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Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 1

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 1 Reply with quote

Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 1


47.1 The Title: In-glorious Explanations Galore

Among all the trip report titles thus far, this would
perhaps rank as the weirdest of the lot.
A weird title simply demands some explanation.
December 2012 was the month, the final one of the Mayan Calendar.
Mumbai.
This was our destination.
Our?
Yes, `MBBS' was a term which a Delhi'ite like me used in my
early years, to indicate `Miyan, Bibi, Baccha Sahit'.
Transliterated from the plain vernacular (Urdu-Hindi), this
stands for `Husband, with The Wife and Junior'.
I was on a trip to Mumbai for a conference,
with The Wife and Junior, (`TW' and `Jr', as usual), in tow.
The rest of the title `Mum-bhai'/`Sum-bhai' is a bad pun on the
Hindi film `Munna-bhai, MBBS', with the runny pun going from the
city Mumbai, to Mum-bhai, and Sum/Sumo-bhai, Sumo being one of my
`official' nicknames. `Sumo' is phonetically close to my first
name `Sumantra', and my friends who christened me so, also
attributed it to my pencil-thin visage, a far cry (a wail?) from
my current elephantine proportions.

This trip report will come in two parts. This is Part I, and can
also be found at the URL:
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13255.html

47.2 Background, deja vu, History Repeating IT-self?

Regulars on this forum would recall that exactly a year
back, I had a memorable trip with TW and Jr to Hubli via Mumbai,
where I had gone ostensibly for a conference, but managed to
spend the time in a far more useful manner, visiting
Banashankari, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole, and of course the Big
Daddy of all, Hampi.

Hampi Hamper, Part I: Banashankari, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12623.html
Hampi Hamper, Part 2: Hampi!
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12661.html

There were many similarities of that trip with this one.
That trip was 14-19 December, 2011.
This trip was 15-19 December, 2012.
In 2011, just after setting foot in Delhi, I had to set out for a
prominent city in South India, Mysore.
In 2012, just after setting foot in Delhi, I had to set out for a
prominent city in South India, Madras. Chennai, of course.
There would be a few hours involved in my transit via Delhi in
2012, where I would catch the Chennai flight early in the morning
after landing in Delhi in the wee hours of the morning.
The 2011 transit did not even see me leave the airport during my
transit.

A lot of planning went in to this trip.

My itinerary was as follows:

Set out 15 Dec (Sat) for Mumbai from New Delhi
AI 865: Air India (A321) [Seat: 10F; PNR: HF0K2]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - CSIA T1-A, Mumbai
New Delhi (DEL) - Mumbai (BOM)
[10:00 am - 12:05 pm]

TW and Jr had the following itinerary:
Set out 15 Dec (Sat) for Mumbai from New Delhi
9W 302: Jet Airways (B737-800) [Seats: 32A, 32B; PNR: BTIGEE, GOVKJP]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - CSIA T1-B, Mumbai
New Delhi (DEL) - Mumbai (BOM)
[09:45 am - 12:05 pm]

deja vu?
Two different flights, leaving and arriving at around the same
time, again? Yes. It was Kingfisher in 2011 for TW and Jr, this
time it was Jet Airways. There were some similarities between the
last trip, and this one. In both cases, I travelled on the onward
leg on Air India, as a good Government servant should.
The duo travelled on award tickets, on this segment.
A prominent difference was that, while we would set out together
from the same terminal at New Delhi, we would arrive at different
terminals at Mumbai. I, at my favourite
Terminal 1-A/Terminal 1-C (coming out from the former),
and TW and Jr, at Terminal 1-B/Terminal 1-C
(coming out from the former).

