Lifestyle

My usual Sunday stroll in contrast-city


Since those who’ve followed me for a while know by now, I’m a sucker for reflecting on things–especially on Sundays. Something I find myself reflecting and thinking about often, is the contrasts of this country. There’s probably no place with bigger contrasts in the world.

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Today when leaving for the gym Saif and I did our usual mind game of taking his car or walking there. It’s just a five-seven minute walk, but walking anywhere here is sometimes too inconvenient and hot than just hopping into the car (I understand it might sound ridiculous, but hey, its truth).

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Most of the time, we do walk there. Today too!

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This is the street where Saif lives. On Sunday’s its especially packed with people coming from all over the city (country) to enjoy the ocean view and whatever else there is to enjoy on Bandstand in Bandra…

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As everywhere in Mumbai, the contrasts between rich and poor, old and new, are everywhere. Here you see some newer apartment buildings in the background…

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…mixed with old homes which probably have been around since the British once roamed around here–living lavishly in what now is more looking like run-down, haunted old mansions.

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The building with the fence on the left is the home of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. His house is just a few buildings away from where Saif lives, and there are ALWAYS hundreds of people hanging around this area, taking photos of the gate and hoping to get a peek of the most famous Bollywood actor of them all…

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…although mostly men, the area brings tourist buses from far every weekend, where they stop outside for a snack and photo-taking.

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A Sunday well spent!

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Before we left the house Saif handed me his blue-and-white shirt to cover my shoulders and arms. Although not required, I always try and somewhat cover myself when I walk around the city. Both out of respect (for some), comfort and a hint of safety.

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When Saif started taking photos of me we built up a curious audience in less than half a minute, with people hoping that MAYBE MAYBE I’d be a celebrity from abroad? Saif snapped these two photos while I was saying something along the lines of “OK never mind, let’s go…”

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A few minutes later we reached Taj Lands End, where Saif was heading for the gym and I was going to get some work done at the lobby cafe…

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Since the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, all hotels, cinemas, malls and other public places have an airline type security set up by the entrance. For everyone to get searched and all bags to get scanned prior to entering. All vehicles are searched at the gate too. Some find it inconvenient–at times like these, I’m honestly happy to go through the process…

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Voila! As you can see, stepping into the gates of the Taj Lands End (or any other five/seven star property in this city for that matter) is like stepping into a different world. From hustling and bustling, to AC and elevator-tunes. What you think of it is a different story. I personally prefer both!

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