Our new apartment, on the 15th floor, has views south all the way to Worli and the Bandra-Worli Sealink.
High rise towers blend with chawls. Concrete contrasts with trees. Mosques and temples coexist alongside each other. The infamous bamboo scaffolding supports underway constructions. Planes come in for landing and take off from the airport. Honking and chanting can be heard in the distance.
It is quintessentially Mumbai and I could gaze out into it forever.
It makes me feel alive, and very grateful to be living here. It’s particularly sweet because its a culmination of a lot of work and determination, over the 4.5 years we’ve been in this city.
Sunset view from our balcony.
Night view from our balcony.
And of course, the terrace! (With terracotta tiles, so I don’t have to paint it).
View from our terrace.
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Although we initially loved living in our previous home, recently it became apparent that it was time to move! Knowing how difficult it can be to rent a decent apartment in India, and in particular Mumbai, it was a daunting prospect. I’m pleased to say that it’s worked out wonderfully though, and our house hunting and shifting ordeal has come to an end. We’re now settled into our third home in Mumbai. Here’s what went on during the hectic past five weeks.
There are two main ways of finding somewhere to live in Mumbai — through a broker who will take one (or sometimes two) month’s rent as a fee, or directly through an owner. Better the devil you know, we thought. Hence, we approached the same broker that we’d dealt with when we rented home number two. Although we knew that he wasn’t particularly trustworthy, at least he’d never tried to cheat us personally.
“Ho jayega, ho jayega. Bahut sare jagah hain. Mil jayega. (It will happen. There are plenty of places. You’ll get one). Just let me know an hour before you want to look,” he told us enthusiastically after we’d informed him of our requirements and the building complex we wanted to live in. Well, that sounded encouraging. But surely, nothing could be so simple in India? Of course, it wasn’t. [click to continue…]
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The monsoon has been taking its toll on my health lately. I had a sore throat last week, and another one today. However, I’ve noticed that what’s really helped cure it is my husband’s blend of chai.
Here’s what it contains:
- Black pepper powder — 1/2 teaspoon.
- Ginger — an inch or two, sliced finely.
- Honey — 1 teaspoon.
- Lemon — juice of a small one.
- Water — a large cup.
Make it by boiling the water, ginger, and pepper together. Then, add it to the cup with the honey and lemon (you can remove the ginger pieces if you wish).
It burns my throat, but miraculously soothes and stops the soreness soon after. It’s worked for me both times now!
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One of my friends recently remarked that Mumbai seems like a fun city — and it is! There’s always something going on. The flea market concept has been gaining popularity lately, especially as it gives emerging designers and small retailers a platform to showcase their goods. These markets are randomly held at venues across the city, with Bonobo being the latest place.
One of the effects of the raids on Mumbai’s nightlife is that it’s meant that bar owners have had to become a bit more creative in attracting patrons. Bonobo has started operating from midday and offering free WiFi for the arty, freelancing crowd that go there.
It’s uncertain whether Bonobo plans to host another flea market, but I really enjoyed this one. It was a groovy combination of fashion, handicrafts, party items, jewellery, food, drinks, and music. A superb way to spend a lazy monsoon Sunday!
[click to continue…]
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Recently, I received an email from an Indian reader who posed the following scenario to me.
Imagine you are back in your homeland Australia, you come out of your house and are just walking/driving towards the market, and a stranger approaches you and asks you, “Excuse me miss, can you tell me where does this road go?”
What would be your reply…?
He instructed me not to give much thought to the question and simply answer it naturally. After I’d responded, he’d share with me his reason for asking.
Okay, well, I’d stop and tell the person where the road goes.
But why did my reader want to know this?
As it turns out, he was bothered by the inability to get a straight answer when asking such a question in India. He went on to narrate his frustration to me: [click to continue…]
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