My Li’l Travel Book | Mumbai. Part 1.

They call Mumbai sapno ki nagri, which literally translates to the city of dreams. And that is the reason why the title has “Part 1” incorporated in it. I had a three days long (short?) trip to Mumbai and I could just  make myself come face to face with that part of the city. This trip was all about the high rise buildings, the Mumbai skyline and a pretty li’l gathering in a yacht, somewhere in the sea. No local trains trips as well – no thank you!

And yes, this trip was all about birthday celebrations – besties’ birthday celebrations!

Before I start off, some usual tips before you go to Mumbai during November:

  • The weather is pleasant. So, it is a good escape from the Delhi winters
  • Food is not a problem if you are from North India
  • Intra city travel is pretty simple – I am talking about the cabs not the locals
  • Mumbai has friendly people – but being a li’l careful has never harmed anyone
  • Rely on Google maps if you are new to the city
I was travelling from Delhi to Mumbai via Jet Airways. So yes, the flight was comfortable. But be prepared to see a super small, congested and very old town. As soon as my flight started to descend, I could see li’l clusters of huts and houses and I thought that probably this what they meant when they say that Mumbai doesn’t have space and then suddenly my plane lands in between that slum. I mean this is unbelievable – international airport amidst the slums. And no, this post is not a Mumbai bashing post by a Delhiite. That was just an observation.

I was supposed to reach the Officer’s guest house at the Mazagaon Dockyard. Finding cabs in Mumbai is probably the easiest things. I will come to that later. I had heard a lot about the Mumbai traffic but thankfully I did not face any that day or during my whole stay for that matter.

Mumbai is an old city – with narrow roads and super ancient buildings. That explains why there is a lot of traffic. Anyhow, moving on. I was amazed by Bandra Worli sea link. The skyline of Mumbai with the slight hint of fog looked pretty mesmerising. And yes, that was the moment when I realised that I am going to like Mumbai or at least be surprised by it unlike the metropolitan cities of South India.

The Bandra – Worli Sea link
Mumbai Skyline!
Mazagain dockyard is fascinating in itself. Or probably it’s just me because I had not seen any dockyard before that one. After resting for sometime, it was time for exploring this city of dreams. I was short of time so I couldn’t cover the places I really wanted to – Haji Ali, Sidhi Vinayak, Marine Drive. 
However, the evening was booked for this amazing dinner on the roof -top of St. Regis Hotel in Mumbai. The restaurant is called Asilo.  I have heard about this place and I wouldn’t have missed a cozy November evening on the 40th floor of this skyscraper. 
The view from the top was just amazing. Yes, that is something I can not get to see in Delhi. I was in awe. Mumbai looks like a different city altogether from this altitude. 
And by the way, this was a date night. So yes, it was all the more special. 
A quiet dinner at Asilo was followed by a li’l dash of good music at the Exo – both in St. Regis. 
So, both my best friends, from different episodes of my life, have their birthday on 14th of November. Mahima is already settled in Mumbai, having her share of the sarkari job. Umang , on the other handed wanted to celebrate her birthday in Mumbai this year. I couldn’t have asked for more!
The following morning was all about Umang’s birthday surprise. I never really imagined that we would be doing this – but it was a private yacht to go and cut the birthday cake in the middle of the Arabian Sea. 
We were to take the yacht from the Gateway of India, opposite to the now historically significant Taj Hotel. I have specially affinity towards the Portuguese and German architecture here in India. So yes, this entrance to India caught my attention for a good amount of time. 
Very soon we found ourselves on the yacht, sailing deeper into the calm sea. 
Some celebrations are to be remembered for a long time to come. Some of the life goals may be! Sitting in the deck and sipping your drink with your group of friends gave me my Tintin moment with Captain Haddock! 
Oh yes, I can not forget to pose, can I? Thankfully no back pose this time! 
The mini cruise into the sea was amazing. And very peaceful. But since this trip was all about the extravagant jazz, so we decided to stop  at the Leopold Cafe, which has now become famous after the attacks. We Indians can monetize on anything, isn’t it?
Looking at this place sends a chill down my spine. Every single time. 
Despite being an unusually crowded place, this place has still got its charm. 
The evening was spent in some night club in Andheri, which is just the usual stuff that you can do in Delhi. The only difference is the crowd. Mumbai crowd is far better than the Delhi one. And Mumbai has certainly got some great dancers! 
The next day was about Mahima’s birthday. No matter how less we meet, it never feels like that. Meeting my soul sister is always amazing and crazy of a different level. 
I was just overwhelmed to see her living independently, on her own in a spacious apartment in super congested Mumbai. We tried recreating some of our crazy picture from college. 

This was followed by a lazy brunch at Todi Mill.  There are two things that completely amazed me about Mumbai :
1. Cabs are available there so easily. It’s like you go on the road, wave a hand and you get a taxi. And they go by the meters. I mean I never thought that really happens! 
2. Mumbai has so much of space crunch that they have actually created the already constructed ( but now closed) mills into new complexes for restaurants or may be offices as well. Todi Mill is such example. And I loved this idea of recycling building. 
And just like last year, we ended our day with shopping. I think we are going to make this a tradition now. Shopping at H&M on Mahima’s birthday 😀

And my Mumbai trip finally concluded. Yes, that was not exactly the kind of trip I wanted to have and thus the name of the post.

Mumbai has been good to me. Till the next time we meet!

Author’s Note

I really look forward to visit Mumbai again – for a longer duration to explore this city towards which I am indifferent. Mumbai is certainly fascinating. 

This year has been an year of new and old cities and a lot of travelling. I am ending this year with a post about Mumbai but surely a lot has to come in the coming year and beyond 🙂

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Picture Credits : Rohan Raizada