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Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 2

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:32 am    Post subject: Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 2 Reply with quote

Dec'12: Mumbai. Mum-bhai/Sum-bhai, MBBS. Part 2


URL:
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13264.html

As I wrote in the first part of this trip report
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13255.html
this would probably rank as one of the weirdest titles of trip
reports ever, on this forum. I had also tried to explain my point
of view, and put some rationale behind my choice of words, but
even the choicest ration of words cannot perhaps justify this.
As satirist Anand Ramachandran says,
`Form is temporary, but lack of class, is permanent.'

48.1 Building a Scientific Temper

Our first stop was the extremely impressive Nehru Science Centre
at Worli. Our tight schedule would preclude a visit to the Nehru
Planetarium, but I was anxious that Junior not miss this place
(the former), at least. Both he and Green Junior enjoyed the
place thoroughly. (My friend from Jodhpur Mr. Green, was also
there with his family, and just like me, ostensibly for the
conference.) There were two nicely restored vintage buses
parked outside the building, which has a replica of the Konark
wheel. It is not an easy job to design, execute and maintain such
a large collection of working exhibits, which depict many aspects
of science, primarily physics and biology, with a bit of
chemistry also thrown in. The dinosaurs exhibit was something new
for me. Of India's science museums, I have been enthralled by all
four of the prominent ones: the Visvesvaraya technological
museum at Bengaluru, the Birla museum at Pilani, the Science City
at Calcutta, and the Nehru Science Centre at Mumbai. I had been
here with Mummy in 2002, and enjoyed it immensely.

48.2 Something Fishy

Our next stop was the Taraporewala Aquarium. I had visited this
place in 2002, was was far from excited about it, but tagged
along with The Wife and Junior, just for visiting an aquarium in
India. This is an old-school aquarium, and looks to be in a
completely different century, altogether. However, the collection
was not that unimpressive, and all of us enjoyed ourselves here.

48.3 The Police Memorial

On the way back to our vehicle beside the Police Gymkhana, we stopped
by to pay homage to the brave martyrs of the Mumbai terrorist
attack, at the Police Memorial.



The poignant words of the plaque beside the memorial brought back
scary images of what the brave policemen Hemant Karkare, Vijay
Salaskar, Ashok Kamte and others had gone through, and laid down
their lives that fateful day.





This reminded me of the poignant quotation on the Kohima Epitaph,
which honoured the fallen soldiers of the Allied forces
(ironically, among those fighting them were brave soldiers of
Netaji's Indian National army),
``When you go home
tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow
we gave our today''
a quotation attributed to J. M. Edmonds.

Behind the Police Gymkhana is the western line, and has local
trains running to and fro, on the dot.
Mumbai's disciplined efficiency has always amazed me.
The entire city goes according to the minute hand of the clock.
The spirit of the people, and their commitment is just amazing.
As the economic capital of a developing country, the city has its
own share of troubles, and dark side, but overall,
the city has a superb infrastructure, much better than
most other Indian cities, and many others in the world, too.
If there were any super-efficient city in a developing country,
it would be Mumbai. Delhi may look good from the outside, but
if there is one heavy downpour for instance, all hell breaks loose.
Mumbai gets about four months of torrential rains.
Yet before the monsoon skies open up, every traffic light is
checked, and all related infrastructure maintenance is done well.
If something goes wrong, emergency repairs are swift, and effective.

I think a comparison of New Orleans in the developed world,
with Mumbai in a developing country, would be quite apt.
The scale is different and no two disasters are quite the same,
but the comparison of the infrastructure
and the amazing will of the people, is stark.
2005. Hurricane Katrina was scheduled to hit the former - it came
with a lot of advance warning - it was anticipated.
Mid-2005, the sudden cloudburst over Mumbai was completely unexpected.
Nowhere is evacuation easy, but perhaps much easier in a
developed country, than otherwise.
Mumbai went without essential services for two days,
for New Orleans, it took months. Within two days, services in
India's super-efficient city were getting back to normal.
The airport had resumed services. (They had even tried this on
the day of the cloudburst, but stopped after an Air India B744
had aqua-planed.) There was looting and many incidents of
lawlessness at New Orleans. In Mumbai, people of all creeds and
religions got together to help complete strangers in need, with
food, shelter, and all types of help possible. Every time there is
an untoward incident in Mumbai, the speed with which people help
restore normalcy, and help each other in times of need,
is just exemplary.