Jet Airways?
Yes. I had quite a few JetPrivilege points which almost always
expired sooner than I spent them, thanks to their cut-throat
policies regarding lapsing of points. I converted some of my
Payback points to JetPrivilege ones (with the associated
atrocious conversion rate). I topped up both my account, as well
as that of TW, by buying points with an associated `festival
bonus'. I also got the wrong information from the JP call centre,
claiming that the festival discount would apply to a discounted
number of points required for travel, too, in contravention of
what was mentioned on the website. When I actually got down to booking
the tickets, I realised that the instruction of `RTFM' (Read The
Fine Manual) was in fact, quite true. Yes, the rule mentioned on
the website held good. TW had a few points from her round-trip
New Delhi-New Jersey trip, some from a coast-to-coast San
Francisco-New York trip on Delta, and zero from another
coast-to-coast New Jersey-Seattle trip on United. In the latter
case, the booking class did not qualify for points in Jet's
scheme of things, whereas for the DEL-LHR-EWR trip on Virgin
Atlantic, we had to take the case up with the service centre,
after which some points got grudgingly credited to her JP
account. For the return however, it happened automatically, and
relatively quickly. Back to the booking.
A child ticket cannot be booked in isolation.
Neither on the website, and interestingly enough, not through the
call centre/city booking office as well, unlike Kingfisher, and
Air India. I had had a trying experience with the former last
year, as I have detailed in my Hampi trip report. The latter had
suspended website bookings for award tickets for a brief period,
but their city office booking process is quite straightforward.
The only way I could book a child ticket in isolation was through
the call centre, with a telephone transaction with an OTP: a
One-Time Password. I feared the worst, since I use an MTNL cell
phone. As such, I rarely get a proper signal close to my office.
As the wag puts it, MTNL stands for `Mera Telephone Nahin Lagta'.
(My telephone does not get connected, in the chaste vernacular).
MTNL outside Delhi and Mumbai, is the BSNL.
`Bahar Se Nahin Lagta, Bheetar Se Nahin Lagta'
(It does not connect from the outside, does not connect from the
inside). The wag has an even better expansion for Reliance CDMA,
`Cheated by Dhirubhai, Mukesh and Anil'.
There I go again, going off-topic at the slightest instance.
After many a botched up call, on an occasion where I finally was
able to get an OTP, it did not work!
I reported this back to the JP call centre, even they confirmed
that the process occasionally did not work. After a
heart-wrenching process of tries and retires, I was finally able
to get through in two and a half hours.
This would be a birthday present for TW, so I had do this
discretely in my office, rather than use my lung power at home.

47.3 Mumbai, here we come!

This time, we managed to get ready well on time.
The friendly cab driver came in, and we set out for the IGI
airport Terminal 3, via the Terminal 1 tunnel road. After
checking in TW and Jr, we headed off towards the Air India
counters. A quick TW managed to distract Jr, and head towards
Gate 39B, from where their flight 9W 302 would set out for
Mumbai. I went towards our gate 29A. Gate 29B was boarding AI
864, DEL-IXC. The number of passengers travelling from Delhi to
Chandigarh by air, surprised me. The loads looked quite healthy
to justify an A321 on the route. It was PPM, the `concentration'
plane (parts-per-million). Beside her was PPT, the `presentable'
plane. As I was waiting to board, TW texted me that Captain
Shraddha was in command of 9W 302. By the time our boarding was
announced (and that was quite late, we were some half and hour
behind schedule), I saw JGC push back, turn around, wait there
for quite some time, before taxing to runway 11, and take off
into the East. We boarded some time later.

A sea of people entered the plane. The economy cabin was
completely full, while even the Business class saw around 50%
loads. The loads were expected to be heavy. After all, my ride
for the day was to be Pb, the `heavy/leaden/laden' plane, VT-PPB.
This was the second A321 in the Indian Airlines stable, and still
had the nicely patterned wall-paper, though some of the PTVs were
now the newer greyish ones, rather than the older dark blue ones.
The plane was relatively clean inside, though there were some
grime marks on the plastic surfaces, and some of the fabric seat
covers looked a bit tired. The PTVs were all in good working
condition. Captain Gaurav Prathamvir was in command, and Captain
Deepika was the first officer. We pushed back a bit late (the
plane had come in a bit late), and made a long and powerful
takeoff, on runway 09, before turning towards the right somewhere
above the Sanjay Van area.

As is usual on morning flights, I get up early in the morning,
and the lack of sleep results me dozing off. Of course, the
slumber lasts till nice smells permeate the cabin. By the time
the lady on my part of the cabin came to me, there was no choice
as to the the choice of the snack. The snack started with a
brown-and-white `marble bread' cheese sandwich. There was a nice
green coriander chutney to go with it. There was a tomato
sauce/ketchup sachet also, I wondered what it would go with. I
could see an inviting dessert bowl, with a nice firni staring at
me, invitingly. I opened the main box, to the aroma of a
gram-based preparation permeating the environs around me. There
were three small semi-circular pieces of a bread-like North
Indian preparation called a `kulcha'. It was fresh, and went well
with the hot gram pulses preparation. The firni was not as
fabulous as one which I had had quite a few years back on Air
India, but was nice. The flavour was enhanced by a generous
smattering of crushed dry fruits, and a small amount of
sweetness. The beverage run came on a cart, which was slightly
strange sight, since such a service is usually conducted by hand.
Yes, the smells of an ordinary coffee permeated the cabin, and as
the reader would have well anticipated, I went in for it. It was
hot, and strong, though a bit devoid of taste.
That concluded my snack.

