Friday, August 03, 2007


I was feeling terribly bored at home and so I decided to head out to Bombay because I had a couple of college friends over there and from what I had heard Bombay was ‘the place to be’. My knowledge about Bombay was restricted to the places that Gregory David Roberts had mentioned in his book, 'Shantaram'. So when the friend whom I stayed with in Bombay asked me where I wanted to go, I just gave him my well practiced 'I don't know' shrug. It was a good thing I did because he gave me a tour of Bombay that no tour guide could have given.

It wasn't the 'And here is the Gateway of India... and if you look towards your right, you will see Amitabh Bachchan's house' kind of tour. I walked through the streets of Bombay, went on a crowded train from Churchgate to Bandra, took a stinky cab at 1 in the night and sat facing Nariman Point completely oblivious to the hustle and bustle right behind me. I saw cab drivers swear at each other with comfortable ease, people running into a train which was taking a longer route just to catch a seat (and when they couldn't, making a seated person move further in so that there was some piece of wood to sit on), prostitutes standing on a bridge with their pimps inviting customers and of course foreigners drinking away in Cafe Leopold's just like G.D. Roberts had described in Shantaram. I saw tall sky scrapers and multiple sky lines, stock brokers running around Dalal Street, box-sized restaurants serving brilliant food and an hour's rain bringing traffic to a standstill.

But more than anything else, I saw people who were always on the move, wearing their emotions on their sleeve. And that is what made Bombay fascinating to me. Watching people go about their business at a pace that was tough to keep up to. Taking a turn at a posh colony and arriving at a neighbourhood that had no resemblance to the tall buildings and fancy shops that were present just a turn ago. I’ve always been a very lazy person when it comes to observing my surroundings (I’ve lived in Chennai for over 11 years but I still don’t know how to get to most parts of the city). I’ve got 10 days left before I go back to the US and so I’m going to explore Chennai, make up for the time wasted. It is going to be fun.


Anonymous said...

Did you have time to visit Borivilli Nat. Park?

Neon said...

Nope,I didn't visit Borivill Nat. Park

Lavanya said...

I’ve got 10 days left before I go back to the US and so I’m going to explore Chennai, make up for the time wasted
You should explore Ranganathan Street and Usman Road. I always feel like Indiana Jones whenever I go there.
lol, its a bit late but hopefully your 10 days went well.

lemonade said...

such an awesome post! make u really think about the city ur living in! though i admit that i do know pretty much all the chennai roads..except for that mylapore area..thats pretty tricky!!

Lavanya said...

Tag! You're it!
About time you posted something new too, wake up sleepy one...!