Sunday, 12 February 2012

India Trip 2011-2012 - Mumbai

After a whirlwind tour of Ahmedabad, Baroda and Jaipur, we went to Mumbai for a more restful eight days of socialising and shopping. Most of my photos from this leg of the trip pertain to family lunches and dinners, hence aren't of much relevance to this blog.

However, I did have some observations to make about Mumbai on this trip.

I'm constantly amazed at how Indians can live and work amidst such filth and wretched infrastructure. It's both a strength and a weakness of the Indian character, I guess, a blend of resilience and low standards. The photos below show vibrant economic activity in the midst of seeming devastation. It's like a market economy thriving in a war zone.

Santa Cruz market

Fruit stalls, advertisements and a gleaming skywalk, all cheek-by-jowl with potholes and rubbish

Speaking of skywalks, these have mushroomed all over the city. There are no lifts for the elderly and the infirm, but other than that drawback, they are a wonderful way to escape the congestion, traffic hazards and dirt of the roads below. Hopefully lifts or escalators will be added at a later stage. The skywalks are a welcome development for a city like Mumbai.

Use the Skywalk, Luke - The network of skywalks near Bandra station

At the Palladium shopping centre in Lower Parel, there is a nice Gujarati/Rajasthani vegetarian restaurant called Rajdhani. At INR 289 per plate, it's considerably cheaper than the INR 405 per plate we paid at LMB in Jaipur, plus the food was much tastier. Both establishments offered "unlimited" refills, so this is an (ahem) apples-to-apples comparison.

Highlight: the waiters at Rajdhani bring an ethnically-styled brass jug of water and a basin with a discreet grill covering to your table to let you wash your hands before the meal is served. A good thing too, because too many people today have forgotten the lessons of their childhood and don't bother to wash their hands before eating!

Gujarati thali at Rajdhani - tasty food, and relatively inexpensive for a city like Mumbai and a posh shopping centre like Palladium

Another food tip for those in the vicinity of Linking Road, Bandra: The restaurant called Mainland China right next to Shoppers Stop has yummy Indian Chinese cuisine. At least, I thought it was Indian Chinese, but their website says, "Compromise is never made in maintaining authenticity of the cuisine. Our Master Chef from China chooses the delicacies from his vast repertoire that are more suited to the Indian palate but never "adapts"."

If you say so :-).

I don't have too much more to add about our Mumbai trip. After returning to Chennai for a brief stopover, we were on our flight back to Sydney.

And that concludes my chronicle of our India trip, 2011-2012.

Post a Comment