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Alvinology goes to India – Day 2 of 14

Alvinology goes to India – Day 2 of 14

We spent a full day exploring Mumbai (मुंबई)on our second day in India. As that day was also the one year anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai Attack, there were many vigil ceremonies, protests and rallies going on around the city.

We had breakfast at a restaurant called Moghlai, located opposite Leopold. This restaurant caters to the local and prices were less than half of those at Leopold while quality was around the same.

A rooster's crowing greeted out in the morning, outside our hotel

A rooster’s crowing greeted out in the morning, outside our hotel

In India, the rubbish truck is followed by crows, dogs and cows

In India, the rubbish truck is followed by crows, dogs and cows

Some stranger getting a morning shave

Some stranger getting a morning shave

Inside Moghlai restaurant

Inside Moghlai restaurant

Another picture of the restaurant

Another picture of the restaurant

Jeremy reading the local newspaper

Jeremy reading the local newspaper

Water was served, but we didn't dare to drink it... sigh

Water was served, but we didn’t dare to drink it… sigh

Indian breakfast for champions

Indian breakfast for champions

We ordered omelettes, chappati and a “veg fried” (some paste-like vegetable dish to go with the chappati).

Some Indian guy tried to chat us up again in the restaurant, claiming he was from the UK and could take us on a slum tour at a good price. His story is absolutely dubious. We just let he rambled on till we left the restaurant and bid him goodbye.

After breakfast, Jeremy had to interview some people to file a story on the 26/11 vigil back to Singapore for work. We headed to Leopold first to take a look. There was a rally group there, gathering signatures to condone violence.

Heightened security at Leopold

Heightened security at Leopold

People signing a banner that condone violence

People signing a banner that condone violence

Full view of the banner

Full view of the banner

We then headed to the Colaba Causeway where the bulk of the other media personnel were gathered. There were already several local TV news crew there when we reached. While Jeremy was interviewing people, Rachel and I got approached by two separate journalists from two different TV stations, one after another.

The three of us stood out like sore thumbs there, being among the few tourists present. If you do not count the ang mohs, we were likely the only three yellow-skinned people around. To the Indian journalists desperate for arresting sound bites, being foreign made us instant experts on foreigners’ sentiment on the situation in Mumbai. Not that we mind the attention, given that two of my travel companions are journalists too and all of us understood how stressful it was to get interviewees for breaking news.

Soldiers showing their support for the Mumbai spirit

Soldiers showing their support for the Mumbai spirit

Jeremy at work, interviewing strangers

Jeremy at work, interviewing strangers

Interview a school teacher who have brougth his students to show support

Interview a school teacher who have brougth his students to show support

Our first interview was with a channel called Focus TV, which the female journalist told us was a TV channel for  empowering modern women. The second was a channel called News X. We were surprised to catch our interview on News X the next day on our hotel television in the morning.

Rachel and I with the female journalist from Focus TV who interviewed us

Rachel and I with the female journalist from Focus TV who interviewed us

Chatting with the Indian journalist as we wait for the camera to go LIVE

Chatting with the Indian journalist as we wait for the camera to go LIVE

We were grabbed by this journalist from News X after our first interview

We were grabbed by this journalist from News X after our first interview

Our second interview with News X

Our second interview with News X

Rachel on News TV - we saw this on TV the next morning

Rachel on News TV – we saw this on TV the next morning

Me on Indian TV

Me on Indian TV

We came across an interesting man in front of the Taj Hotel. His name is Manohar Patil. He was an ex-soldier from Latur City and had lost his family in the Latur earthquake. Since there, the man had been touring India on foot to spread his message of peace. Here are some pictures of him waving the India flag and chanting away:

Monahal Patil waving the India flag

Manohal Patil waving the India flag

Calling to the sky

Calling to the sky

Fly birds fly

Fly birds fly

A crowd start to gather around him

A crowd start to gather around him

A guy getting interviewed for his candle vigil

A guy getting interviewed for his candle vigil

After Jeremy filed his story, we took the subway to Grant Street to head to Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Sangrahalaya), a famous Mahatma Gandhi memorial house.

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) is a man whom I respect very much for his non-violent approach to resistance. Via Wikipedia, Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa or total nonviolence—which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Entrance to the underground subway

Entrance to the underground subway

It was near rush hour and the subway was quite crowded

It was near rush hour and the subway was quite crowded

Queuing the get our subway tickets

Queuing the get our subway tickets

Our subway tickets

Our subway tickets

In India, the PAP guys are train drivers

In India, the PAP guys are train drivers

The Indians are good at balancing things on their head

The Indians are good at balancing things on their head

Our first ride on the Indian subway

Our first ride on the Indian subway

Jeremy prefers to stand and enjoy the passing scenery

Jeremy prefers to stand and enjoy the passing scenery

Signs of 26/11 was everywhere that day - seen here are some grisly pictures of the attack

Signs of 26/11 was everywhere that day – seen here are some grisly pictures of the attack, put on display for the public

A larger collage poster

A larger collage poster

The victims

The victims

We spent quite some time at Mani Bhavan, going through the great man’s life history. At the end of our tour, we were further disgusted by the evils of the British during the colonial era on the pain they have inflicted on many Asian countries and the mess they left behind when they pulled out. The artificial division of India and Pakistan into two countries is one case in point.

