Mumbai Meri Jaan

I’m going to say this upfront – this isn’t a travel blog about Mumbai but a penned down version of a girl’s experiences in her hometown which she visits after a year and a half.

After a 20-hour journey from the USA, I can’t tell you how delighted I was to just see Mumbai all lit up from the window of my flight. I’m not going to lie, I cried when I saw my city and how close I was to see my family. “Only four more minutes to land, Ishita, hold on”, was all I was telling myself as my anxiety kept increasing.

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Of course, I clicked a picture of the countdown!

Do you know how it feels when all your stress melts away? I felt that as soon as the flight landed. I had finally arrived! Immigration thankfully didn’t take much time and as soon as I grabbed my bag, I practically ran towards the exit. I spotted my parents, cousin sister and my uncle as soon as I exited and they had the biggest smile on their faces. This is what pure joy looks like!

Home Sweet Home

My Granduncle and Grandfather were awake by the time I reached home and I could see how happy they were to finally see me in person. I dropped my bags and rushed to my room. Honestly, it felt a little different to be back home and I’ll blame the amount of time I was away for this. Nevertheless, I slept like a baby that night, knowing I’m home with my family around me. I enjoyed every minute of being home.

Here’s a collage of my family. Yes, Mustang and Roger (my cute puppy-babies) are included too. 😉

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La Familia ❤

Bandra

Folks who know me are very much aware of my love for Bandra. It’s not just because it’s close to where I live but mainly because I spent four years of my life out there. While I was studying engineering at a college in Bandra, I met some amazing people who I’m proud to call my closest friends and explored some really good cafés, restaurants, and patisseries there. Also, you can get an amazing view of the Bandra-Worli sea-link from my college; beat that! Those four years turned me into a different person altogether so why wouldn’t I be in love with the place?

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Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College of Engineering, Bandra

During this visit, most of my time was spent in Bandra, of course. I went on a date with my mom, met my closest friends, and shopped for some junk jewelry at Hill Road. However, the best day was when I went to college one evening and saw the sunset just behind the Bandra-Worli sea-link from the 9th floor. I’ve seen some exquisite sunsets in general but this one was nostalgic and satisfying at the same time.

Native Place – Bordi

Nested about four hours away from the city, Bordi is a beautiful town which is known for its alluring sunsets, beaches, and a pleasant environment. My mom and I caught an early morning train to get there as we had a lot of places to go to, during our short visit there.

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Mumbai Local

We visited a temple that my family goes to every year, close relatives, our bungalow and one of my favorites – the Jungle Farm. It felt really good to meet my relatives after the longest time and I’m grateful to them for being so flexible with our schedule.

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Treehouse at the Jungle Farm, Bordi

For all you readers, I urge you to visit Bordi and stay at the Jungle Farm or Chaudhari Baug if you’re looking for a weekend getaway. They have the most amazing tree-houses for you to live in and interesting activities like Agri-tourism, eco-tourism & trekking that you can do when you’re there. Don’t miss it!

Powai

Even though Powai is a bit far from where I stay, it’s one of my favorite places because of the chill ambiance it has. Two of my friends got married at a place not too far from Powai so my friend and I just sat at a tea café for hours and even walked around for a bit.

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Powai

Coincidentally, the Powai fest was on at the time with music, dance, and food stalls and dazzling with lights for the New Year.

Lower Parel – High Street Phoenix

High Street Phoenix is one of the best places to shop from for mid-range to luxury brands. They also have a good variety of restaurants and patisseries in the mall and around it. Apart from shopping here with my mom, my school best friend and I spent the entire day here.

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The Flea Bazaar Cafe, Lower Parel

I couldn’t believe how many things had changed around here! We had lunch at this place called the Flea Bazaar Café where there were food-stalls or renowned restaurants from the city. I was more than happy as I got to FINALLY eat from a restaurant that has the best butter chicken in Mumbai!

South Bombay

If you want to experience the true essence of Mumbai, South Bombay is where you want to be! Right from Colaba to Kala Ghoda to the iconic Marine Drive, South Bombay has it all. This place is close to my heart for all the right reasons. During my engineering college days, I remember sneaking out of college either early in the morning or mid-day to visit “town” as they call it. It used to give me a different thrill because I rarely used to go to town (or further away from my house, for that matter). You know you’re a true Mumbaikar if you’ve sat on Marine Drive at 2 am in the night with your friends. 😉

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Kala Ghoda

This time, I saw the sunset at Marine Drive one weekend with one of my closest friends and in spite of being surrounded by a 1000 other people, I felt at peace.

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Marine Drive

I had visited Mumbai once before (since the time I moved to the States), but this one was very fulfilling, in every sense. I was happier and more content with all the things I got done with.

I didn’t think it’ll be too difficult this time when I leave Mumbai to return to my usual life, but it only gets harder. Even after getting through security and immigration, there was this strong urge to just leave everything and go back home. Of course, Denver feels like home now, but I miss my family every single day and I’ve already started counting down to my next trip home. 🙂

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