Time Spent in Mumbai || Time Spent in Series

It’s been a while since I moved to Mumbai for an internship. You know, the land of Bollywood, glitz, glamour, rich, rags, local trains and everything else in between. I was terrified about moving here but now that I am here, I decided to extend my stay for a few more weeks. Don’t get me wrong, this is faar from my comfort zone, it’s a craazy place. But there’s something about the crowd and the people that I want to enjoy for a little longer.

So what all did I notice in these past two weeks?

  • Rude People

Most people told me that Mumbai is one of the most welcoming places because of how tolerant the people are. I agree that the people here are tolerant.. But they are also super busy. This means that they have no time for you or your doubts/concerns/BS. This makes them very very rude sometimes.

Everyone I know are good, nice people. People I don’t know, like rickshaw waalas, uber guys, shopkeepers, random strangers… they scream at me for everything.

I got yelled at soooo many times, it’s not even funny. Rickshaw drivers yell at me because I have no coins with me to pay them and they, for some reason, don’t want to part with the coins they have in their little pouch. They also scream at me for losing my way and telling them to take a wrong turn (that’s not my fault, Google Maps hangs on me sometimes). I get screamed at by pedestrians for walking too slow (I don’t walk slow, they walk too fast).

Things have sort of changed now though. I have also started screaming back at people. After a point you start getting pissed at people trying to get on your nerves for no apparent reason. Maybe this is what they mean by “Mumbai changes you maaan!”. I have however noticed that people who yell at me calm down a little when I yell back at them.

  • Geography

Needless to say, Mumbai is a huge city. Soo huge, that it takes hours and hours to reach from one end of the city to the other. Places I want to go to and people I want to meet live on the absolute other side of the city. I have been refusing to take the local trains all this while because this:

Image result for crowded mumbai local train
Imma not doing “chayya chayya” with these guys🙏
Image result for crowded mumbai local train
What even is this?

So unless ShahRukh Khan himself materialises in front of me and asks me to “chayya chayya” with him, I am not going near any local trains. That means I have to Uber places and even with all the romance I have with Uber (here), I  cannot be content with them charging such high rates to go places. I end up spending all my money on reaching to a place and am perpetually broke.

  • Getting Lost

I pride myself as someone who is pretty good with directions. Unless I am in a mall, I rarely get lost horribly (No, I don’t have an explanation for why I get lost in mall). But in Mumbai, I, for the first time in my life, got lost horribly. Somehow, I managed to walk 3ish kilometres in the exact opposite direction to where I was supposed to go to. With my GPS on. Google MAPS on. People present around to whom I could’ve asked the way. Sign boards around saying I was walking the wrong way.

Still got lost.

Then I had to take an auto, pay extra (which is sad coz I walked so I wouldn’t have to pay 30 bucks. Yes, I am sometimes cheap.)

  • The Name

Finally, there is the whole issue of whether I must call it “Bombay” or “Mumbai”. I know I am supposed to call it Mumbai, but my parents always said Bombay and I feel like I am too old now to change myself. But then again, I don’t want to get beaten up for not saying the right stuff. People seem to want to scream at me for no reason here anyway don’t want to give them a reason to beat me up too! So I am now a changed person who tries real hard to say “Mumbai”.

  • Joeys and Theo’s ka Pyaar. 

Have you heard of Joeys? The pizza place? Their meat ultimo? No?

Take the next flight here. You need this pizza in your life.

It’s crowded, getting your pizza is a huge task and there is usually no place to sit there and ambience is non-existent. But the pizza – I think this place is actual proof that heaven exists.

Then there’s Theobroma. I am not a huge chocolate person, but even I think their desserts are AMAZEBALLS. There are many other dessert places around here too. I have many more to get to so 2017 is going to be pretty cool food wise at least 😀

All in all, I guess even with all the screaming and getting lost and geography issues, it’s still worth living here. If nothing else goes right, you can always go and get yourself good pizza and a cookie (get screamed at the auto guys on your way there and back, but whatever). The city is inspiring actually. Mumbai makes you want to work, to do something with your life. I don’t think many people can sit a home and do nothing all day after seeing the struggles people around get to chase their dreams.