Cows are everywhere in India

Cows are everywhere in India

A small sewing shop which we passed by

A small sewing shop which we passed by

I have no idea what this vehicle is carrying

I have no idea what this vehicle is carrying

Rachel at a random Indian street

Rachel at a random Indian street

Cheery kids on a school bus we passed by

Cheery kids on a school bus we passed by

The unasuming Bhani Bhavan, just like Ghandi himself

The unasuming Bhani Bhavan, just like Gandhi himself

A smiling figurine of Ghandi greeted us when we stepped in

A smiling figurine of Gandhi greeted us when we stepped in

Rachel looking up to Ghandi

Rachel looking up to Gandhi

Inside the library, filled with Ghandi's books

Inside the library, filled with Gandhi’s books

A quote on democracy

A quote on democracy

How the India flag design came about

How the India flag design came about

Picture of Ghandi when he was a young law student in Britain

Picture of Gandhi when he was a young law student in Britain

A room displaying the few of Ghandi's worldly possession

A room displaying the few of Gandhi’s worldly possession

Full shot of the room

Full shot of the room

The few items which Ghandi carries with him

The few items which Gandhi carries with him

A letter Ghandi wrote to Hitler

A letter Gandhi wrote to Hitler

Gandhi posters

Gandhi posters

One of the most famous picture in the 19th Century

One of the most famous picture in the 19th Century

Ghandi's house in the later phase of his life

Gandhi’s house in the later phase of his life

Ghandi and us

Gandhi and us

It all started when young Gandhi was kicked off a "White Only" train

It all started when young Gandhi was kicked off a “White Only” train

Ghandi getting married

Gandhi getting married

Ghandi leading the iconic salt march

Gandhi leading the iconic salt march

Ghandi meets his wife for the first time

Gandhi meets his wife for the first time

Ghandi inciting his countrymen to burn European-style clothing

Gandhi inciting his countrymen to burn European-style clothing

Ghandi in his signature loin cloth before a British judge

Gandhi in his signature loin cloth before a British judge

Ghandi by his death bed, visited by key figures in Indian politics then

Gandhi who was sick from fasting, visited by key figures in Indian politics then

The moment when Ghandi was shot

The moment when Gandhi was shot

Gandhi's cremation

Gandhi’s cremation

Parting shot

Parting shot

We had lunch at a nearby restaurant called By the Way Cafe. Jeremy’s friend, a local journalist came to join us from here. Rachel and I had ordered mutton cutlets with gravy to share. Jeremy’s friend recommended us to a dish called pani puri – a dough dish with lots of interesting spices and toppings. It was delicious! The taste oscillates between sweet and minty with each bite. Very flavourful.

Outside By The Way restaurant

Outside By The Way restaurant

Rachel and I waiting for our food

Rachel and I waiting for our food

Mutton patties

Mutton patties

Pani puri - a must-try in India

Pani puri – a must-try street snack in India

After lunch, Jeremy’s friend brought us to CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) or Victoria Terminus, an iconic building in Mumbai. We parted way there as she still have to go back office for work.

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We did a little shopping then. I bought two linen kurta at a shop called Cotton Cottage at around S$10 each. This proved to be a very good buy as they were really comfortable. We should be wearing more of these in Singapore. These are more suited for our climate than shirts and ties, fancied by ang moh.

Inside an Indian Padmini cab, known as "black and yellow" by the locals

Inside an Indian Padmini cab, known as “black and yellow” by the locals

Getting out of our cab when we reached our destination

Getting out of our cab when we reached our destination

At CST

At CST

Rachel and I at CST

Rachel and I at CST

Majestic stone lions outside the building

Majestic stone lions outside the building

Another picture of CST which looks equally grand from all directions

Another picture of CST which looks equally grand from all directions

There were lots of shoe polishers like this chap here in the business district

There were lots of shoe polishers like this chap here in the business district

Roadside drink stall

Roadside drink stall

Street hawkers

Street hawkers

Inside Cotton Cottage, the shop where I bought my kurtas

Inside Cotton Cottage, the shop where I bought my kurtas

The two linen kurtas that I bought

The two linen kurtas that I bought

A construction site

A construction site

We were lost...

