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Bombay (Mumbai 2)

For those who have read the earlier script I did on Bombay here is more…about the city that I love. For all the rest of you welcome to Bombay

Churchgate..

It’s the name of the last or first station (depending on the direction you are traveling in)

on what we call the Western railway line. (Bombay has three railway lines the Central, Western and the Harbour line).

If you happen to be traveling in the morning, the peak hour when everyone is rushing to work Activity is the word that describes Churchgate the best. As you alight from the train onto the platform you are greeted with hordes of people bustling to the destinations that they need to be at. I daresay all you will see is a sea of people moving in all directions with a strong sense of purpose and no one cares a hoot about the how he reaches his destination. Learn lessons in speed, maneuvering and split second decisions.

Giddy after that experience, you step out and could head out to your left, to your right or straight ahead. I am taking you straight ahead past the Cinema Hall called Eros to the music place called ‘Groove’ that beckons me. Up the stairway to a place that thrills the senses where a wonderful collection of canned music greets you. Serious shopping? Or just a lazy day out? I wander around and listen to the interesting new artistes …

Well I have made some good buys and some….well once I impulsively bought Jamiroquai. Today my soul weeps with the blues… it’s August and there has been a shower or two.

 I step out of the building and let my legs carry me to the Tea House where I am meeting a friend. A charming place …a pianist playing Summer Time …well it’s the wrong season but its all about mood and the tea. Darjeeling, mint, cinnamon spiced… Mumbai monsoons and a cup of tea…ah! Magic. We chat about nothing. We chat about everything. We leave refreshed, grateful for our cup of cheer and that sense of knowing all is well with our world.

Outside the mood is still dull with a little pitter patter. It’s pleasant though, so we walk on stepping through little murky puddles as we head toward the choppy sea. The breakwaters warn us… the giant wave splashes us and we giggle and sneeze like giddy headed school girls.

Lazy day …we had planned to spend it browsing books on the sidewalks and catching the latest artists showing at the Jehangir Art Museum. The rain ruled out the book browsing for the moment at least as the books had been quickly covered up with sheets of plastic to protect them. So we start to head for the museum and of course I have already started to plan for my next cuppa tea there!!! Café Samovar and not have a cup of mint tea??!!

(In the summer it would be worth trying the delicious watermelon juice there though – the only place I know where they would serve it with bits of water melon and lace the juice with a tinge of sour lime).

We pass the landmark Flora Fountain that has had its name changed to Hutatma Chowk for years now (only to have every one refer to it as Flora Fountain). If this was a regular day rushing to work I would be in a crowded bus or walking at breakneck speed unable to stop. Today we stopped as we watched pigeons settle on the beautiful fountain and smiled as we recalled the superb visual that the cartoonist Mario Miranda had created based on the area. It covers the wall of the restaurant a few steps away predictably called Fountain restaurant!

Arrived. Jehangir art gallery. The non monsoon months have a walk outside the Jehangir displaying the work of students and fresh young talent and yes! Its affordable art! Today its Anjolie Ela Menon a prominent India artist, whose work we particularly want to see. Her angelic faces make haunting visuals. Up the metal stairway to the Chetana art gallery with its permanent exhibit of scenic canvases. Son et lumiere at work on those canvases.

On the terrace we breathe deep and wave to students sitting in classes in Elphinstone college across the road.

We look around and see the gardens that belong to the Prince of Wales Museum and decide on impulse to visit there next…