The very impressive actor Paresh Rawal was starring in a movie
`Oh My God', which I had missed out on, on my previous trip.
While typing a part of this trip report, I watched the movie with
quite a bit of interest. Captain Prathamvir took us over the sea,
and made a soft landing on runway 09, as we slowed down close to
the spotter's paradise, Jari Mari, slowly turned over the Mithi
river/drain part, past the AI hangars, the current International
terminal, the cargo complex, and then onward, to Terminal 1-A.
Some interesting sights at the International terminal included a
Jet Airways B77W at a gate, and an El Al B763 at a remote stand.
Here is a lovely sight at the cargo complex.



There was a beautiful FedEx A310F parked right behind it.
The remote bays in front of Terminal 1-B had `DE', the `Kraut'
plane, VT-EDE: one of the four new A230s in the Air India fleet.
VT-JGC, TW and Jr's ride for the day, was docked at Terminal 1-C.
TW texted me a possible rendezvous point, as my bags came out
rather quickly. The plane would go onward to Goa, after a short
20 minute halt, as was announced. I avoided a horde of auto
rickshaw and taxi drivers, doing a `said the spider, to the fly',
and rushed over to Terminal 1-B.
A prior SMS conversation between me and a member of this forum
(Shukla-ji) was about how quickly one could do the transit
between the two terminals. 10 minutes, said he.
I was still apprehensive, since he was fit as a fiddle, and I was
a certified wide-body, a Category-F compliant wide-body, that too.
I was able to do the stretch in about 15 minutes, huffing and
puffing in the warm and humid (but quite familiar) weather in
Mumbai. Jr spotted me as I shouted out to them, much to the
surprise of people at the food court. Surprise...why so?
Not just am I voluminous, my voice volume was high, too.

47.4 Comparing Notes, Air India versus Jet Airways

We compared notes.
While Jr often gives me a royal ignore at home (except at matters
concerning outings, where both parents seem to matter quite a
lot), he had been asking about me on the flight, wondering if I
would come to receive them at Mumbai.
There was a precedent to that, as well.
TW and Jr had made a trip to New Jersey in the summer of...not
`69, but `12. After a gruelling trip from New Delhi to New Jersey
via London Heathrow, he had declared on getting out of the
terminal, ``Now Baba will come and pick us up in the Vista car.''
He is as obsessed with Tata products as I am.

The Wife was disappointed at getting an old plane without PTVs.
So was Jr, who explicitly raised this question to a member of the
cabin crew. As soon as the plane reached cruising altitude, TW
requested the cabin crew to have Jr's breakfast served quickly,
so that the meal time could be spread over the better part of the
flight, knowing Jr's penchant for relativistic physics, time
dilation, to be specific. Of course, the associated effects of
Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction of our patience, and lack of mass
increase in Jr, are topics that the reader perhaps already knows
about, from my trip reports. TW was pleasantly surprised by the
service on board Jet, having heard about my bad experiences, and
those of my father. The cabin crew were prompt, nice and
friendly. No, they did not offer meals to little ones on a
priority basis (something which we have enjoyed once on
Kingfisher, and once on... Air India), but were responsive,
overall. What was a revelation was...the food.
TW described it in detail to me, as we were going towards our
accommodation centre (the MTNL Guest House, Hiranandani Gardens,
Powai) in the taxi. Needless to say, I had not been able to
contain my excitement any longer, and had explicitly asked the
question. Let the reader not be delusioned by the words, the
context of course, is food, nothing romantic.
Food of course, is a romantic thought for me.
TW obliged, in detail.
There was a very fluffy omelette, with a tasty chicken cutlet.
There was a bun with a butter sachet.
There was a fruit bowl with musk melon/honey dew melon, papaya,
and pineapple. And tea/coffee, of course.
There was a common response to this nice spread.
Even Jr managed to polish his tray off (albeit taking a good part
of the total hour and forty five minute flight time), with just a
part of the bun remaining, when the trays were cleared.
TW was amazed that an extremely fussy eater as Jr had liked
something so much, that he had eaten quite well. And mind it,
this came after finishing a small packet of potato chips.
They had also come in much before me.

