Thursday, 27 November 2014

Morning Hunger Pangs

Well, Today early morning we left as early as 5.00 am! We hit the Highway and reached Khar West (Western) from Powai (Central) in 12 minutes flat ! We didnt believe that otherwise this very route takes you over 60-70 minutes! What we witnessed on road was how a particular sector of people in Mumbai had started their day - the newspaper boys were out cycling for deliveries....the clattering milk jars on cycles were being carried to residences for their morning tea! 

Around 6.30-7.00 am the 4 of us were struck with Hunger! What do you do?

Remember its Mumbai! It will NEVER disappoint you! 

Its simple....we entered one of the roads of JVPD scheme (Perpendicular to the 10th Road) and spotted this "Anna" ready with steaming hot idli and medu vada! We hogged on 4 plates of the same ! The white coconut chutney and the sambar (lentil preparation) was as delicious and as fresh it could be. Each plate was for  Rs.25/- and while paying him his first earning of Rs. 100/- we were well content. 

The realization set in more firmly about how this city of Mumbai can suffice all expectations and wants of EVERYBODY!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Victoria Terminus


This is one the most breath taking buildings I find in Mumbai.
As soon as you see this building, you get this feeling of pride mixed with patriotism......This building is a spectacular example of Victorian Architecture.

What surprises me is How those thousands of travelers every single day don't seem to notice the beauty of CST/ VT as popularly called. They rush in and out and don't seem to have a moment to gasp at the beautiful carvings.
The stained glasses, those small monkeys on the pillars(yes there are - you need to just notice them), the beautiful flower carvings etc all go sadly unnoticed by more than 99% people visiting CST.

Ironically is this was for them to travel somewhere in Europe and there they visit such an architecture, all would roam about it with craned necks and jaws dropped. ! Why cant we be proud of what our city has? This thought always saddens me.
Anyway moving from the gloomy side of this, CST hubs 19 platforms, 11 meant for local and 8 for out-station. This architecture was built to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Victoria. I always have wondered, if we were to see the other side of the coin of English Rule over Mumbai it would include CST, Mumbai University, High Court, Flora Fountain, nothing would have ever existed. All these were either initiatives of the British or gifts built for them .
We always say yes its the "Victorian" Architecture, and true that the architect was also English, but we seem to never mention the importance, or we never seem to highlight those innumerable number of LOCAL workers, who helped create their imagination. For those times I don't think I mistake if I say imagination. Such magnanimity for those days is astonishing.  The architect yes planned, drew out the plans for CST, but those workers who executed it ? Thought Provoking !


This building has the royalty linked with it very clearly! 

Friday, 18 May 2012

An Evening at Cafe at the Beach, Chowpaaty

For a Week I stayed at a building named Ganga Vihar, at Marine Drive.

This was almost a break from the traffics of the suburban Mumbai.

I went to this place called Cafe at the Beach, at my favorite "H2O- Water Complex".

This Cafe is one of its kind in South of Mumbai. It is very serenely placed over the most clean part of Chowpatty, and beautiful candles and lampshades light up the place romantically in the evenings. The menu is quite extensive for a "Cafe", but very delicious food.

The Mojito and Margaritas are very decorative indeed. Gives you a perfect BEACH feeling.

What we did was Para-sailed and chartered a Jet Ski, were drenched in salt-water and then sat at the Cafe for a cool breeze. The waiters also are well dressed in their three-quarter pants and funky floral shirts.

So, this is exactly where we sat. Isn't it beautiful ! 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mumba Devi

Mumba Devi :

This temple is situated in the heart of Zaveri Bazaar in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai.

Well all I knew about this temple earlier was, Mumbai had derived her name from the goddess Mumba Devi.

This Goddess amongst the innumerable God and Goddesses in Indian Religions, is the Goddess of the kolis (the fishermen) The Kolis are the native inhabitants of Mumbai, as Mumbai comprised of 7 islands earlier.

The name Bombay also means in Portuguese "Good Harbor".

Well Mumba Devi's Religious Beliefs lay way back in the 15th century.
The story goes like " There was a vicious Demon-giant named Mumbarak (After whom the island was named).
By means of austerities he pleased Brahmadev and prayed to him to be favoured with a blessing that he would be incapable of meeting with death at anybody's hands, and that he would ever prove successful.

Having once secured the blessing, he set out to harass both people and the Gods on earth. All the Gods therefore proceeded en masse to Vishnu to seek his protection and prayed to him to destroy their foe.

Upon this, Vishnu and Shiv extracted a portion of lustre, each from his own body, and made of it a goddess or Devi for the destruction of the giant. The goddess then beat Mumbarak almost to death and threw him down on the ground and told him to ask for a blessing. He entreated her to join his own name with hers and to perpetuate that name on earth.

"The goddess accordingly granted his prayer and named herself Mumbadevi."

This temple is said to have been built in 1675 at Bori Bunder where now the CST is, but was destroyed in between 1739-1745.

Current Scenario of the Temple:

Where the temple is located, that particular street is blocked for security reasons. As a typical scene from any temple, you would find flower vendors and 'pooja thali' vendors, who would tell you, take some offering for the Goddess in.

