“I was an adventurer, but she was not an adventuress. She was a ‘wanderess.’ Thus, she didn’t care about money, only experiences – whether they came from wealth or from poverty, it was all the same to her.” ― Roman Payne, The Wanderess
A day in Mumbai
Mumbai is the city having its own secrets. You’ll find a lot about the city in books, travelogues, and movies. For me, Mumbai is the city of secrets. This fact drives me crazy to explore every nooks and corners of this city. And today I was about to explore this mysterious corner of the earth. It has ocean, it has skyscrapers, it has busiest railways, it has variety of street food and never to forget, a friendly crowd. We started from Pune at around 7:30 AM. Kyra seemed very excited; it was first time she was travelling to the city of Bollywood. I on the other hand, was eagerly waiting for the sight of the sea. The local train to Mumbai was moderately crowded. We had reserved window seat for us. I occupied the window seat and Kyra sat beside me. Another 15 minutes we spent settling down with our luggage. Journey started with the mini ipod she carried along with her.
“This contains my favorite playlist. I haven’t updated this in years. You’ll find all old songs in it”, she said putting one earphone in my ear. I find it difficult to plug those earphones, they fall. Kyra call my ears, elf ears, they are thin and pointed at the top. No wonder, we have a lot of magic in our lives as well. The train runs on diesel and sharp turns near Lonavala brings down the speed. It took one hour to reach the Ghats of Lonavala and soon we could see deep valleys on both the sides of the train. Sun was up and sunrays were slowly penetrating from window. Kyra’s skin shine bright in sunlight and her eyes turn light brown. I love that colour. Her hair and her eyes get the same colour in sunlight. The train runs through mountain, and the turns are so sharp that one can actually see a whole train penetrating the mountains. We turned ON Google Maps and first location to search was Gateway of India. Map showed 3 kilometers from CST station. We usually walk that much, confirmed our nod as we were looking at each other.
“Our train to Nagpur is at 3 PM. We’ll reach Mumbai by 11 AM. We can either go to Marine Drive or Chor Bazaar” I said
“You say, I follow SIRE” said Kyra.
“I wish we had more time, a lot to explore in this city”
“We’ll visit again”
“Yeah, I love this place.”
Magic happened again, we reached CST and my father called up to inform that our reservation for the train is still pending. He asked us to cancel the ticket and look for the next train to Nagpur at 8 PM. Whoa! We had a whole day in Mumbai to explore.
Instead of walking, we took bus to Gateway of India. It was a typical BEST bus, red from outside and clean from inside. We occupied last seats. I’ve a habit of collecting
tickets wherever I travel. Those tickets mark time and date which add to the memory of the place. BEST bus tickets are colourful with different number printed in Marathi language.
The ticket collector punches these tickets according to a code, I’m still unable to decode what it means. I’m not that good with numbers. In another 15 minutes we were at Gateway of India. Scarce traffic on road, which is very rare, and heavy rush of tourists was all we could see. I was mesmerised by the architecture of Gateway of India. Though I’m not an architecture photographer I wanted to capture the beauty of it. I left that part with Kyra. She’s good with lines and she captures them very well. Even the domes and curves are her favourite areas.
Having clicked some good shots at Gateway of India, we were ready to move ahead to Queen’s necklace. And this time we decided to walk. Colourful and distinct architectures were standing tall on both the sides of the road. A unique blend of vintage design filled with modern classy cars was spotted at the Bentley showroom.
“Take one of these out please” said Kyra looking at the showroom
“Wanna go for a ride?” I asked.
She jumped like a kid with a big YES. This is a game which we play in public. Try to spot a girl of my type or a boy of her type and guess if he/she is a YES. We usually end up looking at each other echoing YES.
Asking for Nariman Point, we kept moving ahead until we reached a big circle with five roads meeting at a place. My eyes caught Regal Cinema as the name sounded vintage and Kyra was mesmerised by the antique shop on my left. But what held our eyes was the Woodside Inn Cafe at SP Mukherjee Square. We entered the cafe to grab some beer but looking at the decor we felt like stepping out. We were discussing about this when an old man dressed in waistcoat and bow tie approached us.
“You can check the upper floor if you want Sir” he said with a smile.
“Is it good?” I asked
“You’ll love it” he insisted.
We climbed up and here it was a well decorated room with antiques and silks and woods. The couch were velvet red and walls covered with wooden texture. It was time
for some pasta and beer. The humid climate of Mumbai was beaten up as the chilled beer slipped down our throat. The pasta with white sauce and American sweet corn was served in shinny white porcelain dishes.
We were in Colaba. This place is cozy and comfortable. It has small restaurants and cafes to chill out. You’ll find altogether different architecture over here. I recalled the time I used this place in my stories as the name felt mysterious and colourful to me. Kyra seemed amused with the tales I told her about Mumbai.
We took our bags on shoulders and started moving towards Nariman Point. Another 15-20 minutes of walk and I could hear the sound of sea waves.
“Hey, can you hear that? We are near sea” I said
“I had the smell a long back ago while you were busy clicking that colourful window.”
“Ah! I love that smell of water.”
“I’m already afraid. Let’s see how close I can get”
“I’ll take you there.”
“Come on climb up, sea is too far from here” I urged Kyra
“Nah! Nah!” after a minute “Okay, I’ll sit beside you”
It felt heaven. Cool breeze touching my body, the sight of endless sea, sky burning at sunset and smell of the water. I was relived, so was Kyra.
We stayed at Nariman Point till the sun went down. We did nothing but felt the nature closely. And now it was time for some coffee. We grabbed take away coffee and moved towards CST station. Mumbai is the city that doesn’t sleep. And it was just 7:30 in the evening. Lights were spread across the railway station, street food stalls were all set up. Finally it was time for us to taste the famous street food.
We packed some food for us and waived a good-bye to Mumbai. The last pic for the day was of the stunning CST station.