The taxi took us through the SEEPZ route to Powai, and after a
satisfying lunch, I found myself typing a part of this trip,
while TW and Jr slept soundly. Read, `sleep with sound'.
I had ostensibly come to Mumbai for a conference.
In what may sound pre-posterous, the city that I called home for
six years, the city that I got to love and miss so much, was the
one in which we decided to do the tourist circuit. Would there be
places which we had never seen before? After all, I for one, had
roamed about almost every nook and corner of the city, and taken
The Parents, The Brother, The Wife, The Brother-in-law, and The
Sister-in-law to visit most places in the city. Junior too has
been to Mumbai a few times, but not done the tourist circuit,
though. This time, it would be different. Six years had passed
since we had bid a sad farewell to this wonderful city. We
decided to rent a vehicle for the day, and make good our
opportunity to see places which we had not seen before, and
places which would be of interest to Junior, and Green Junior.
Green Junior?
Yes, we would be joined by my good friend Mr. Green.
The reader may remember him from my trip to the Far East the
previous month, a trip which spanned a five part report:

41. F.East'12-1: Inching towards Incheon
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13067.html
42. F.East'12-2: S(e)oulful Korea-graphy
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13085.html
43. F.East'12-3: The Morning Calm, The Rising Sun!
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13108.html
44. F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13135.html
45. F.East'12-5: Sayonara!
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13204.html

And just how did we spend the rest of the day? Soon, I found
myself the only person in the room who had not fallen asleep. Not
quite one to let go of an opportunity to catch up with forty
winks or more, I too let go. I woke up with a start, knowing that
I needed to meet quite a few friends in the city, given that I
had spent six years here. We were finally able to meet up with a
good friend `Leading Light' (Oh, do I not have a fascination for
bad puns on names of people?), and his family, at the Thakur
Complex. We met a good six years after I had left Mumbai,
and shared many an experience. Yes, he is the very person who had
a T-shirt that I had christened as being bullet-proof. It had so
many holes that the probability of a bullet actually piercing a
shred of fabric was close to zero. It was a wonderful re-union,
and we talked into the night, before Jr gave indications that it
would be better if we left for the Guest House in Powai, and took
some much-needed rest. Our Mumbai tour would start the next day
with the Byculla Zoo.

47.5 The Law of the Jungle

The Byculla zoo is housed in the area once owned by the wealthy
Bombay businessman David Sasoon. The Elephanta elephant was to
the left of the entrance to the Byculla zoo or Victoria Gardens,
currently, the Veermata Jijabai Udyan.



The Byculla zoo was a place I had never even had the remotest
urge to visit during my six years in Mumbai, more so given a
colleague's negative recommendation, saying that there was
nothing really worth seeing in the gardens. This was not too far
from the truth. The impressive rock Elephant once adored the
entrance to the very impressive island of Gharapuri, better known
as the Elephanta island, about an hour's cruise from the Gateway
of India. History has it that the British in their effort to take
this beautiful structure away, had a misadventure with a crane,
causing the ornate stone carving to break. The largest piece was
then housed in front of the Victoria and Albert Museum, now
called the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, adjacent to the Byculla zoo.

There is a nice equestrian statue of the then Prince of Wales
close to the entrance, on the inside.



Inside, even Junior and Green Junior got quite bored. There were
some elephants in the distance, and some Rhesus monkeys, Deer,
and the Nilgai. The complex houses a nice statue of Chhatrapati
Shivaji Maharaj in his childhood, with his mother Jijabai.



No, there was not a single big cat in the entire complex.
One of the highlights of our visit to the Byculla zoo was an
incident which the keen eyes of The Wife, noticed. There was a sign
towards an empty Lion enclosure, which said `Singh' in Hindi.
Suddenly, a Sikh gentleman climbed up right beside that sign.
I wish I had been able to click a picture of this unique si(n)ght
before the gentleman jumped off from beside the perch.

