October 08, 2008

Mumbai diary

I was in Mumbai the last two days for a Visa interview (I'll be speaking at the GUSES conference). Below are a few notes in no particular order:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Gateway of India, Mumbai"][/caption]

  • Friendly people
  • Very few touristy spots
  • The Churchgate to Chaupati walk (and those tetrahedral shaped stones along the sea) is beautiful
  • Tall buildings
  • Good bus service
  • Crowded trains
  • Travel is cheaper than Bangalore
  • Food is a tad more expensive
  • Traffic woes like Bangalore
  • Chaupati beach has good chats and a great view
  • People actually voluntarily formed a queue at the bus stop. Now thats a new one.
  • Men and women use the same door to enter vehicles, and happily sit together.. no stupid 33% rules. this was nice to see.
  • Feels good to speak in fluent Hindi than awkward Kannada (I'm ashamed I haven't learned Kannada better)
  • Gateway of India is not the India Gate.
  • It looks just like in pictures.
  • I'm called 'Seth'
  • The National Museum of Modern art is worth checking out if you're in the area. (And so is the Salar Jang Museum In Hyderabad.. the Veiled Rebecca is as good as it is said to be). Check these out if you're in the area.


  • How cool is it to fly a few meters above clouds?! This happened on the way to Mumbai, and we were at the cloud altitude for around 5 minutes. Most passengers were busy reading or sleeping and I couldn't believe it. The view outside was magnificent (and it doesn't get boring after a few times). Just wonder.. a 100 years ago, people would have given an arm and a leg for a chance to fly above the clouds.
  • And if that wasn't enough, the return trip was at night over a thunderstorm. Seeing lightning from above is an experience not to be missed :) Of course, most of the other folks were sleeping/eating.

Thats it. Overall Mumbai gets a thumbs up.