Mumbai

Golden Triangle and Ganpati

    September Ho Gaya…September is gone. And I didn’t even have much time to blog. I did some traveling – again to the Golden Triangle (see below) – went to a film shoot (see my last post), attended the Elle Decor India Design Awards, and also found time to check out the Ganpati Visarjan (immersion) on Chowpatty Beach. For a brief moment, totally unrelated to my Bollywood filming, I was even offered a part in an Indian soap opera! Sadly, that didn’t work out because of timing. But I’ll still keep my hat in the ring for future opportunities.

    All of that and work – including full-time and freelance editorial stuff – has not really allowed me to blog lately. Still, I wanted to share some stories and pictures because October will be even busier.
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    The Rainfall and the Fallout

      Drowned Water Buffalo Three days after record-breaking rains brought Bombay to a halt, I’m finally beginning to hear about my friends’ and colleagues’ unbelieveable journeys. South Bombay, as I’ve mentioned before, got hit with 7 inches of rain on Tuesday, but, save for the lack of bustle, it looked pretty normal on Wednesday. On the other hand, the suburbs saw a lot of death and destruction.
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      Now That’s What I Call A Monsoon!

        I’ve been pretty unimpressed by the monsoon so far. Sure, it came in with a bang. Then again, the flooding has happened mostly in the suburbs, not in the city.

        In fact, the weather in Bombay has been mostly overcast with occasional sun and sprinkles. The locals said that the rains had “regularized,” meaning that they were coming mostly at night instead of haphazardly during the day. There was a time last week when a colleague of mine was convinced she wouldn’t really need an umbrella for the rest of the season.

        Monsoon is really just another name for a weather pattern, a storm. Even when it pours, it never really thunders. I was inappropriately worried about the monsoon shortly before it came, but now I realize that it’s nothing to be scared of.

        “Thunder never happens when it’s raining…” Today, that changed.
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        Hidden Neighborhood on the Hill

          banganga

          Bombay can be extremely noisy, crowded, and inhospitable at times. But, at other times, you stumble across these tranquil little neighborhoods. One such place is Walkeshwar. Adjacent to glitzy high-rise apartments and old-money bungalows, Walkeshwar is a fisherman’s village on the top of tony Malabar Hill. There, the stone houses are incredibly modest, the alleys are shoulder-width, and the families are probably packed two to three to a home. But there’s also this serenity that, to me, evoked a bit of dead-end lanes in Venice during medieval days. There was a meditative stillness.

          The central focus of Walkeshwar is Banganga Tank, a large pool that is said to have evolved when Ram, searching for water, shot an arrow into the earth. The resulting trickle created this “tank,” which is considered holy to Hindus. It is used for funereal rites and, during the sweltering Bombay days, also makes a great swimming hole for the locals.

          I didn’t so much stumble upon Walkeshwar/Banganga as seek it out. Anthony had visited there some months before when I was down with jaundice. And, a few friends had also told me about it. As the monsoon was quickly approaching – and another out-of-towner was looking to do some sightseeing – we went there last Saturday.
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