December 13, 2007

Shifting pains

What do you do when you are shifting base to a city that you had promised yourself you would never move to? Look at the side benefits, of course. Mango, Aldo, Lokhandwala Market, Morgan, Moshe's, holidays-in-anticipation-of-the-deluge. Yup, am bribing myself (or is it brainwashing?) with a visit to each every month. Moving from Pune to the City of Dreams! Mumbai Ahoy!!

Spent a lot of my summer or winter holidays in Mumbai and my childhood memories include an amazing library near my relatives' place, shopping at Linking Road, scrounging second-hand book shops in CST, wada-pavs near Fountain and of course, the ever present press of humanity. Hazy recollections of the muggy days and the local trains. Its funny, till college never had the mental block against the rush and madness of local trains. Now, the most convinient way to get to work seems tiring; would prefer to sit in an air-conditioned car in chaotic traffic.

The older (more mature?) me found a different Mumbai. I discovered the joys of Lokhandwala market, Phoenix mall, the smaller shops on Hill Road, great restaurants, Atria and Inorbit malls and more second-hand book shops. That last thing never
changed. The one thing I love about Mumbai is the sheer number of these second-hand book shops (that also double up as libraries) and the humongous collection these shops have - I mean, for a small shop round the corner, most of them are pretty
impressively stocked. Couldn't find any libraries like these in a 5 km radius from home in Bangalore.

During my first and only stay in Mumbai, 4 months long, I discovered that I couldn't make the most out of the 'end of season' sales in Mumbai. The city is choc-a-bloc full of actors and models who I think live for these sales. So here I am, after a hard day's work, fighting tooth and nail to reach the stores before closing time and what do I find?? The clothes that I fall in love with are not available in my size!! In Bangalore, my office was in the central business district, which meant that
Commercial Street was only a kilometer away, so was MG Road and Bangalore Central and Garuda mall. Even if I nipped in on the second day of any sale, I could always walk away with whatever I fell in love with - without having to elbow people out of
the way to get to the piece before someone snatched it. Lesson learnt and solution
decided. Keep track of upcoming sales and call in sick on the first day of the sale and shop till I drop (or the plastic maxes out).

So, house hunting right now. Its a terribly tedious thing to do, as my hubby's list of must-have list (you know, what should be round-the-corner) and my list clubbed together make one that makes my compulsive-lister-heart go pitty-pat. Its a long
process: first clubbing the lists, then ranking each entry - which, I must say, is the most time-consuming and fun part of it all - and then finally getting a house that satisfies at least 70% of the requirements. Here's a sample of the list of the
features deemed essential in the vicinity of the house- I am not even going to enumerate the stuff we want in the house. (In order of ranking) Supermarket, gym, proximity to the highway (eastern or western), proximity to office-both his
and mine, covered car parking, multiplex, restaurants, blah blah blah. Easy for you to snigger at, but wait and listen to the words of wisdom. Waiting in a 30 minute queue for parking at a supermarket or a multiplex (every weekend, in our case) is not a situation that engenders hilarity. Gym, well, don't you have enough incentive to cut gym without adding a commute to and fro to it? Restaurants: for the occassional day(s) that I don't feel like going into the kitchen or braving traffic enroute to South Mumbai - even though great food awaits at the end of the ardous journey.

The last time I lived in Mumbai, I was putting up with my uncle who had this amazing flat off Link Road in Andheri and I must say it satisfied every single requirement on the list. Those 3 days in July this year when Mumbai was almost shut down due to
rains, we were having a blast at either of three multiplexes nearby (all on Link Road about 3 min by car and 7 min walk) which, obviously, were empty. Heavenly. Add Mainland China, Little Italy, Kailash Parbat, Red Box, and about a dozen other
restaurants and Nature's basket (a Godrej supermarket) and you have a to-die-for neighbourhood. Lokhandwala market - about 3 kms away. Ecstasy!! Wouldn't it be nice to live there now??? If my thoughtless uncle hadn't pulled up stakes to join his family in Bangalore, I wouldn't have had any qualms moving to Mumbai (Hey, I can be selfish now, am moving to mean Mumbai).

Being a positive, optimistic person, I can say that it can only get better than my last stay there - I arrived in Mumbai in time for the dreaded monsoons and it didn't disappoint any! I guess, it can't get any worse- should I say that or am I jinxing it?


Anonymous said...

Haven't you tried First Class in the local trains?

Priyanka said...

Oh, I have! There is a difference, but not too much, I mean at rush hours.


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