Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bombay Evenings

Right then. I was tagged by Geetanjali aeons ago to list five favourite things in my city. Now, it hasn't taken this long merely because I am a gifted procrastinator. It's not that difficult either to choose one city/home or narrow favourites down, don't you know.

But somehow, somewhere, I'd ruled out too much. Sigh... back to the drafting board then, dearie. And somehow, somewhere, in the writing and thinking, eliminating and appending, something intriguing emerged.

I seem to enjoy Bombay most by late evening/night. This is, I think, strange because being in the city has never had any defined, cognizable purpose for me. Save being home.

For example, I savour Hyderabad most from the late afternoon to the late evening. Perhaps... because I've never been anything but a student in Hyderabad? The daylight was for class, chores, and assorted adventure. The night was when I'd return to the sanity of campus, tea, and a long, long walk.

Anyhow, to meander back to the tag at hand, hmm? This is, I think, the most accurate list of the things I miss the most in Bombay. It doesn't matter whether I am within the city or without.
  • The Carter Road promenade. The scene of much believing, bonding, booze... being. A rare place where the city, the sea, and the mangroves come together in glorious anomaly. I've forged some lovely bonds, renewed old ones, and been in the peace of myself here—smack in the middle of noisy Bandra.
  • Lemon Grass, Bandra. For dinner, conversation, and photography. I love the multifarious feel and tastes of this, my favourite restaurant. I’ve had insights into different cultures, cities, and people here. I’ve bullied the management (into serving other patrons faster) for a clear frame. Shockingly, I also have an unconditional invitation to annoy them again!
  • CafĂ© Mondegar. The rites of passage into adulthood—my first unchaperoned drink. A place adorned with mosaics of memories—Bombay, the jukebox, camaradrie, football matches, and space amidst all the jostling and noise. I'm not as much of a fan of Colaba as everyone else but I'd go across town to Mondy's to voluntarily drink beer and choose my own music.
  • Regal Cinema. From a time when an English movie was necessarily 30 kms away. I’ve always loved the ambience and architecture of this, my favourite theatre – much before I knew it was Art Deco. The dark wood, the ornate panelling, the bad seats, caramel popcorn, and my first movie date… Sigh! :-)
  • Watching/walking the ocean. It really doesn't matter where—the Queen's Necklace, Banganga crematorium, Juhu Beach, Rock Beach (Versova), Silver Beach (Juhu Scheme), or Madh Island. All my life, like him below, I’ve been all and nothing at so many sunsets. Today, with subdued regret, I miss every one… every day.
Marine Drive Evenings

18 comments:

Viewer said...

Mondegar ... yes a cool place to hang out esp during hot summer afternoon wit that cold mug of beer and ur kinda music :)
& yeah the ocean is my all timefav .. wheer ever be it.. .
Shud try lemon grass

anocturne said...

and i almost regret that the Hyderabad evenings didn't make your list. and almost inspired to make a parallel list of the city which has been home.

Prat said...

Mmm, utterly yummy place, lemon grass. The mocktails and the desserts and the assorted teas- many a happy evening spent there ambling towards nothing in particular :)

Prat said...

Oh, and came back to say I miss Mumbai :((

Ash said...

You sure know how to make a girl feel nostalgic :)

Geetanjali said...

Oh I came as soon as I saw the accusation that I don't check your blog often enough - not fair - I check EVERY time I'm online. I just haven't logged in since Friday anoon...:-(

And sweetie, you've surpassed yourself with this post - it made me all teary-smiley reading those descriptions! Worth the wait, this one...

Now buck up and post something new ;-)

i-me-moi said...

Ahhh! The sunset, the beach, Bandra, town Mondy's ...ohmegod .... me wants to come back for this very moment and live all of these just once. once again.

Parth said...

Yup. I remember the times when watching English movies meant going all the way to Regal and Sterling. Off the two, Regal was the preferred one for me too. I like the democratization now, with English movies being screened in the burbs as well. And thank you for mentioning Rock Beach :-)

Casablanca said...

I want to go to Bombay!! When o when will I be able to :(

Extempore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casablanca said...

Check mail :)

Extempore said...

@Casa: I did check mail but not enough time to reply before the weekend - have simply been drowning in work. :-(( Sorry, sweetie, will write asap. Promise.

{illyria} said...

cool end photo!

Geetanjali said...

Nudge nudge

Extempore said...

@Illyria: Thanks! I thought you'd abandoned me! ;-) I hope you are well, my dear!

@Geets: Just a another couple of days... honest! *hug*

Zulon said...

Ah yes... fond memories et al... Bandra I notice hasnt lost any of its charm, notwithstanding the nightmarish traffic..you missed the little cafe at bandstand (I forget what it was called)..
Cheers

RTD2 said...

Ohh...thanks for reminding me of the Bombay I grew up in. These days every time I go back or read/hear about it, it feels like a foreign city. I didn't get to enjoy the beach as much as I wanted to - lived too far from any of them!

Lotus Reads said...

Gorgeous post! It made this ex-Mumbaikar very nostalgic, thank you!