And anyway, Coldplay has come here so that solves any issue I have with this land.

😛

 

love,

me:)

Photo Courtesy – https://kaipullai.com/2011/08/15/hello-world/http://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/asie-pacifique/64961-150320-un-train-deraille-dans-le-nord-de-l-inde-21-//mortshttp://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/asie-pacifique/64961-150320-un-train-deraille-dans-le-nord-de-l-inde-21-mortshttp://www.mumbaieastwest.in/events-in-mumbai/love-mumbai-the-symbol-of-love-for-mumbai-installed-at-bandra-reclamation/

Puducherry || TheTravellingPAw

After quite a long time of not getting my bottom off the couch at my parent’s place during the holidays, they decided I had to be exposed to society before I became a cave woman. So, I was asked to choose a travel destination and get packing. They are pretty cool when it comes to travelling (and at mostly everything else too, to be honest) and we always have much fun during road trips. Dad loves hill stations and I hate anything that’s cold (except vanilla ice cream coz I am very basic that way). So we decided to go to Puducherry, also called Pondicherry a beach destination in the South of India and Yercaud – a hill station. Later about 2 months after the road trip with my parents, I went to Pondicherry again with my friends. This time without a car, more time to explore and lesser money.

In this post, I’ll talk about how cool Puducherry was because Yercaud ended up being a tiny tiny town with a very pleasant climate and this gorgeous sunset.

 

Puducherry is known for its travellers. The mix of people you see here is amazing. You have the foreigners – some looking extremely clueless, some with so much purpose on their face it looks like they have lived there for years (or maybe they have). Then you have the very noisy gangs of people – they care not about the place, they just want to talk, and talk loudly too. Next are the honeymooning couples, mostly desi. They too don’t seem to care about the place, but in each other and that I do not mind at all since they don’t disturb me in any way. Then comes my favourite type of people who observe all these other masses (like creeps), take many many photographs and read every board in the museums.

These people and I become friends easy. Wonder why 😛

Anyway, we visited this place called Auroville. What I loved best about Auroville is not the Matrimadir and it’s awesomess (which was pretty cool, btw) –

 

but the Auroville Charter –

 

 

Auroville is just pretty damn amazing. It is a place which believes in a philosophy I want the whole world to believe in one day. Imagine living in a land where this charter is the law. I know it will probably remain only in my dreams, but still; a girl can dream!

We also went into the Aurobindo Ashram and I sort of got shouted at by a guy there because I stood at the “wrong place” to read a board. This is a very sacred place and visitors are supposed to maintain absolute silence there. Then my dad and I got into a giggle fit for some reason and we rushed out before more people could shout at me. Mom glared at us for the “inappropriate behaviour”. Sorry if we offended anyone there, it’s just because of our ignorance about the place.

We walked around the French Colony a bit when I went with my parents but hired a cycle when I went with my friends. Both types of travel highly recommended, but the cycle sort of gives a bum ache after a while (honesty FTW).

The French Colony invoked the artist in me and this photograph happened.

 

Try eating at all the cafes and restaurants you can find there. Some of them are really good. The Indian Caffe Express, Le Cafe, Chez Nous, Carte Blanche, Le Dupleix were the places we ate from, and I liked whatever I ate. My friends had trouble getting good food, so maybe read some reviews online before you order your dishes.

Anyway, en route Paradise Beach, my mom had a verbal spat with the Google Maps lady because she apparently did not give us the right route and we got lost a little. You had to be there to actually appreciate how funny it was.

Paradise Beach looks something like this. It is bloody cool.

I get why they call it "Paradise Beach". #Pondicherry #India #Beach #Travel #Nature #Traveller

A post shared by Meenakshi (@thespeakingpaw) on

 

And then there is the Promenade and chances of coming across sunrises like these.