What was impressive there, was the aviary, which befitted the
city of India's `bird-man', Dr. Salim Ali. There were many
impressive species on view, the ring-necked crane, egrets, the
Malibu stork, sandpipers, a white peafowl, a toucan bill, pelicans,
and many types of parrots and parakeets including the African grey
parrot. We went past the BMC office (`The Brihanmumbai Nagar
Palika'), the extremely impressive VT, or the CST (Chhatrapati
Shivaji Terminus as it is now officially known as), the
post-office, the Asiatic Society library, all the way to the
Gateway of India, which sadly will never look the same, after the
horrific 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai. The large Aarey milk
products' stall at the entrance is gone, and so is Bade Miyan,
the famous kabab/kebab joint just behind the Taj hotel. Bade Miyan was
famous for its kababs, and had a completely vegetarian section to
the east, and the larger non-vegetarian part, to the west of the
narrow street. From there, we went past the stock exchange, all
the way to the Marine Drive, or the Queen's Necklace.



Above is a view of this lovely place, with the light towers of
the famous Wankhede stadium in Mumbai visible in the distance. I
relived my Mumbaikar days, just soaking myself in the cool
breeze. The Girgaum Chowpatty was up next, better known as simply
`Chowpatty' (literally, `beach' in Marathi), a place which was
extremely filthy and commercialised in the late 1990s and early
2000s, but some cosmetic beautification seems to have been
done, to make it a bit more presentable. I had been to the
Hanging Gardens one with Mummy. I am not sure if this
was originally in the two parts that can be seen now, the first
being the Kamala Nehru park on one side of the road, with its
interesting collection of flowers and plants (and a clock, see below).



The other is the actual Hanging Gardens the erstwhile Pherozeshah
Mehta Gardens), which seem to jut out just over the sea, from one
of the `points', from where one can have a view of the Girgaum
Chowpatty. There is a little bridge there, and a Bonsai garden,
and a `shoe house', which reminded me of the nursery rhyme,
`There was an Old Woman, who lived in a shoe
she had so many children, that she didn't know what to do.
So she gave them some broth, without any bread
and whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed.'
A softer version of the above is more common now, `and kissed
them all softly' taking the place of the macabre whiplash on the
little innocent ones.

47.6 The Urban Jungle

On our way back, The Wife was insistent on seeing the homes of
the famous people in this area on the city. While I had a casual
interest in the same, the sheer number of people who turned up
outside the houses of the famous, had to be seen to be believed.
We went past Pedder road, where the melody queens Lata and Asha
reside. Next up was Antilla, business tycoon Mukesh Ambani's
grand tower.



We were eager to experience the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, which was
exactly as impressive as I had thought it would be. We had gone
there past the impressive Haji Ali Dargah, the Nehru Science
Museum and Planetarium (we would visit the former the next day),
and the Worli sea face, with its lovely breeze.

We also drove in front of film star Shah Rukh Khan's residence,
`Mannat':



We also drove by the apartment where film star Salman Khan lives
on the first floor.



We went past film star Amitabh Bachhan's residence `Jalsa'
(my initial post had wrongly mentioned `Ashirvad', thanks to aviation
photographer Yatrik Seth, for correcting me)
too, and ended up at Mumbai's most famous beach, Juhu. After
witnessing a few take-offs over the sea, we headed back. I was
hungry, and Junior was getting a bit irritable. The Juhu beach
now has a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:



The next day would have much more in store for us.
(To be continued as Part 2).
---
Links to my 47 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/


Last edited by sumantra on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Theairplaneguy4ever
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Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 191
Location: Kochi, Kerala, India

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR, sir!

Your witty descriptions get me all the time.

Looks like you had a long JetHassle while booking, if I may say! At least the call center was helpful in sorting it out!

The DEL-BOM sector of course, being the busiest internal route in India, gets full loads most of the time!

And the food! Seems to have been a great meal on this short flight. Your descriptions have created the perfect atmosphere again and I almost felt as if I was in the cabin there eating with you!

May I ask what type of drinks they served? The usual tea/coffee I suppose..

It's great that the IFE was working, seems like the selection is up to date as well.

And finally, it's great that your family enjoys flying as much as you do! Flying really is a magical experience in my opinion.

But, honestly, seems like the Jet's meal was better than AI's, but then again, I guess you couldn't sample the second choice for AI.

