Girl In A New City
People say that travel is all about meeting new people, having new experiences and adventures. Perhaps, it’s also about finding a home away from home, finding a family in your friends and yes, of course, meeting some new people.
After a huge amount of excitement and countdowns, we finally met our cutest dost and the host Arpit Kukreja (AKA Kuki). We were too happy and excited to explore the city so decided to hog some food and catch up. We also met another very genuine fellow Aditya Kaushal.
This was followed by a process of hijacking Kuki’s room, kitchen and his bathroom which was later filled with girl’s toiletries, thanks to me.
We spent our day exploring the beautiful society Mahindra Splendor Tower, where he lived. It was a beautiful place away from the hustle bustle of Mumbai as it’s located in a lost world, named Bhandup.
We began our day with a yummy breakfast at McD’s Mc Cafe, where we tried Dosa Burger and Mumbai welcomed us with an amazing cup of coffee.
We, Kartik Raja and I, were on our own today as our dost Kuki was off to work. We then decided to meet another happy soul Kinnari Hariani. We had a nice buffet lunch at 90 Ft Above (Borivali), met our dearest Faiba and headed for my favourite activity on the Earth…Shopppiinggg!
We explored Bandra, Link Road, and Hill Road. After an overdose of shopping and gup-shup, we ended our day bidding goodbye to our dearest sister and meeting our friend after fighting and defeating the monster called TRAFFIC.
By now we had already started calling Kuki’s home ‘Our Home’ and had the similar feeling of relief entering the society gate after a happy yet tiresome day.
This day was all about visiting some of the most popular and historic places in Mumbai, though we again missed the company of our friend Kuki (thanks to his hectic work schedule).
We took a local from Bhandup station to CST. It was my first local train journey and it turned out to be amazing, thanks to the advice and instructions given by our friends. To our surprise, we also managed to grab seats for both of us (can you imagine?).
I really loved the train journey as it brought me closer to the city and its people. It has its own discipline and unsaid rules. The overly excited kid in me was thrilled to see CST, one of the most iconic places used in movies to depict the city of dreams – Mumbai.
Mumbai is also popularly known as the city that never sleeps. If the city doesn’t sleep, then how does it manage to dream? Quite ironic, isn’t it?
We headed to Gateway of India and The Taj Hotel, and a sudden chill passed down my nerves as I was reminded of the unfortunate terrorist attacks of 26/11 which can never be forgotten. But Mumbai has its own spirit, and no matter what happens, it stands strong.
We then headed to Colaba causeway market for, once again one of my favourite activities, Shopping!
Here, I would like to appreciate the man behind the camera Kartik Raja. He has been a very patient personal photographer that I have (only mine), trying to capture various moods of mine (tantrums are absolutely free of cost).
These pictures were clicked at The Asiatic Society of Mumbai, which has a beautiful white building. You can see a tired me sitting at the stairs of the library (please don’t blame my shopping bags, it’s the walking that took a toll). I managed to pick up a beautiful Marathi Nath, which is an adorable piece of jewelry that I have always adored.
We had a quick lunch at Mondegar Cafe. We really enjoyed the liveliness and the colours of the place. We also explored the Kala Ghoda area where we reached after walking through various zigzag lanes and artistic cafes. Post coffee at the Kala Ghoda Cafe, we decided to rush home as it was getting late. We decided to take a Kaali-Peeli taxi to reach CST but couldn’t find one. So, we took a long walk to the station but our irritation turned into delight as soon as we saw the station lit up in Christmas colours. The view was worth the effort.
We took a local and reached home, where we met our friend Kuki who, although was back home from the office, was still working (as he didn’t want to be disturbed on the weekend, I know most of you can feel the pain, right?). After some melodrama, we finally sat down to plan our weekend that we were finally going to spend together.
By the way, it’s nice to throw tantrums when there are two people to handle them.
After a fun-filled ferry ride, feeding seagulls and an adventurous auto ride, we finally reached Kashid. It’s a small town near Alibag and is not as commercial as other beach destinations. Since it is not so commercial, its beauty is absolutely untouched and mesmerizing. The people are really sweet here, except for some constipated souls (can’t judge everyone based on one rude aunty).
This day will remain in my heart forever. After all, who gets to see nature at its best? I think we got really lucky as we not only got to see the beautiful sunset but also saw a full moon rise (pictures couldn’t do any justice to the sight that we saw).
Away from the hustle-bustle, sitting at the beach at night, talking our heart out, no phone signals to distract you, what else could we ask for?
The place does not have too many high-end hotels, but who needs a 5-star hotel when you can sit at the beach till 2 in the night and gaze at millions of stars above?
Hope this place remains non-commercial and we get a chance to visit it again.
On a final note – #KeepYourBeachesClean
We clearly didn’t want to leave Kashid but we had no other option as the fast-moving life of the city was waiting for us. We thoroughly enjoyed our short trip back to Mumbai and spent rest of our day in Colaba causeway market, hunting for a perfect pair of earrings for me (my one true love).
I also got the opportunity to taste macarons at Le15 Cafe for the first time and they were delicious (seriously they were, I don’t like sweets or cakes in general).
We then tried some of Mumbai’s street food like Pav Bhaji, Bhelpuri, and Chuski. I clearly feel that no one can beat Delhi when it comes to street food. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the Chuski – Kala Khattaa….yummmm! (Yeah I know, it’s available in Delhi also. But please, let me just enjoy the moment.)
The excited soul of a 7-year-old inside me (yeah, I know my soul doesn’t coincide with my actual age) was jumping with joy as my dream was about to come true. I had always visualized Marine Drive and it’s beauty and I finally got a chance to witness it. We found a quiet spot (for which we walked for around 2 km) and spent a couple of hours there, by just sitting and soaking in the beauty of the endless sea.
This moment really made me feel alive and the overwhelming feeling poured out in the form of tears. (Arey! Khushi ke aasoo, baba.)
Officially the last day of our trip, Day 6, began with a lot of excitement (for me at least) because we were finally going to visit Mannat – house of one of the most iconic and charming Bollywood SuperStar – Shah Rukh Khan!
I have been an SRK fan since the age of 3, my first movie on hall being Karan Arjun (hence the melodramatic me). We headed to Bandstand and I was imagining Shah Rukh Khan waiting for me eagerly. We spent 3 hours in front of his house, standing next to his bodyguard (it was fun, for me of course).
We then took a walk at sea link and went cafe hopping. Candies, Anand Vada Pav and then Prithvi cafe.
Prithvi cafe will always be a very special place for me because my dearest husband Kartik Raja (yes guys, I am married, and that to my personal photographer) read a beautiful poem (I hope it was written for me, else he’s dead) at a poet’s meet up.
On a final note, thank you so much Arpit Kukreja (my Kuki) for all your efforts in making this trip a successful one. We couldn’t have asked for more (except, of course, more of your time).
We will miss your projector and your company when we watched movies at your place. I would also like to eat that amazing Pulao again that you made.
I am sorry for being a Gunda and hijacking your favourite spot in the house (in return, you can sit on my Jhula at my place, for 10 mins).
We can go around the world, meet all sorts of people and have best of experiences, but memories can be made only with your close ones, and I assure you that our luggage of memories was overloaded.