So make sure you get off of bed to see the sunrise at Promenade’s Rock Beach. It is pretty lively in the morning with joggers and other exercise-lovers. You will also spot tourists and lovable dogs in the morning hours.

Also, I met a dog here who sat on me like he owned the place. Like literally walked over to me, put his paw out as a tester and next thing I know, he was sitting on my lap. Needless to say, I loved him and now we’re married. ❤

You walk, you sit, you sing and you even break into a little dance if you feel like it at the Promenade. The crowd is very entertaining but not as entertaining as the police band who started playing film songs for the public’s entertainment in the evening. I sadly do not have any digital record of their performance but I have never seen anything like that before. It really is something to see policemen in uniforms performing songs from “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge”. I mean, the sight of them usually tells me to run and hide (I promise, I am not a criminal. Just instincts.) but this time I wanted to start dancing!

Basically, Puducherry is a small scale Goa. I love the place for the vibes I got at Auroville and the promenade. There is something about the place and the travellers there that I relate to and if you are in India and need a place to just chill, a holiday without too much going around, Puducherry is perfect. The place is all about its beaches, vibes and alcohol.

When I went with my friends, we stayed in the town in a nice hotel called Pleasant Inn. It is brilliantly located, every “happening” place at walkable distance. The rooms were neat, staff courteous and helpful. Check the place out here and here. With my parents, we stayed at a resort which had a private beach called the St.James Court Beach Resort and that was a blessing. I even sat on the beach pondering about life and other deep shitz. A nice dip in the Bay of Bengal is just what you want after a whole day of walking and exploring in the heat. That, and a well mixed cocktail 😛

Cheers!

 

P. S. Alcohol is cheap there. Like really cheap. Really really. But don’t try taking opened bottles out of the Union Territory. Police (NOT the same ones who perform Bollywood songs for you, they are nice ❤ ) will get hold of you at checkposts and that will be a trouble. Trust me, they check every nook and corner of your vehicle).

The Orphan Category.

So last day I was rummaging through my drafts trying to look for this post I remember leaving half way (which I never found. #WordpressSteals?). And then I came across another post which I had abandoned. And that lead me on a quest through many many blog posts I had discarded midway but never deleted (coz I thought they would feel bad if I put them in the thrash.).

Anyway, during this search I found a category in my blog which I had completely forgotten about. And that is “The Travelling PAw“. There is one post over there which is my promise to write about my trip to Europe. This saddened me because I absolutely loooveee travelling and one of the reasons I started this blog was so I could inspire other people to travel and see the world. Also, if someone would like to be my travel partner, that would be nice 😛

Here is the blog post I wrote about travelling. Do read that if you haven’t already. 🙂

Thing is, I cannot promise that this category is going to be the liveliest in the blog for the sole reason that I am stuck at Uni right now and my travelling partners, my Super-Parents, are too far away from me. But, we have gone on some really cool trips in the past and I’ll try bringing it to you guys. I have some really cool trips planned for next year though, so that’ll be exciting.

Because of my lack of travelling currently, I might even think of adding some guest posts and re-blogs on this category because it is just about countries and cultures and getting your bottom off of your comfort zones.

Doesn’t always have to be me travelling now, does it?

In the comment below, tell me how your day has been, how your past weeks have been and maybe we can even have a discussion on what you had for dinner. I just want to talk. It has been a while since I came on here.

Love 🙂

P. S. My exams are all over. I am free. Finally!!

On second thoughts, I am not that free. Internship starts Monday. Yay. :/

Traveller.

I am just going to say some things here. It’s a tiny rant. I hear people boasting about travelling when all they did was take selfies at some touristy spots and that irks me. Here goes…

Travelling is a lot more than just going to places. It is about being adventurous, spontaneous and being open to new experiences. It is not about going to Delhi to shop. It is not about going to Switzerland to eat chocolates. It is about going on the metro trains at Delhi and pushing through the crowds, it is about walking around in Lucerne and asking random strangers about the lion monument there. It is everything you do when you are not being a typical tourist.

