My perfect day in Bombay

28th Aug 2014
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 1/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
British Brewing Company, Oberoi Mall, Goregao
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 2/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
Chowpatty Chat
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 3/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
Juhu Chowpatty
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 4/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
Bandra-Worli Sealink and the cityscape
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 5/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
Ferries at Gateway of India
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 6/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
Hotel Taj in its glory
Photo of My perfect day in Bombay 7/7 by Priyanka Gogoi
Leopold Cafe

My parents always wanted to visit Mumbai; “Bombay” theycall it so.

They came all the way from Assam to visit Bangalore and decided impromptu to detour and visit Mumbai for a day. I and my husband quickly put our brains together to figure out an itinerary that would showcase Mumbai’s many vibrant moods without leaving my parents exhausted at the end of the day.

Years are not enough to discover Mumbai and here we had just a day.

First Stop: British Brewing Company

We started the day with a brunch at our favorite local gastro-pub, British Brewing Company. Two reasons for taking them there: (1) good food, essentially, (2) a quick glimpse at the mall culture (for the cosmopolitan quotient), since the pub is situated inside Oberoi mall.

Second Stop: Juhu Beach

After the brunch, we hopped in a taxi to the famous Juhu chowpatty where many a film has been shot. There was an-ever-so-slight drizzle that made the beach look better. The crowd, the balloons, the smell of chatpata chats, the professional photographers hovering at the edges of your vision. After taking crazy photographs at the beach, we headed to the chat stalls. That place smelt so “inviting” on a rainy day. Pav Bhaji, Kulfi, Chats… the roasted spices wafting through. Even after a heavy brunch, my parents shared a chat as a symbol/rite of visiting Juhu Chowpatty.

Third Stop: Colaba via Bandra-Worli Sea Link

After Chowpatty, we went to Colaba. Going towards Colaba, we deliberately took the Sea Link so our parents could see the architectural brilliance of the bridge and the cityscape. They totally loved the magnificence of it all.

While driving around, my husband had a running commentary on the history of Mumbai or where which celebrities live. Like, when driving through Juhu, we showed them where Big B lives or when in Worli, he showed them Haji Ali (maybe they can visit it next time around), Ambani’s residence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium, the Porche showroom, Heera-Panna market and such other nooks and crannies of Bombay.

Fourth stop: Gateway of India & Taj Hotel

Finally, we reached the Gateway of India. It was still drizzling lightly but we didn’t mind. We watched the ferries bobbing in the water, we captured moments at the Gateway, acknowledged its history. We didn’t forget the Taj Hotel and the tragedy. We discussed that unfateful, black day. Standing at the stone-walls bordering the pavement, we marveled at the sea, the city’s history, its culture, its humane spirit. My mother was amused seeing the decorated tangas and my father asked about the oil drills seen at a distance. We spent quite some time at the Gateway.

Fifth Stop: Colaba Causeway

When it was dusk, we slowly walked through the ancient, cobbled pavements and reached Colaba Causeway. The lights shone from the stores of the many sellers at the Causeway. I find it very difficult to walk through without getting distracted. Invariably, I end up buying something or the other. The Causeway looks so glittery… just can’t help myself. I saw my mother gaping at some of the wares. Like mother, like daughter!

Sixth Stop: Leopold Cafe

We entered Leopold café for snacks. Leopold Café had already been a legendary place but after 26/11, more so. One can see the numerous bullet holes in the walls and pillars; it’s a reminder of the black day. My parents soaked in the vibrant atmosphere of the café while sipping coffee.

My mother whispered, “Can you take a picture of me with that beer tower in the background; make sure the white gentleman appears? I want to show it to my colleagues back home!”

It was 8PM by the time we were out of Leopold Café. We took a taxi back home. I thought they would be sleeping on our long ride home, but I was wrong. They were looking out of the window as Mumbai city buzzed by. I think they like the city. I think they will be back soon.

The ambience, the food! When you are here, you have to order Bangers with mashed potatoes. I have a reputation of ordering it every time. The pizza here is thin-crusted and comes with a lovely garlic oil dip. And the Caesar Salad has refreshingly, crunchy lettuce... everytime!
Photo of British Brewing Company, Goregaon East, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Priyanka Gogoi
If you are interested in people watching, this is the hot spot! And while you are at it, grab a chat or two from the stalls... they are delicious!
Photo of Juhu Beach, Juhu Tara Rd, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Priyanka Gogoi
Feel the wind in your face as you drive by the Sea Link. A 5.6 kms stretch with the sea surrounding you and the cityscape beckoning you from a distance.
Photo of Bandra - Worli Sea Link, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Priyanka Gogoi
Gateway of India was constructed to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Bombay in 1911. Hence, rightly called "Gateway". It now stands as a symbol of the city itself.
Photo of Gateway Of India Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Priyanka Gogoi
Fake Antiques (or are those grand-dad clocks real?), Moroccan Lamps, Junk Jewelry, Old maps, Collectible Coins, Apparels, Watches, anything and everything you didn't know you needed but now you do! Yes, that's the lure of the wares at the Colaba Causeway. It demands your attention and more often than not, you give in to a bit of the hedonistic pleasures of shopping. In any case, a Rs.200/- John-Lennon styled shades is worth spending on any day.
Big groups, a tower of beer and you have it all! Plus, the food isn't that bad. The desserts should definitely be tried. And while you are there, do look out for the bullet marks that are the reminders of 26/11. This place is always buzzing, it's legendary.
Photo of Leopold Restaurant, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Priyanka Gogoi