Sapno Ki Nagri- Mumbai
Reasons to visit Mumbai
It was a lazy Sunday morning. I woke up around 10 am, brushed my teeth, had breakfast and went off to bed again. Few minutes later, my cell phone rang. I answered the call. It was my friend Parinita from Guwahati, Assam. She said, “Hey Ruchi, How you doing?” and I replied, “I’m doing well. How are you?” and she replied, “I am good too. I’m visiting Mumbai on 20th June, 2012. I want you to take me through the streets of Mumbai. I have heard a lot about it but never got a chance to visit Mumbai.” And I replied, “You are most welcome. Definitely, will show you the Sapno Ki Nagri and am sure after you walk on the streets of Mumbai, you will definitely visit Mumbai frequently.” And she replied, “(Laughs) Thanks. Buh Bye.”And with this our conversation ended.
On 20th July, 2012, she arrived at my place. Few hours later, we decided to roam on streets of Mumbai. Our journey to discover Mumbai began…
Day 1– First, we took a cab to get to Charni Road station.
From there we traveled in the train to reach our destination Bandra.
Mumbai is incomplete without the local trains. Parinita was surprised to see the crowd. We soon reached Bandra. From there we took an auto for Elco Market. She shopped from the streets of Bandra. She said, “OMG! What cool and cheap stuff you get here. Why would one go to a mall to shop when one gets everything on the streets?” and I replied, “Yea, it’s cool. I shop from these streets only. Good for college going students like us.”
After she was done with her shopping, we went for lunch to Madras Cafe, Matunga to munch on Idli’s. It’s one of the best South India home in Mumbai. She loved the food out there. She went on munching. She said, “Ruchi, I never liked the South Indian food. But today, I just can’t stop munching on these Idli’s. I love you for bringing me here.” And I smiled at her.
Soon after that, we left for Worli. I decided to show her the Haji Ali Dargah and the Japanese graves which many mumbaikars are not aware of. We first visited the Haji Ali Dargah. She was surprised to see that it was located in the middle of Worli Bay and the concrete footpath that runs to this holy place. In addition, she was surprised to notice that every day 1000 of Indians visit different holy places.
Our next destination was Japanese graves which is located at Dr. E Moses Road, Worli. On our way, she asked me, “How do you know about this place? Do you know its history?” and I replied, “My father once told me about this place ad its history. He told me that the goodwill between Gandhi and Japanese priest Fuji Furuji led to the construction of this cemetery. It was built around 1970’s.” And, she replied, “This is so interesting. Hurry Up! I can’t wait to have a look at those graves.” We soon reached our destination. Both of us were speechless when we saw the Japanese Graves. It is so beautifully maintained but the sad part is people don’t know about it.
By the end of the day, we both were tired. We had no energy left to go and discover few more things about Mumbai but I forced her for Queen’s Necklace- Marine Drive. It is worth visiting especially in the night. The ocean, the cool breeze, the lightnings, all these things make Marine Drive an iconic spot in Mumbai. After requesting, she agreed. While we were walking at Marine Drive, we enjoyed the cool breeze. She said, “Ruchi, Thank you, for bringing me here. It is so relaxing. Please click some pictures of mine.” And, I laughed. I clicked few pictures of her.
After we reached the end of Marine Drive, we saw Victoria. We decided to take a ride. It cost us Rs 150 for 5-7 minute ride. Super Expensive! But the ride was fun. It reminded us of that old era, when there were no vehicles except horse carts.
Our first day of journey to discover Mumbai ended well. The whole day was well spent. Parinita was very happy. When we reached home, she just couldn’t stop talking about Mumbai (the places we visited) to her parents. I was happy to notice that she really did enjoy discovering Mumbai.
Day 2: Today, it was our second day to discover Mumbai. Our first destination was to visit the Chinese Temple, Byculla, generally known as Kwan Tai Kon. We thought it would be a good idea to begin our day by worshipping a holy place. Usually, worshippers come during Chinese New Year to visit the temple. Next we went to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. I took her there, because I wanted her to notice the ancient architecture which is influenced from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and Indian (Mughal and Hindu), which was built-in 1887. She did not enjoy watching the heritage building because she was not interested in the history and architecture. We hardly stood there for 10 minutes.
Later we decided we shall visit The RBI Monetary Museum, Fort and increase our knowledge about it. The museum is divided into 6 sections. Section 1: Concepts, Curiosities & the Idea of Money. This section is about the definition of money and gives information on its evolution. Section 2: Indian Coinage. This section displays coins through a time line right from 6-4 century B.C. to those of Independent India. Section 3: Coins to Bank Notes. This section is about the transition of coins to Bank Notes. Section 4 is about Indian Paper Money. This section is about the display also includes representative notes of the Princely States and a collection of exigent money. Section 5: Know Your Currency. This section is about how currency is managed in India and the features of the contemporary Mahatma Gandhi Series of notes and the last Section 6: RBI and You. This section is about everything one wants to know about the RBI and doesn’t know whom to ask. Visiting the museum was the best part of the day. We got to learn a lot of things about the RBI Monetary.
After visiting the above places, we now decided to go for lunch. I took her to Highway Gomantak, Bandra. I took her there because it fulfils all the needs of seafood and the ambience has a Goan feel in it. The most famous dish out there is Kokam Kadi. She enjoyed the lunch. On the other hand, I did not eat anything because I am vegetarian. I survived on soft drinks.
After filling our stomachs, I took her for the tour of Gateway of India built-in 1911. The journey to discover Mumbai is incomplete without the tour of Gateway of India.
After that, I took her to Colaba Causeway Market for window-shopping. She loved the collection of accessories out there. She purchased a few of them. Three to four hours were spent shopping.
By now, we were exhausted and hungry. Therefore I decide to take her to Cafe Mondegar. A chilled beer did wonders to our mood. To add to it, the cartoon on the walls of Cafe Mondegar made by Mario Miranda’s just added flavours to our mood. With this we ended our two-day journey to discover Mumbai.
On our way to home, I asked her, “What do you feel about Mumbai after the two-day tour?” and she replied, “Ruchi, I can’t explain it in words. It is a beautiful city. I wish to be here forever and not return to Assam.” Her words brought a smile on my face.
Ruchi Nandu – TYBMM