi puri, the bhaiya (vendor) looked at me like I was completely insane. He was too polite to say it in words and as he was the gully (lane) bhaiya for many years he handed me one puri on a plate as a gesture of goodwill for past custom.

Coca-cola gave way to Thums up - I never liked Coca-cola again. Chiclets were our favourite chewing gum and the phantom candy cigarettes were the only cigarettes I ever "smoked".

The Mumbai sandwich is a unique culinary delight that has to be experienced as it cannot be described. The sandwich bhaiya outside our University college would often call me Indira. It was a handy name as each time he made that blunder, he awarded me a free sandwich! I marvelled at how among hundreds of students who flocked to the stand, he remembered the orders  - hot for D, very hot for S, medium hot for R and bland for Indira!

Cassata ice-cream and chicken sandwiches at the Kwality restaurant at Kemps Corner - the most Divine chicken sandwiches ever eaten.

Studying late into the night for exams and rewarding our hard work for the day with midnight jaunts to Chowpatty to have "blotting paper" kulfi was as exciting as opening up the birthday gifts.

Emphasising "special" chai when ordering from the chaiwalla at work - this was to ensure that the chai was made in a separate pot from coffee and that it was sweetened with sugar and not jaggery.

Sitaphal (Custard Apple), Chikoo, Lychee, Ratnagiri Alfonso mangoes - how I miss those fruits.

As teenagers, we learned the art of getting on and off the BEST buses and perfected it over time but for this, the umbrella was a compulsory piece of equipment. I got very good at using it effectively on the bus. And getting a seat upstairs on the double decker bus was a treat.

The 11am Saturday matinee show at the Empire Cinema (opposite the Sterling Cinema) was a regular haunt after boring Accounting lectures. I've lost count of how many times I watched Romeo and Juliet. Leonard Whiting was heavenly reprieve for surviving a class full of assets and liabilities that fell off the balance sheet into oblivion.

I lived through 2 Indo-Pak wars clutching my dog Snoopy under the dining table in darkened rooms (black chart paper taped on all the windows) when the air raid sirens went off.

Gully cricket - this was even more riveting than any televised cricket match and far more entertaining than any available Doordarshan TV programme.

Dandiya Ras during Navratri - the "dhanta ta ta" beat that will forever be stuck in my head.

The annual Hindi movie at Diwali projected on a white bedsheet in the gully - rich, poor, old, young - we all came together for 3 hours of entertainment.

The 1000+ cracker salute at Diwali that went on through the night and scared both my dogs Snoopy and Fuji to death.

Govinda, Ganpati visarjan, Holi - If you have to celebrate festivals, do it in Mumbai!

These and many more are memories of my days in Mumbai that are etched in my mind and will live forever.

And instead of posting the usual iconic stuff you see in Mumbai, I will try and show the Mumbai that makes it so special for me.

bazaar at Linking Road, Bandra


Hanuman Ghanteshwar (Bell) Temple, Khar
Wherever you go in Mumbai you are sure to bump into a temple, mosque or church.

At the Gateway of India - Victoria rides


Someone's wedding - The weddings in India are something to be seen and experienced


Flute vendor


Coconuts - being brought down from the tree


Sharpening knives - Churi Dharwalla


Palm trees - my favourite trees. Palm trees look so elegant.


Bullock cart


Monsoons


Shoe at Kamala Nehru Park


Paanwalla


Dahi puri


Sunset from Joggers Park - The sunsets in Mumbai are spectacular


I am so grateful for the chance to have been born in and lived in such an exciting city - Mumbai meri jaan.

Wish you a magnificent day

Warm Regards
Photobucket

50 comments:

  1. Although Mubai looks different than places I've been in the states, some of your activities are not so different. As a child, I ate the same candy and went to movies, too.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2013/04/atoz-m-musical-monday.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce - Mumbai is very different from anything in the US - including the movies and the candy!

      Delete
  2. I am grinning from Ear to EAR ! :D

    I was born in this town...although I have settled for a smaller town and wouldn't live in Mumbai still... Mumbai has a charm... and I love visiting it and soaking the city in... and yet I wouldn't live there ... somehow...

    I can so relate to your posts... be it chiclets or the phantom cigarettes by Harnik if I remember the company's name ! :D

    The road sandwiches or sev poori... the fruit plates... kulfi and paan from chowpaty.. the building movie... the juhu ki paavbhaji ... the vada paav ! sigh...

    The magical mad monsoons of Mumbai... :D sigh...

    A beautiful beautiful beautiful post :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dhiren. Glad you enjoyed it so much. I enjoyed writing it!

      Delete
  3. Memories for you spell Mumbai. When are you coming here? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corinne, my soul is in Mumbai. Yep, I need to make a trip soon.

      Delete
  4. I just finished reading Vinita's post. And even you have written about Mumbai !
    Makes me want to pack my bags and move there !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ruchira - it's an awesome city.

