Thursday, 25 September 2014

Loitering in Bombay- Mrinmayee Ranade

Thinking of all the times I have travelled alone or done things alone that one is supposed to do with somebody. The first play I saw was Tee phulrani - Marathi adaption of My Fair Lady - at Shivaji Mandir, Dadar. I was in senior college I guess. At least 25 years must have passed after that, that I watched a play alone again. White Lily Knight Rider starring Sonali Kulkarni and Milind Joshi. At the same theatre. Have watched a few movies alone too. I have realised that I pay more attention to what is happening in front of me than what is happening around me, when I am alone. 
But when it comes to loitering, one of the best times was when Shivani, my niece came to visit from Pune, in the vacation after her class ten exams. Shivani and Gargi, my daughter came to Dadar from Mumbai in the local, Gargi being a year older and a true blue mumbaikar was cool about travelling by that mode. For Shivani, that was the beginning of the adventure as in Pune she would always travel either in her dad's AC car or with her mom on her scooty. 
We met near Sena Bhavan. We walked past Shivaji park to Chowpatty. I was visiting Dadar chowpatty after ages. We sat on the tripods, took photos of the evening skies and the Bandra Worli Sea link, watched boys playing football on the beach. And talked. And sat in silence. When the sun had set, we left. None of us wanted to leave, mind you. Sitting by the sea was very calming. 
Then we walked on the Cadel road, I showed the Mayor's bunglow, Savarkar memorial, Vanita Samaj, etc. We crossed over to the Park side and took the girls to Samarth Vyayam Mandir. We were lucky to find Uday Deshpande and Neeta Tatke, the two pillars of the Malkhamb school. As I am a past student of Neeta, it was easy to go in and have a chat with the two. We watched the evening batches practicing Malkhamb, awestruck, and various other sports and truely wished we lived somewhere near Shivaji Park so that we could go there every evening.
We were looking for some place for a nice dinner and Oven Fresh was the best choice. Even on a weekday, we had to wait for 15 minutes to get a table. But it was worth a wait as we were served a delicious melt-in-the-mouth dessert. Complimentary!
A lazy walk back to Dadar station, a slow local to Thane, some shopping inside the ladies' compartment ended a lovely evening. Shivani summed it up beautifully - Kaku, I have fallen in love with Mumbai. Wish I can come and live here. I could see where she was coming from. If you go to Pune, you would notice how hardly anyone was walking on the streets. Everyone is on two or four wheels. 
Next evening, we went to Matungam. Just to eat dosas. So plonked ourselves in Shreesunders and gorged on the yummy spicy dosas. Topped it with kapee. Wandered around the vegetable market, selling everything from the exotic to the traditional south indian veggies.
Next day, Gargi and Shivani went to 'town'! Colaba causeway being Gargi's most favourite road in the world, she has been there N number of times. They did the customary shopping on the streets, ate at Leopold's and came home tired and happy.
So much to do in Mumbai. Waiting for Shivani to come back. A walk around Dharavi, anyone?

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