Ruchi’s back, and this month she’s sharing about her trip to Bombay (Mumbai)! Thanks for stopping by, Ruch – happy to read that you had a blast with your sister and the kiddos!
* * * * *
Malad & Ghatkopar – that’s pretty much the extent of my Bombay trips. It’s been the case since I was a little girl visiting India during summer breaks.
One of my Masis (Mom’s sister) lives in Malad and the other in Ghatkopar. It was always easy for the entire family to get together in one place, eat meals together, shop in that area and spend time with my grandparents rather than going back and forth in the crazy traffic.
Both married into pretty religious families, so temple and Saint visits happen quite often when I’m there, especially when my grandfather is around.
Now that I’m living in India, Bombay doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but this year, my sister really wanted her kids to spend time with the rest of the extended family. As important as it is for them to spend time with Jai and me, it’s equally important for them to interact with their great-grandfather, grand-masis, cousin mamas (maternal uncle) and masis and last but not least their second cousins.
Rickshaw selfie with the kiddos!
So, before I get into this, keep in mind, when I go to Bombay, I’m pretty much stuck in a one-mile radius of either of the suburbs I mentioned above – there’s not much of the Taj Gateway or Marine Drive happening around here!
Well, I did end up at the new international airport to receive my mom, sister and the kids – it’s beautiful!
In a way, it’s nice though – we now have our little, local shops we visit, the owners know us (moreso my Mom than us, but still), we can walk around a lot more (which is rare for me in Kolkata), we get to enjoy short and quick auto rickshaw rides (again, a rarity in my world) and I get the occasional American fix (with Bombay being about 10 years ahead of Kolkata, a lot of the chains have already popped up and are quite close to both of the areas I stay in).
Local shopping – the best!
You bet I did!
I do wish I was a bit gutsier – you’d think after living here for 5 years I would be, but I still don’t really venture out on my own in Bombay – it’s super intimidating, and even though I can confidently speak Hindi now, I just seem to close-up a bit when I’m there. I guess I feel like my cousins and masis will handle it all and take care of me (which they do – I’m totally spoiled!) 🙂
Some examples of how I’m spoiled – traditional Gujarati food (some of my favorites), pure, homemade butter, and I guess an Indian vegetarian version of sloppy joes?! YUM!
One thing I have noticed though, I have no issues bargaining and speaking up when someone asks me where I’m from. Dude, I know I have ‘I’m not originally from here’ stamped across my head, but I love the fact that I can now say, ‘I am from here, I live in Kolkata, so don’t try to tell me I don’t know the prices of things!’ What a liberating feeling! I love it! (insert evil laugh – he he he).
I had a list of the most random things I wanted to buy during this trip, and believe it or not, I managed to find them all – crazy how a city you visit for one week allows you to purchase a mixed list of items while the city you live in makes you feel like you’ve created a never ending wish list! I do suppose something about vacation versus work and life has something to do with it 😉
The week went by in a flash, and I guess the common saying stands true once again – time flies when you’re having fun! Bombay never disappoints, and I do hope to explore more of the city next time I go. If you plan on being in Malad or Ghatkopar anytime soon, I’m happy to pass on all my spots!
As always, thanks for stopping by!!
Have you ever traveled to India? I’ve been several times but have yet to explore Bombay for more than a few hours. It’s now officially on my to visit list thanks to Ruchi!