Epic TR once again and I look forward to part 2.

Meanwhile, let me go get something to eat, I'm starving after reading your meal description!

Cheers!

Theairplaneguy4ever
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
But, honestly, seems like the Jet's meal was better than AI's
Jet's meal was a breakfast, whereas AI's was a snack - and Jet's was much better than the AI offering, for a change. Yes, the beverage was the usual tea/plain-Jane instant coffee for both AI and 9W. Thanks a lot for going through this TR - I was really apprehensive about putting it up a few hours after yet another masterpiece from you. After all, who looks for the lamp when the sun is out?
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Theairplaneguy4ever
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Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 191
Location: Kochi, Kerala, India

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
But, honestly, seems like the Jet's meal was better than AI's
Jet's meal was a breakfast, whereas AI's was a snack - and Jet's was much better than the AI offering, for a change. Yes, the beverage was the usual tea/plain-Jane instant coffee for both AI and 9W. Thanks a lot for going through this TR - I was really apprehensive about putting it up a few hours after yet another masterpiece from you. After all, who looks for the lamp when the sun is out?
Cheers, Sumantra.


Come on now, sir! Everyone loves your TRs and I love the personal touch you include to it. I am just a newbie around here who is just trying out something new and can't really be compared to your finesse.
But, please don't hesitate to put up any TR that you have completed no matter who puts up something else. I of course, don't really have the right to say that here. But, I do believe the more the merrier and so, I do hope we get to see more epic TRs from you more often.

I also hear a business class TR is coming up and I very much look forward to that one! Very Happy

Cheers

Theairplaneguy4ever
_________________
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Last edited by Theairplaneguy4ever on Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
I also here a business class TR is coming up and I very much look forward to that one!
Thanks, Sir - so do we!
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Theairplaneguy4ever
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
I also here a business class TR is coming up and I very much look forward to that one!
Thanks, Sir - so do we!


Oh dear, I think I've messed that up for you.

I meant, I was looking forward to your business class TR, that you mentioned. I think it will be a treat coming from you.

I should just stop now, I've already made too many posts!

Cheers

Theairplaneguy4ever
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those Mumbai statues look gorgeous, possibly built during the British Raj. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice TR Sumantra - thanks for posting! I'm glad your family agrees to travel on their own - mine would have kicked up a fuss (though eventually would have happily traveled on their own) Smile.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
I meant, I was looking forward to your business class TR, that you mentioned.
Ah Sir, it is very kind of you to remember that! I will follow the MBBS Part 2 with
49. Silver (Edge) Lining to Dream, Meaning Business, Dec'12
I have actually taken a picture of the meal on this flight, and for this and a few other trip reports to follow (including the two MBBS parts), I have put in scans of the positives (I am too lazy to search for the negatives) of the prints from my Analog SLR - this may be quite apparent.
sabya99 wrote:
Those Mumbai statues look gorgeous, possibly built during the British Raj
Dr. Ganguly, I'm sure you meant just the Prince of Wales one, since the Elephanta statue was broken during the British Raj, the nice Jijabai-Shivaji Maharaj statues came up possibly during the Thackeray Raj (I mean, not Raj Thackeray, or the British Thackeray) Razz The British were quite good with statues, and we have a lot of them in India.
Thanks a lot for going through my report, Sir!
Nimish wrote:
...though eventually would have happily traveled on their own...
Ha ha Nimish, I think you hit the nail on the head here (my head, unfortunately Smile) Thank you!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR Sir !

I liked the desc of food on 9W flight and the regular funny way of writing TR.

The images of BOM got back my memories as well of a city which I left last year.

I have been planning a weekend trip to Mumbai just to enjoy the monsoons, Hopefully sometime some.

The Singh story is amazing ! Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
The images of BOM got back my memories as well of a city which I left last year.
Thanks a lot for the kind words, Sir! Mumbai has been my favourite city - surprising for a hard-core Delhi'ite like me, who was once a Mumbaikar. This is one city which I really miss.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a statue of Shivaji under every tree and over every latrine in the city.

Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer trees, and even fewer working latrines.

Mumbai hangs on to any pretense of greatness only because of its people.

