Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mumbai Meri Jaan

I am back in my "adopted" home - Mumbai. I love and remain nostalgic about Hyderabad where I was born, grew up and did my schooling. Los Angeles will hold a special place in my heart as this is where I became an adult, fell in love and built my career. Mumbai (Bombay in the good ole days) is where Mona (the person I fell in love with and subsequently married) was born and grew up. I never cared much for this city when I was growing up. Over the last twenty years, I have come to love the place and it has become another home for me.

We are in Mumbai for a few days on our way to Africa and I am enjoying every bit of it. The famous monsoons are just about to begin and there are bouts of heavy rains every few hours. And these are not just heavy rains but a serious downpour. But the city keeps moving on with gritty determination. I am amazed to see Mumbaikars taking a walk on Marine Drive in heavy rain. I was on the road early today (around 7:30am) and had the chance to see this beast rising and it is quite an experience to see this city come to life as millions of people begin their day.

Food is always an important part of the Mumbai experience and this time is no different. I made sure that I had the famous vada-pav. The street vendor has now managed to get a small stall on a street corner and is busier than ever. I have yet to learn to be more aggressive and push and shove my way through to get my food. Yesterday, we dined with Vicky, Jehangir and the kids at Mahesh - a sea-food lover's paradise. And we made our customary visit to Delhi Durbar for traditional Mughlai cuisine.

We leave tonight for Africa but I know that I will be back again soon to do it all over again.

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