So finally I made it. After 4 years, I returned to Bombay to meet some lovely people, enjoy some mouth watering dishes I miss in Chennai, and of course, experience the smell that at once tells you, you’ve come home. (Remember Shantaram? :) )
I landed in Bombay on the morning of April 30th and headed straight to Shirdi. Bombay had changed a lot as far as the topography is concerned. Some new flyovers which totally confused the routes that I used to know and still know in the head. Innumerable number of shopping malls. The ride to and fro in a Toyota Innova was a breeze. I thought the car is strictly ok but it turned out to be the most comfortable and smooth car. Had good darshan of Sai in Shirdi and returned to Bombay the following day. We headed straight to Uttara.
We reached Stella aunt’s place and spent most of the evening there analyzing who has changed and how much. Payal looks more beautiful. Palak is sweeter and as matured as ever. Sups is her goody goody self. And Kunmun has longer hair! Mihir has grown up like Akash – that is tall and fat. Yuganth, you won’t believe has proper white teeth now. All his front teeth had decayed when he was 5 years old and apparently all were milk teeth and they fell off. Met Sushant after about 4 years. Had a good time with the kids when they came to know I knew Sushant before itself (He was my junior in school).
In the evening Payal, Palak, Supritha, Akash and I walked to Lokhandwala Complex, the back road where they’ve now built a nice Jogger’s Park and to the Lokhandwala Garden. Later Frank uncle, Stella aunty, mom and dad joined us. I hogged on some authentic Ragda Pattice and Vada Pav after a long long time!!Yummy!
Lunch plan at Sita aunt’s place on Wednesday and she was as angry as I was on Arjun for studying for exams back in Chennai instead of coming with us. Visited the Inorbit mall in Goregaon after that and hell, it’s the best shopping mall I’ve seen so far. First of all, it’s huge. And it is so well planned out. City Centre and Spencers can go kiss its ass. It’s better than even Forum Bangalore. And the food court. Now that’s what I call a food court – spacious, ample number of tables and every major brand and restaurant available. Vikku was away in Kolhapur and so couldn’t join us. I was told he knows every nook and corner of Inorbit including the Fire Exits. I got a Kurti (wanted one for a long time) for myself over there. Frank uncle gave us his car to drive around and I had a nice time driving all around the city. Dinner was with Frank and family including Supritha at Brindavan. Supritha stayed over at Payal’s place and so later that night we went for a drive on the back road. 10 people in an Alto. Unforgettable drive with the kids.
Thursday morning plan was Sidhi Vinayak and Mahalakshmi. From Mahalakshmi I drove to Marine Drive , past Not Just Jazz by the Bay and the turn to Churchgate station, past Air India building and to the land’s end. Good fun! On the way back, stopped over at Bhavans Campus where the Munshi Nagar arch was missing and the place was broader. Guptajis is renovated and is now called Gupta Azad Restaurant. I drove into the campus to see if anyone would be there in my school. Unfortunately, it was totally empty except for the librarian. Thankfully, she recognized me, we spoke about who’s doing what, where now and all that. Not many changes in the school except that they’ve shifted 11th 12th to the main building and the building where I did my 11th and 12th to Kindergarten :|.
That night, dinner party at Sita aunt’s place for it was Arjun’s grandparent’s fiftieth (I think!) wedding anniversary. The food, as usual was awesome. They had ordered three different cakes. Arjun, you missed everything man! :p