We were lost…

We then navigated our way to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum) where we spend quite a few hours exploring, taking a crash course on the long history of ancient India. Rachel and I had a nasty encounter with an obnoxious Indian lady here. We had paid for a camera pass and were allowed to take photos in the museum without flash. The rude lady came out of nowhere and warned us sternly to delete all our photos or face a 5000 rupee fine.

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Peeved, Rachel challenged her to show us the 5000 rupee fine warning sign and asked her whether she was a museum staff while I showed her my camera pass.

The lady then sheepishly look away and quickly stormed off with her young daughter in tow. We never found out what her agenda was in chiding us needlessly. It could not have been to cheat money from us as she sounded educated and looked well-to-do from her dressing. It’s likely just pure snobbery.

The exterior of the Prince of Wales Museum

The exterior of the Prince of Wales Museum

A paid camera pass is required to take photos in the museum

A paid camera pass is required to take photos in the museum

Getting our audio guides which were very informative

Getting our audio guides which were very informative

Rachel and I in the museum

Rachel and I in the museum

Rachel at the first stop of the audio tour

Rachel at the first stop of the audio tour

The first floor sculpture gallery

The first floor sculpture gallery

Me beside a random statue

Me beside a random statue

There were many damaged sculptures like this

There were many damaged sculptures like this

Ancient wall carving

Ancient wall carving

Ganesh and other important HIndi gods

Ganesh and other important HIndi gods

A larger statue of Ganesh

A larger statue of Ganesh

I like this set of statues

I like this set of statues

Rachel slowly going through the statues

Rachel slowly going through the statues

Alexandra the Great

Alexandra the Great

Intricate ivory carving

Intricate ivory carving

These are not blood, but paint used in the Holi festival celebration

These are not blood, but paint used in the Holi festival celebration

An old painting

An old painting

Small painting with scriptures

Small painting with scriptures

Some royal carriage

Some royal carriage

Rotund figurine with a baby

Rotund figurine with a baby

At the Chinese gallery

At the Tibetian gallery – Rachel looks peeved as we just met the rude Indian lady

Golden Buddha statue

Golden Buddha statue

Another statue with a rounder physique

Another statue with a rounder physique

Buddha sculptures

Buddha sculptures

Fiercing looking statue

Fiercing looking statue

A small portion of the huge collection belonging to the Tata family

A small portion of the huge collection belonging to the Tata family

More artefacts belonging to the Tata family

More artefacts belonging to the Tata family

Still more Tata family's artefacts collected from around the world

Still more Tata family’s artefacts collected from around the world

Chinese snuff bottles

Chinese snuff bottles

Jeremy examining the snuff bottles in detail

Jeremy examining the snuff bottles in detail

Some oriental exhibit, belonging again to the Tata family

Some oriental exhibit, belonging again to the Tata family

A figurine in the Japanese collection

A figurine in the Japanese collection

Japanese water trolls

Japanese water trolls

Rachel enjoying a quiet moment in the museum, listening to the audio guide

Rachel enjoying a quiet moment in the museum, listening to the audio guide

At the European paintings gallery

At the European paintings gallery

Muscle bodied painting

Muscle bodied painting

A European-styled painting with the genital defaced

A European-styled painting with the genital defaced

Coat of arm

Coat of arm

Mughal swords

Mughal swords

A gallery devoted to Krishna, arguably the most popular Hindi god

A gallery devoted to Krishna, arguably the most popular Hindi god

Krishna was a babe magnet

Krishna was a babe magnet

Krishna and the love of his life

Krishna and the love of his life

A more life-like depiction of Krishna and his lover

A more life-like depiction of Krishna and his lover

The many faces of Krishna

The many faces of Krishna

Cartoon version of Krishna

Cartoon version of Krishna

The new extension - Museum of Natural Science, which we found rather lame as it contains nothing but exhibits of fake or stuffed animals

The new extension – Museum of Natural Science, which we found rather lame as it contains nothing but exhibits of fake or stuffed animals

The inside of a frog

The inside of a frog

Stuffed squirrel

Stuffed squirrel

Rachel and I with a plastic rhino which we could see no purpose of exhibiting

Rachel and I with a plastic rhino which we could see no purpose of exhibiting

Sea creatures section

Sea creatures section

Stuffed bird

Stuffed bird

Horny boy caught in the act, carassing the breast of a female statue

Horny boy caught in the act, carassing the breast of a female statue

One last picture taken in the museum

One last picture taken in the museum

After the museum, we walked to the nearby Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue. The Synagogue was donated by a rich Jewish merchant, David Sassoon, who also donated the library we visited on our first day.

