October 04, 2010

India trip - Days 20 - 22

Jotting down random notes before r wakes up or I have to run:

* I met an 85 year old lady who lives next door to k's parents. Her small 1 BR apartment has a showcase lined with neatly wrapped books. I asked her if I could take a look and saw that the books were not only wrapped in brown paper (remember the brown wrapping paper we used to cover our school notebooks?) but were also labeled with numbers. She then produced a ruled notebook that had an index of all the numbers matching them to the titles and authors of the books. I thought that was pretty neat. She said a girl who had just passed 12th standard had helped organize her books and offered to introduce me to the girl :)

* I bought Eat, Pray, Love from a dude selling a huge stack of books car to car while stuck in a traffic jam. Apparently, that's quite common in Bombay. But we usually don't get much time to negotiate. I bought this book for Rs.100!

* The other day while on our way back from Sab Kuch which is a cool restaurant that serves as it's name suggests, pretty much everything, and c was pointing out the sights of the city when I saw some 30 people sleeping right in front of a closed store -- Bombay is a mixed bag like that, you sort of never know what to expect. Back to Sab kuch...if you order pani puri here, a guy rolls a pani puri cart towards you and serves sanitized pani puri gloves and all! I ate falooda with kulfi here and decided I didn't care much for it.

* We went to p & c's house and the highlights there were the oonjal (swing) for r and seethaphal basundhi for us! Oh! I forgot the stick kulfi which r insisted on eating on her own!

* If I had to give one big fat reason why we wouldn't move to Bombay, that would be commute. If you don't have an AC car at your disposal, you are stuck. Yes, you can call from a cool cab but that takes between 30-45 mins to come and it's point to point. If you own an AC car and you drive, that's cool but parking is a pain. Day before yesterday, we decided wisely to go to InOrbit mall in Malad. Air conditioned, nice games, eats and I thought I'd spend an evening relaxing in the mall. But apparently, Bombay goes to InOrbit or one of it's sister malls on Saturdays and Sundays. Since the whole of Bombay was there, it was pretty much like being in an un-airconditioned place with loads of people creating loads of conversation noise and add to that the noise produced by all the gaming consoles. I had fun playing on the dancing game thingie -- what do you call it? But a half hour later, we were all set to leave the mall. The visit to the mall was anything but relaxing.

* Today went to Shopper's stop which is pretty much like any other shopping mall in the US except for the startling variety of colors and designs that you can never find in American clothes. Took an auto today and sweated my way through the afternoon heat and traffic fumes. Yup, traveling no fun here.

* The disparity between rich and poor is stark here. Even the kids learn that they can order some people to do their commands like the maid servant or the cook. If you are a rich kid in India living in a nuclear family, there is a high possibility of getting "spoilt" because you can get away with not cleaning your room, picking up your clothes ever or even setting foot in the kitchen. A maid serves you hot rotis or cold milk shakes and you get used to service 24/7. If there isn't a grand parent around to caution and if the parents are busy with work and life, then it's an easy easy life for the kids. Today I saw a teenage kid lying in bed watching TV at full volume while a maid swept and cleaned his be fair to him, he probably did do his share of work but maybe he didn't and all he had to do is ask the maid to clean up after him...hmm.

Checkmarks and eats: Sab kuch restaurant, seethaphal basundhi, western express highway, corn kachori and stick kulfi, Temptations ice cream, InOrbit mall


Parth said...

Where in Mumbai are you? Andheri thereabouts?

Anonymous said...

new to bombay, huh? Bombay can never be complete to a madarasi without a visit to matunga.
Adding to your koil visits, siddhi vinayak and mahalakshmi mandir are a must.

RS said...

Parth -- Andheri Vile Parle west...

anon -- Last time check mark for Siddhi vinayak temple, went to Mahalakshmi temple day before yesterday...

Parth said...

You are literally in my backyard. Be nice in your commentary :)

RS said...

Parth -- lol! We are in Kripa Nagar, don't know if that rings a bell :)

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