Day 26 Mumbai 27th Dec

Second morning in Mumbai, got a surprise – Nita’s foi & fua (Arjun lal) had arrived early morning and checked in to the room next door. At around 9 am, when placing our laundry clothes out in the corridor, foi came out of the room next door – they had both showered and ready to hit the road – whilst we were still all in our PJs taking it easy. (I would have been soooo jet lagged if I had come in around 3 am!!)
Met them for breakfast around 10:30 @ the Gulistan lounge. They were in Mumbai with no major plans and joined us in our Mumbai explorations.

First stop was to be Sidhi Vinayak Mandir – problem was, we were 6 people, and Mumbai taxis are not known for their size – they are small, had to cram in somehow, shared the kids between front and rear seats – still a squeeze but manageable.

Being a tuesday, Sidhi Vinayak Mandir was super busy. Queues of people were being quickly ushered around the main mandir, the darshan only lasted for around 10 – 20 seconds at most.
Apparently Amitabh Bachan visits this mandir every tuesday around 5 am!

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Next stop was the expanding Pheonix Mall in lower Parel. Along the way there spotted an Audi R8!
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First stop in there – McDonalds, had to fill up Neha and Pooja – the standard Nuggets and fries.
Following that, we headed to the Chaat corner in the open air centre court – kids were busy in the middle with all the Disney activities (Hong Kong Disney was running a promo and lots of free activities were taking place there – perfect timing! Kids were loving it).

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(Kids in the Cinderalla magical pumpkin carriage, Nita, foi & fua – Chaat time)

Had a variety of Chaats, they were delicious, I also ordered some Pani Puree – this is one place where I know they use CLEAN water.

They all then headed in the malls for some window shopping, I was more than happy to stay with the kids – they were having a good time, did not want to spoil that. Pooja and Neha got free hair braiding there…

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(kids getting the complimentary hair braiding)

Nita, and her foi/fua came out of the mall soon after and were raving about how good the new mall was looking, whilst they kept watch on the kids, I quickly ducked in for a view of the mall – it was very impressive and filled with super expensive designer labels.

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(in High Street Phoenix Mall)

By around 2pm, I think foi/fua were a bit tired, decided to head back to the hotel. Finding a taxi was another matter, we were on the wrong side of the road – mumbai taxi drivers do not like to make u-turns, so had to cross the busy street, Nita and I were fine (had already done this a few times), however foi was a bit nervous, got Nita to hold her and guide her thru. Basically walk when a small gap is spotted – and holding out your other hand indicating to the oncoming cars to stop!! and it works! Made is safely across and in no time, we were crammed in another taxi headed back to Gulistan. Agreed to restart the exploration around 5pm.

In the room, we had nothing much to do, Nita wanted to get a hair wash done for her and the girls, found a nearby saloon and all headed there. Was a very nice saloon, they all got their washes and drys, and the best part – only cost 600/rs total = $12 AUD!! for 3 people, just loving it. Pooja and Neha were loving the pampering they were getting.
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(Pooja showing off her blow dried hair @ Kush’s Saloon – behind Gulistan)

Got back to the hotel in time, foi and fua were all ready to go, quickly freshened up and all headed down to catch another taxi to Marine Drive – foi had made me the tour guide and wanted me to show them around. Weather was very pleasant @ Marine drive and with the beautiful sunset it was time to takes lots of pics!!

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Whilst taking all those pics, a young boy came around offering boot polish, fua and I went for that and sat around whilst he went about polishing – this was the first time my white shoes were being cleaned since I bought them!

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(boot polish time!)

Strolled along the seawalk till we reached the horse carriages. Neha wanted to do this again and since we wanted to go towards Colaba, negotiated a fare to take the carriage from Nariman Point to Colaba.
Foi wanted another carriage – complaining the smell was nasty, quickly realised it was not the carriage, rather the location, once the carriage moved, the horse poo smell was gone!

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(horse carriage from Nariman Point to Gateway of India)

Carriage ride was nice, had a very leisurely ride. Kids were both loving it.
Reached Gateway of India in around 15 minutes. Whilst there, visited Taj Hotel, very impressive hotel, but even more impressive were the toilets! There is a full time attendant in there, who turned on the tap and squeezed the soap pump for me – so no touching any sink stuff… next the attendant got a nice clean hand towel – what service!!

From there on we walked around the place, and came to a side street (begin Taj) where lots of people had gathered around BBQ stalls – it was Bademiyan – a very famous Colaba Kebab venue. Bhavik (legend) had eaten here lots and had raved about it – so had to give it a shot
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Strange it was – there was not really a covered / closed off area, it was just a line of street side tables with lots of waiters serving all – which was great for tonight, no rain and nice-n-cool. We ordered a few mutton, chicken kebabs, tandoori pieces, along with Butter chicken and rumali roti for Kids. Since this place had no Beers, fua and I headed to a Bar directly across Bademiya for a Beer – hopefully we would be back before the food arrived. Ordered Kingfisher mild, not game enough to go for the strong stuff! Got a call from Nita soon after advising food was already served – damn it arrived too quick, finished off our beers and back to our street table. Food was nice, however the kebabs had gone cold, so we ordered more kebabs, these tasted soo nice -straight from the HAGRI! Kids both enjoyed the Butter chicken – apparently one of the best!
What impressed me was the service and efficiency – not sure how they managed to track orders from tables lined across both sides of a street and then get the orders out very quickly with no errors.
They also had a couple of guys with a Water jug and basin, mobile hand washes – they came over to each person and allowed you to wash your hands nicely – service! Nita was not the feeling the best – started to have stomach cramps – oh oh, however insisted on carrying on the nights fun

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(Bademiya, BBQ station, and roti tava)

Next stop was Ruby Tuesday (Nariman Point), again, however this was for foi/fua to try out and the kids wanted it as well. Ordered a “Tall Cake” and a “Blondie” – both were very nice – forgot to take pics of the blondie, it was good!

Took a taxi back to Gulistan. Nita’s condition had worsened – loaded her with all sorts of medication, was a long night for Nita. Tomorrow we were going to meet Chandu kaka’s family in KALYAN (it is a place on the outskirts of Mumbai).

About dharmeshkalyan

Have always loved travelling and will continue to pursue this love. Favourite Travel quotes: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
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