I want everyone to see the world. As a traveller. And here’s why…

I want people to travel so they see how beautiful the world is. I want people to travel so they get inspired to do better things. I want people to travel so they feel the warmth I felt when strangers at unknown lands smiled at me. I want people to travel so they feel comforted outside their comfort zones.

Basically, I want people to travel so they understand how insignificant they are in the bigger picture of things. That humbles you, that makes you want to leave your mark even in the slightest way possible. That, makes way for greater ideas, ideas that may not change the world, but will change you and the people around you.

And no, I don’t want you to visit a place and be a tourist there like I did for many years in my past. There is nothing great in visiting a city and staying at your luxury hotel and just going around a 2 kilometre radius drive in an air conditioned car. It is not travel when you stop at a mall or a touristy spot to shop for some souvenirs. Telling people you enjoyed the local cuisine when all you did was eat at the hotel’s restaurant is not enough either.

Because that is not travel.

Travel is when you get to a place, book the cheapest, most uncomfortable hotel and then get out to see the city. The more uncomfortable the hotel, the more you’ll find yourself walking on the streets and getting lost among their culture. This getting lost will make you talk to people, ask for help. This will tire you out, which in turn gets you into a local restaurant or a cafe or even an ice cream kiosk. That will then make you understand the people, their daily lives in that city.

Next day, you’ll realise you want more. You’ll realise that you want to go to the nearby city/village/town. You’ll take the train or the bus because then you will meet more people, or at least see more people. You’ll realise how things change with miles. Different cultures, different people, different life styles, even different types of coffees.

Next time you go out, be a traveller. Try seeing the world from your own two eyes. Not through the eyes of a tour guide or through the glasses of your car’s window. There will be a difference in your life.

Love 🙂

P.S. Please understand that the things mentioned above are solely my opinion. I have nothing against people who like being tourists. All power to you if you like doing only the touristy things. Just try being a traveller once. That changed me for the good, and I hope it changes you too.

Photo Courtesy – https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/someday-i’m-gonna-travel-the-world

THE EUROPE TRIP 2015

I have never been much of a tIMG_2949raveller. I used to visit a lot of places with my parents but like a typical tourist I would just go see the “touristy” places , get back to the hotel, eat and go to sleep. Maybe click some selfies if the sun helped. However, a recent trip to Europe changed all of that.

So, my parents decided to take me to Europe in June. Hands down, the single best trip of my existence. We could only spend around 10 days there but every day was like a dream. This was my first trip abroad and I gained such an amazing insight to the lives and cultures of other countries. I loved the trip. I still dream about the trip. I just want to get my ass back to Europe.

So what is it that made me fall in love with that beautiful continent? Well, the people for instance are really nice. The cities are clean, the food is good and the land, in general is beautiful. I learned a lot about myself during this trip and one of it was that I liked travelling. As a traveller. Not as a tourist. I liked taking photographs. Not just my photos, but of buildings, rivers, lakes, mountains, other people, streets etc. I just love the feeling of walking around a place, getting lost, panicking, looking everywhere, losing hope and then finding a landmark you recognise and getting back on track. I love the way people would smile at me, I love the idea that there are many strangers out there whom I could maybe meet and smile at or maybe chat with. I love knowing that I can go into any city and be a part of it, learn about it, click photos of it and then fly to another equally amazing city. All this gives me hope and a direction in life.

Travel, I realized is the one thing that can sustain the peace in me. It paves a path for me; inspires me.

IMG_3343So I wonder… If a trip to Germany, Switzerland and Paris could do this to me, what would I be like if I travel the whole world? I can only wonder!

I shall write more about the beautiful places I visited in my upcoming blogs. Hope I do justice to them. Fingers crossed!