      Delete
  5. I have never been to Mumbai but most of the images you've described are all over India and part of all our childhood memories! Thanks for the wonderful nostalgic post, Suzy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roshni - yep, pretty much this could be anywhere in India and this is what I love about India.

      Delete
  6. Post number 2 on my favorite City - Thanks Suzy for showing me a side I am alien to. Oh, I miss the sandwiches now...Mumbai has world class cuisine, be it sandwiches, vada pau or behlpuri...I shouldn't be feeling this hungry after a dinner - not good for my ever expanding diameter ;-
    Cheers, L

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laxmi - yep world class cuisine there but the fun is in the other stuff you get there!

      Delete
  7. Oh Suzy...........Come back! Mumbai misses you. I loved this one. Yup, Mumbai is all this and more. And I love it for the madness it brings to me and my lifestyle. Muah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Blogwati Gee. One has to have lived there or seen it to truly understand the love we feel for it. Aamchi Mumbai!

      Delete
  8. Same pinch :) I love Mumbai or rather Bombay too :) Born and brought up in Mumbai, I have never really opened my heart to any other city since :) Loved your post and the accompanying pictures...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sulekkha. Yep, it will remain Bombay for us. And it's so true, what one feels for Bombay, one never feels the same for any other city.

      Delete
  9. Fantabulous Suzy. I Just came back from Vinita's blog and loved to see different pics on ur blog :) such a lively Mumbai- Magnificent too
    I got clicked in the boot house of Kamala nehru park. visited many beaches. Taanga ride was amazing and i was attracted to mumbai which was Bombay then ........Would love to visit again :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Afshan. Bombay is such a fun city.

      Delete
  10. I've never been to Mumbai.. well I do hope I come by one of these days :)
    Great post and the pictures were even better, none like we're used to seeing :)

    Bhavya
    Just Another Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bhavya. I hope you will visit someday. It's a great city.

      Delete
  11. This post brought back so many memories. Phantom was the only time I ever smoked too. All the other pictures you uploaded, and the incidents you mentioned, they are so quintessentially Bombay. This post clearly proves that although you left Bombay, Bombay never left you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cynthia - I don't think one ever leaves Bombay - a part of my heart is always there. Those Phantom "cigarettes" were awesome - we smoked them in style :D

      Delete
  12. This post revived some old memories of Mumbai. We stayed from 1997 to 2004 in Mumbai! And you, Suzy? I loved the sandwich outside our office too.. he used to make some yummy veg sandwiches!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shilpa. I was born there and lived until 1988. I was 28 when I moved to NZ. Something about those sandwiches - unique and ever so yummy.

      Delete
  13. Thanks for sharing your memories with us, it brought back some of my own.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Comment from Meena (got posted on my previous haiku post)
    Chiclets were our favourite chewing gum and the phantom candy cigarettes were the only cigarettes I ever "smoked".

    The part tht I assocaited most with :). I dont see these "Chic Chic chiclets" anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I remember the phantom cigarettes and the cassata ice cream! I am from Punjab and living in Navi Mumbai from the last 2 years, it doesn't just feels written for Mumbai but for the whole of India, we aren't that different :)

    Akhil Kalsh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Akhil - pretty much all over India the culture and experiences are the same.

      Delete
  16. I would love to visit someday. Loved your pictures, especially the monsoon picture - like something out of National Geographic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Talya, I hope you do get to go. India is a fascinating and beautiful country.

      Delete
  17. Thanks for your wonderful memories and photos of Mumbai. I feel like I've taken a mini journey there with you. MMM, now I'm craving Indian food.

    Cattitude and Gratitude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cat. Glad you enjoyed my post. And if you felt that then I succeeded in the intent of my post. Thank you.

      Delete
  18. Cheers to you and Mumbai! Hope to see you soon here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janu - I will make a trip in the near future - probably next year.

      Delete
  19. Suzy, I absolutely loved this post! Just loved it! I love Bombay sandwich, dahi puri, monsoons! Pictures are so quintessential Mumbai! Lovely treat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Naina, glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete
  20. What a pictorial feast about Mumbai! An apt accompaniment to the word feast :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shail. There are so many pictures of Mumbai that I have, I tried to select the ones that are out of the norm.

      Delete
  21. So much Mumbai love. Lovely pics and wonderful description - enjoyed reading them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nandana. I think the cities we grow up in become dear to us.

      Delete
  22. Loved your memories of Mumbai - I felt like I was right there with you. The photos are great, too!
    Blessings, Suzy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Martha. I'm glad you enjoyed that. Blessings to you too.

      Delete
  23. What a wonderful personal glimpse of a place so different from what we know... I enjoyed it very much, thank you! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Josie. I'm happy you liked it. Thanks for taking part in my memories.

      Delete
  24. Such a lovely tour you took us on Suzy and how wittily you have described it all :) Those dahipuris look absolutely yummy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sri - dahipuris are yummy :)

      Delete
  25. Ah! Mumbai my favourite city to take a break :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi "Me". Glad you like one of my favourite cities too.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright Protection