Outside the light blue coloured synagogue

Outside the light blue coloured synagogue

The synagogue interior

The synagogue interior

Muse - an upmarket fashion boutique opposite the synagogue

Muse – an upmarket fashion boutique opposite the synagogue

Recycling, Indian-style

Recycling, Indian-style

We took a cab to Marine Drive, hoping to have dinner at a restaurant by the sea called Saltwater, recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook. Alas, the restaurant had closed down!

At the quiet and empty Marine Drive

At the quiet and empty Marine Drive

Another picture of the sea

Another picture of the sea

We enjoyed the sea breeze for a little while and then took a cab back to the synagogue area where another highly reviewed restaurant, Trishna, was located. If you visit Mumbai, you must dine  at Trishna. The food there was really wonderful. It is located at Birla Mansion, Sai Baba Marg (next to Commerce House), Kala Ghoda, Fort, Colaba.

Trishna restaurant

Trishna restaurant

Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant

We ordered the signature Bombay Duck (it’s actually a type of fish), prawn curry, masala squid, cheese naan, solkadi (a weird pink coloured spicy drink) and salted lime soda.

This dinner will be our best meal through our India trip. The Bombay Duck is highly recommended. It’s a crispy fried fish with tiny edible bones.

This is a Bombay Duck

This is a Bombay Duck

Prawn curry

Prawn curry

Masala squid

Masala squid

Jeremy digging in

Jeremy digging in

Energised, after a satisfying meal at Trishna

Energised, after a satisfying meal at Trishna

After dinner, we headed back to the Colaba Causeway again to check out the 26/11 vigil activities. There were lots of protest and rally groups around. We did not feel we were in any imminent danger as there were lots of armed police and soldiers around. The city has braced itself for any attack on that day.

The news crew we saw in the morning were all still there

The news crew we saw in the morning were all still there

Rachel and I

Rachel and I

There were many tanks and armoured vehicles on the street

There were many tanks and armoured vehicles on the street

Rousing mob who passed by us under heavy security escorts

Rousing mob who passed by us under heavy security escorts

Waving some posters while chanting slogans

Waving some posters while chanting slogans

A lighted poster on 26/11

A lighted poster on 26/11

People lining candles outside the Taj Hotel, to honour the vicitims of 10/11

People lining candles outside the Taj Hotel, to honour the vicitims of 26/11

Lots of people came to lit a candle

Lots of people came to lit a candle

Me in front of the candle vigil

Me in front of the candle vigil

Two of the victims

Two of the victims

More candles

More candles

Lots of security personnel like these milling around

Lots of security personnel like these milling around

26/11 vigil at a nearby church

26/11 vigil at a nearby church

Rachel was craving for something sweet, hence we bought a butterscotch with swirl cone at McDonald. It’s kind of surreal to be eating a McDonald ice cream in front of tanks and marching mobs.

Ordering an ice cream

Ordering an ice cream

Rachel enjoying her ice cream with heavily armed soldiers behind us

Rachel enjoying her ice cream with heavily armed soldiers behind us

We passed by Leopold again. There were some Bollywood stars performing there and a huge crowd had gathered, causing a traffic jam. The three of us rushed in to catch a glimpse, out of curiosity. It was a stupid thing to do as Rachel and I almost got crush in a stampede as one of the Bollywood star, Vivek Oberoi took his leave. The crowd of mostly male young men started pushing inwards while Rachel and I tried to get out, startled by the crazy mob. We had to hold on tight to a lamp post or would have been pushed down and crushed. Jeremy fared better and managed to push his way to the front and snap a picture of the star. After our experience that night, we are now convinced how fanatical Bollywood fans can be.

Jam-packed Leopold due to presence of Bollywood stars

Jam-packed Leopold due to presence of Bollywood stars

The crowd spilled onto the roads, causing a traffic jam

The crowd spilled onto the roads, causing a traffic jam

Rachel and I who obviously do not understand what the fuss was about

Rachel and I who obviously do not understand what the fuss was about

Everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the Bollywood stars

Everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the Bollywood stars

Crowd surging forward as the star takes his leave

Crowd surging forward as the star takes his leave

Jeremy's shot of Vivek Oberoi, the star who among caused a stampede

Jeremy’s shot of Vivek Oberoi, the star who among caused a stampede

Look at all the excited faces - strange thing is, they are all males!

Look at all the excited faces – strange thing is, they are all males!

We then headed back to our hotel to rest, tired after spending the entire day out. Tomorrow, we will be leaving Mumbai and catching an early flight to Delhi. Stay tuned to my next update. 🙂

My previous blog posts on India:

India High! (Rachel’s my paper article)

Day 1 of 14 – Mumbai, Colaba Causeway

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About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

2 Comments

  1. Rachel

    Eh mister, CONDEMN violence la, not “condone”!!!

    Reply
  2. eunice

    all males after this guy?? @_@ u said that bombay duck is monitor lizard?

    Reply

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