Mumbai, the land of opportunities and the place of multi- cultural feast of traditions and religion has derived its name from the religious Mumbadevi temple which is dedicated to the Goddess Mumbadevi.
This renowned temple serves as the ultimate tourist destination savoring the history of Mumbai, as well as its rich religious significance .(Quoted from

Monday, 14 May 2012

Hanging Gardens

So over this weekend, we happened to go to hanging gardens twice.

Now technically the hanging gardens at Malabar Hill was built over three reservoirs which can store up to 300 million gallons of water!

This is one of the only gardens which has the old red soil of Maharashtra. A rare sight in Mumbai.

The flower beds, the trees, the scenic beauty has been well kept by the government, and inevitably the Hanging Gardens tends to be in the top list of Tourist Attraction Spots.

Well, very frankly the number of visitors we take remain enthusiastic only till the time we enter Hanging Gardens. Nevertheless, yes they are fascinated by the red soil and the fact of being built over reservoirs, they prefer the view from the opposite Kamla Nehru Park.

Well yes this view is quite breath taking. You stand there and and you witness the entire Marine Drive, Queens Necklace as well as the Chowpatty. I guess this is only of its kind spot.

To go here in the evening and slowly watch the expanse of sand at chowpatty be speckled by toy-looking humans.

It is quite artistic, and personally a better tourist spot then the former Hanging Gardens.

What are your views on the same?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Visiting Babulnath Temple, Mumbai

So last Monday we visited the Babulnath Temple. It is located at the end of the beautiful Marine Drive.

It is a Lord Shiva Temple. He is worshiped in his most famous form - the "Shiva Linga".

There is a 108 flight of Steps before you reach the Temple. 108 is an auspicious number according to Hindu Numerology. Hence it is said while climbing up you can chant the Mantra "Om Namah Shivaye" 108 times. What interested me was how every step had a "Diya" and "Belpatra" (An auspicious leaf offered to Shiva). On asking the priest he said that during "Shivratri" (the main festival of Shiva), each step has the Diya lit and the queue of worshipers can while climbing up offer the Belpatra 108 times, which later all together is offered on the Shiva Linga.

This temple is probably located in one of the busiest areas of Mumbai as it sort of connects all the main roads in South of Mumbai. What interested me was that located at 1000 feet above sea level, it was a very quiet and serene place. As you climbed the steps upward you got a feeling as you were leaving all the noise and pollution behind.

It is believed that with a little strain physically you reach mental austerity. Well This is true. Outside the temple there is a white marble stretch well shaded. I was fascinated by a cats gymnastics sitting there. I suppose i should have been meditative, but the cat performed the most graceful gymnastics ever.

Saw a priest, asked him so please tell me the story behind this Temple. This is like an implied law, every temple has a story or legend hidden behind. This one had a very interesting one. Want to know more about it ? Contact us on "" or leave a message on "" !

Going down the steps is always so much easier. Pheww.!

Famished by then we simply crossed the road for the very tasty and different food at Soam Restaurant.

Happy and Satisfied Ending! :)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Parsee Tower of Silence.

Well what does the name suggest to you. "Tower Of Silence". Well yes it must be as no non-parsee is allowed to visit it or even view it.

The structure is a raised circular structure for portraying the Dead. What the Parsees basically do is, they lay the corpses out there in the vertical columns made. The bodies of Men are arranged in the outer ring whereas women form the inner, and children form the innermost ring.

The tradition says that they believe their hair and nails in addition to the dead body to be "unclean" - as possible pollutants. Hence they believed not to pollute earth, instead be useful as food for Vultures.

Now the vultures eat the flesh, what about the bones? Well once the bones have been bleached by the sun and wind, (may take upto a year), they are piled in the centre of the pit. From here they are lift to disintegrate. The remaining material -with run-off rainwater—runs through multiple coal and sand filters before being eventually washed out to sea

Now these were the simple facts you could probably find any where on the internet. What intrigued me was WHY would they do this, (apart from the pollutant belief). Such traditions have to generate somewhere. 
Hence I would like to share a story my History Teacher told me back in school, which has stuck to me well. 
She said when the Parsees came in India the very first time they entered the sea from the South of India. On approaching the King then at his 'durbar', they said we plead for some shelter in your land till we find a way to go back. Upon this the king told his minister to get a brimful glass of water. Showing that to the Parsee he said 'O Nobleman, My land is like this glass of water, in which even if a single drop of water would be added, it would overflow. Hence, I am sorry." 
The Parsee removed a pinch of salt from his belongings and adding it to the water said 'O King, I promise that all Parsees would do what salt does in water. We would dissolve so well in your community, that you do not have to worry about the over-flowing.' To convince him further he said 'Also I promise we would not try to change any Hindus religion or beliefs or promote any conversions, hence we would not marry a Hindu, we would make cousins get married to each other. We would be useful to your land- Even after our death. We would feed ourselves to the Vultures of your community." The king impressed at the wit of this man, gave his will and permission.

This story plays on my mind till date. Hence when we visited the Hanging Gardens and Tower Of Silence, I was proudly sharing this story with the Germans who were amazed at the Tower Of Silence.