The wretched politicians who repeatedly rape the city are a disgrace. If I had my way, I'd stuff them all into the wheel well of a transcontinental aircraft and let gravity do its thing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaysit wrote:
Mumbai hangs on to any pretense of greatness only because of its people.
Spot-on Sanjay, but also consider the infrastructure, which is but better than most other Indian cities. Delhi may look good from the outside, but one heavy downpour, and all hell breaks loose, for instance. The sheer efficiency in Mumbai is fantastic - the city goes according to the minute hand of the clock, which in part is due to the people of Mumbai. If there were any super-efficient city in any developing country, it would be Mumbai.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 1 Reply with quote

Nice TR Sir !
Always a pleasure reading your TRs..


sumantra wrote:

We went past film star Amitabh Bachhan's residence `Ashirvad'
too,


'Ashirvad' is Rajesh Khanna's residence on Carter Road, Bandra..

Amitabh Bachhan's residence are 'Jalsa' & 'Prateeksha'
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 1 Reply with quote

yatrik wrote:
Amitabh Bachhan's residence are 'Jalsa' & 'Prateeksha'
It is an honour to have ace lensman Yatrik Seth reading my reports. I apologise for the glaring mistake, above - what we saw was indeed `Jalsa' (not his other two) - I have made the correction, and credited it to you, Sir. Thank you!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having breakfast while reading a Sumantra written TR. what more do we need?!
Aviation fanatics in school nickname me 'Widebody'. I cannot ask for anything better!

Wow, you seem to have some really tough luck with Jet Airways! Well, atleast it was done and dusted, everything going off well in the end!
I liked those full forms of MTNL, BSNL, CDMA, etc.!

And as usual, spectacular descriptions of the aircraft, and the food. Were you seated towards the back of the Airbus? Is that why you didn't get your preferred choice?

Rwy09 arrival. A long taxi back, I guess?

Talk about high volumes. People have almost stopped telling me jokes because I laugh too noisily!

Haha you have an amazing son, really!

Crew standards on Jet are quite good actually, its only once (maybe twice) that I have seen a very talked-about-on-this-forum crew. And how, that food seems to be the Jet of 2007! That is quite good to read! Well, old aircraft or new, TVs aren't operated on domestic routes.

There is so much of Mumbai which I desperately need to see, as you have mentioned here. The zoo, to be honest, is quite depressing. Especially when I used to read the articles of people pointing those red laser beams into the eyes of the big cats. Why are we so cruel!
Wow, those descriptions, names, pictures, etc, really makes me want to speed up times to two weeks now. Just 2 weeks before the 787, just 2 weeks before Delhi T3, just 2 weeks before: Mumbai Smile

Looking forward to the next part of this glorious Mumbai trip!

Regards
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Sir, for going through my report in detail!
jbalonso777 wrote:
Wow, you seem to have some really tough luck with Jet Airways! Well, atleast it was done and dusted, everything going off well in the end!
Yes, I guess I have had my share of bad experiences, but yes, it went off well at the end, and as I have emphasised, the breakfast on 9W was better than the snack on AI.

jbalonso777 wrote:
Were you seated towards the back of the Airbus? Is that why you didn't get your preferred choice?
Unfortunately not - I usually prefer seating somewhere towards the front. In this case, it was 10F. AI has unfortunately going the `safe' way, a non-vegetarian will take a veg meal, even if he/she may be a bit disappointed. I think the cost-cutting plays a role here, though in many cases, there is not much of a cost differences between the two.

jbalonso777 wrote:
Rwy09 arrival. A long taxi back, I guess?
Yes, loved it Smile

jbalonso777 wrote:
...makes me want to speed up times to two weeks now. Just 2 weeks before the 787, just 2 weeks before Delhi T3, just 2 weeks before: Mumbai Smile
We look forward to a wonderful trip report, as usual, from you!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sumantra for posting the report.

I liked the tourist circuit that you did as that reminded me about our school outings to the Zoo, Hanging Gardens. Having lived in Bombay for close to 30 years to be honest there is nothing that this city has to offer for a tourist. Whatever is left is either all dilapidated or very pale to what other international destinations have to offer. During my school days we were taken to the Nehru Science Centre, Taraporewala aquarium not sure in what state these are now, but you can consider taking your son to these places as well.

The part I like about Bombay is the stretch from VT station to Kala Ghoda, as well as the stretch from Marine Drive to Colaba where one can see a lot of history in terms of architecture behind the design of the Gothic buildings. Some of these building also have lifts/elevators dating back to the early 1900 when they were manufacture in England. The sad part is most places of important significance has been renamed after one historical individual there by erasing a significant part of history.

