This time last week, I was crammed in an airplane seat on the way to what is known as the City of Dreams. Now I’m back home with little gold elephant trinkets and memories to last me a lifetime. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a week in Mumbai, India and I’m so excited to tell you guys about all the amazing things I saw and did there, via (digital) postcard form…
Mumbai has a lot of greenery. I was totally shocked at the amount of colossal, ancient trees that were just randomly situated around the city. What blew me away the most was the stark contrast between the architecture and the plants. In so many situations, I found myself holding my hand up to block out the buildings to see what looked like an actual forest. It was truly amazing.
Since I went to Mumbai during monsoons, I was lucky enough to experience the rain. This is a picture I took from my window and although my camera did a pretty good job capturing the water drops, it still doesn’t do it 100% justice.
I also saw a lot of flower bushes around the streets, although they were more rare to see. The second picture with the purple flowers are periwinkles, which I have a lot of childhood memories of. I remember collecting them with my mom on my way back from my nursery school.
More gorgeous greenery, ’nuff said.
The little girl in blue is my cousin in the Girl Scout’s uniform. We had visited a park and the views were just stunning. The two buildings in the background are The Imperial twin towers, which are one of the tallest residential buildings in the city. They can be seen from pretty much anywhere.
Another specialty of Mumbai are the crows! There are hundreds of thousands flying around and most are fed by pedestrians munching on their snacks. There are also quite a few eagles, although they’re harder to photograph.
This is the Crawford Market, or the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai Market, which is one of the most populated and busy areas in the city. The market mostly sells fruits, vegetables, and internationally-shipped foods like chocolates, nuts, juices, and other processed goods. I love walking through the markets and looking at all the cool animals people sell as pets, like lizards, puppies, and fish! My granddad also has a few stores here, in which he sells belts and other leather goods. If you ever come to Mumbai, feel free to say hello to him and check out his store, Goodwill Trading Co.!
What you see in these pictures is hands-down my favourite area in the city: Fort. The influence of the British Invasion is prevalent in the architecture. There were so many instances where I felt like I was in London if I stared at the buildings too long.
Next we have the Victoria Terminus, which was built by the British in 1887 for a mere USD23,000 (just to give some perspective, it would now cost about USD30,000,000 to make). It serves as the headquarters of Central Railways in India. We visited it during a nighttime drive with my uncle and it looked stunning in the lights, as you can see.
Here are some views of the city from the 47th floor. We creeped up onto the Refuge Area of a high-rise skyscraper to get these shots and as you can imagine, we were in awe.
One of my favourite things that I did in Mumbai was visit the Kyani & Co. Bakery, an Irani eatery that has been running for over a century in an area called Marine Lines. The amazing thing about the place is that the interiors have remained exactly the same since it was first established in 1904! Some glances of the inside…
The mosaic flooring (pictured above) has remained the same for 114 years.
The bakers pictured above have been working here pretty much their entire lives. Their food was incredible, as you can imagine.
This is what I ordered: it was an Iranian twist on your everyday chocolate eclair and was totally mouth-watering. The bread was soft and warm (freshly baked, of course) and the inside was stuffed with a gooey milk chocolate and whipped cream mixture. Everything was topped off with a homemade chocolate spread and chocolate sprinkles!
Pictured above is the bakery manager. He was shy and didn’t speak too much, but was immensely welcoming and has worked at Kyani his entire life.
Something that made me giggle was this (now out of order) weight scale at the exit door of the store. It tells you to “watch your weight”, which is definitely hard to do with the mouth-watering food they serve at Kyani!
This is what your average street in Mumbai looks like. I took this picture whilst sitting in a black-and-yellow taxi.
I loved how much life there is in the city, and that’s not limited to just people. These pigeons above were drinking rainwater from a drained-out pool!
Yet another photograph to show the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s so much going on in just one shot, from the shoe-sellers to the fruit vendors to pedestrians. Another really cool thing is the background shows citizens preparing for the Ganesha Festival, which is a religious tradition for Hindus.
Here’s a nostalgic picture of the gate of my childhood home. I remember seeing this sign as a child whenever I got back from school, and it brings back a lot of memories.
We visited Marine Drive during the night to check out the nighttime skyline and were not disappointed. The picture isn’t too clear, but the lights were crazy beautiful.
A pretty good example of the Saturday night traffic in the city!
A bookshelf in an old library open for university students to study in. It held a bunch of old encyclopaedias that would cost a fortune today.
Hand-Embroidered traditional Zoroastrian lace.
No matter when you go to Mumbai, having some fresh sugar-cane juice is a must! This is what a typical juicer’s stall looks like.
And that’s about it for today! I hope you guys enjoyed the post. Having been born and grown up in Mumbai, the place has always held a special place in my heart for me, even though I don’t live there anymore.
Have you ever been to India?