Railway stations like Marine Lines, Cotton Green, Elphistone Road has a lot of history behind it. Wish we had a forward thinking tourist bureau who can do tourist walks to explain such hidden significance.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
Having lived in Bombay for close to 30 years to be honest there is nothing that this city has to offer for a tourist.
Thanks, Srinivas - I have lived in the city for only 6 years (compared to your 30!), and somehow, I have felt the same about the tourist circuit.

sri_bom wrote:
Nehru Science Centre, Taraporewala aquarium not sure in what state these are now, but you can consider taking your son to these places as well.
What a coincidence - I did these places, and the report on this follows in Part 2:
48. Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 2
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13264.html

sri_bom wrote:
The part I like about Bombay is the stretch from VT station to Kala Ghoda, as well as the stretch from Marine Drive to Colaba where one can see a lot of history in terms of architecture behind the design of the Gothic buildings.
Oh Srinivas, you make me nostalgic. I used to enjoy walking along the places you have mentioned above just to soak in the atmosphere, in spite of the torrid humidity all around. On the former route, the Strand book shop and Rhythm house used to be some favourite haunts, in the early 2000s. Sadly, the latter underwent a sea change in late 2004 or so, which meant that my visits to the place reduced in frequency.

sri_bom wrote:
Railway stations like Marine Lines, Cotton Green, Elphistone Road has a lot of history behind it.
Srinivas, of the three, I have seen only the last one - that too, since I never transferred `between the lines' at Dadar - I did it at Parel-Elphinstone road. I will be really grateful if you, as a long-time Mumbaikar, could educate us on the history of these places!
Thanks once again, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
sri_bom wrote:
Railway stations like Marine Lines, Cotton Green, Elphistone Road has a lot of history behind it.
Srinivas, of the three, I have seen only the last one - that too, since I never transferred `between the lines' at Dadar - I did it at Parel-Elphinstone road. I will be really grateful if you, as a long-time Mumbaikar, could educate us on the history of these places!
Thanks once again, Sumantra.


Being in Mumbai for 4 years, I forgot to ask this question.
Now, it suddenly popped in my head.
'Sion' in English.
'Sion' in Hindi.
'Shiv' in Marathi.

Reasons? Confused

Regards
Jish
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
`Sion' in English. 'Sion' in Hindi.'Shiv' in Marathi
I think this is just the old Marathi name for the place, which is `shIv' instead of `shiv'. This is one low-lying area in Mumbai. If the Mumbai locals stop for a maximum of one day in a year, it is due to water-logging at this low-lying area, for which frankly, little can be done because it is so low-lying.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was told by one agent, who was showing me properties around Sion, that the name Shiv comes from the fort around there, which is known as Shiv cha killa, which is fort of Shiv (believed to be shivaji)

However, on some digging I found out, that it was more to do with language, the name formed "Shiv" meaning "veshi" meaning boundary is a predominantly Konkani word to demarcate the boundary / end of an area.

In early days, Sion was the end point of the island city, the farthest end. Even in my childhood I remember, how the Pramukhswami eye hospital at Sion made me feel that I am leaving Mumbai and the settlement of chembur looked like a suburb, with Vashi hardly existant, apart from the vashi plaza where the busses waited.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an excellent analysis, Ameya - thank you for this great perspective.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
Quote:
sri_bom wrote:
Railway stations like Marine Lines, Cotton Green, Elphistone Road has a lot of history behind it.
Srinivas, of the three, I have seen only the last one - that too, since I never transferred `between the lines' at Dadar - I did it at Parel-Elphinstone road. I will be really grateful if you, as a long-time Mumbaikar, could educate us on the history of these places!
Thanks once again, Sumantra.


Being in Mumbai for 4 years, I forgot to ask this question.
Now, it suddenly popped in my head.
'Sion' in English.
'Sion' in Hindi.
'Shiv' in Marathi.

Reasons? Confused

Regards
Jish


Marine Lines name is derived from the Marine Battalion Lines, a military establishment built by the British in the 1800s.[

As for cotton green a lot of cotton trading activity used to happen around the area and the city’s first cotton exchange building was also set up opposite the railway station.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice history, Srinivas!
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