48.4 Cave-Men and Women!

Our itinerary for the third day would include a trip to the
Kanheri caves, a set of Buddhist caves tucked up neatly in the
Sanjay Gandhi National Forest area, earlier (and still,
popularly) known as the Borivli National Park.
It is sometimes quite hard to believe that such a lovely set of
Buddhist caves exists right next to the hustle and bustle of
India's economic capital, albeit tucked away close to a quiet
suburb of Mumbai, Powai.



There was an interesting tree, which made a nice picture.



Our guide raved about a mechanical washing machine of the era,
which turned out to be a set of carefully carved washing troughs,
built on an inclined plane.



Yes, we saw a few colour paintings as well. These were a far cry
from those of Ajanta/Ajintha, and some at Ellora/Verul, but they
were very impressive, nevertheless.



Here is a picture of the entrance to the complex, the first view
that a tourist gets, on entering this complex. The entrance is
also the point of exit, and trust me to take a picture then,
rather than at the beginning.



48.5 A Roaring Conclusion to the Mumbai Sightseeing

Close to the Kanheri caves was a toy train ride, which none of us
wanted to miss. From there, we went for a lion and tiger safari.
The Gir Lion is a slight to behold!



I have always been interested in the different types of big cats
around, with a special interest in lions and tigers. India is
home to the Asiatic lion, other variants of which are the African
lion (which in itself is not one, but composed of quite a few
sub-species). While there are these biological breeds, I have
been enamoured of some colourations, such as the very rare
White lion, with a pale pelt and the `black lion', one with a
slightly darker mane. I had no idea about the above ones, before
the Internet age.

The two types of Indian tigers were on view, the white tiger, as
well as the more common Royal Bengal tiger, which I caught at a
rather opportune moment, being reflected in the afternoon sun, in
the pool below.



Tiger, Tiger burning bright...
India is home to the Royal Bengal tiger, and the rarer white
tiger. Now, biology says that species-wise, these are not
different, and that the white tiger is not even a
sub-species of the Royal Bengal tiger. From what I have read, the
species of the tiger in addition to the majestic Royal Bengal
tiger that most of us are familiar with in India, include the
larger Siberian tiger, the now extinct large Caspian tiger, the
Indochina tiger (the story of a prince sighting a `lion' - a
`singha'/`simha' giving rise to the name `Singapore', probably
referred to such a tiger, which has been present in Thailand and
Malaysia), the South China tiger and some smaller and brighter
coloured variants in the islands of south east Asia, the Balinese
tiger (now extinct), the Javan tiger (possibly extinct now), and
the rare Sumatran tiger (there are some welcome surprising camera
feeds of Sumatran tigers in the wild, available on YouTube). The
advent of the Internet was a blessing to enthusiasts like me - I
would not have known about the South China tiger or the Caspian
tiger, for instance. I had known about the demand for tiger parts
in `traditional' Chinese medicine, but had no idea that this was
a separate sub-species. I knew about specific tiger species from
the islands of Indonesia, I had seen pictures of tigers being
raised by monks in Thailand (but not known them to be a separate
sub-species), and do not know enough to differentiate between any
of the types above, possibly with the exception of the Siberian
tiger, which is much larger, and does not have as bright a colour
contrast as the Royal Bengal tiger. The Indonesian island
variants have even more intense colouration, and all varieties
have important characteristics, which I am completely unaware of.

I have been enamoured of some colouration variants in tigers,
most of which are forms of the Royal Bengal tiger itself.
White tigers, the best known variants, first.
This variant is due to a recessive gene. There is some
controversy as to whether all white tigers descended from a
genetic mutation on a male tiger `Mohan', caught at Rewa in 1961
in a rather painful and clumsily-executed operation, who was bred
with many including its own offspring, to create a large pool of
these genetic `freaks'. Many historical documents report
sightings of white tigers in the wild much before Mohan was
caught sight of, and subsequently, caught and placed in
captivity. All white tigers in captivity however, are said to
trace their ancestry to Mohan. For those interested, the larger
Siberian tiger does not have a `white' counterpart, as do all
other variants of the big cat, a genetic mutation peculiar only
to the Royal Bengal tiger. The White tiger is different from an
albino, which would have a pinkish (or even bluish) colouration
in the eyes. An interesting variant is the `strawberry' or the
tabby tiger, examples of which are perhaps only present in
captivity. This brownish or golden colouration is supposed to be
due to a different recessive gene. There is an interesting
`ghost tiger', one which is otherwise a White tiger, but with
very light colouration in terms of stripes. The Internet has
pictures of a collector in the US, with these three freaks of
nature: a ghost tiger, a White tiger, a tabby tiger, and a normal
one, siting side-by-side. I have been interested in newspaper
reports on `black tigers'. There is photographic evidence of a
`black tiger', one with a predominance of the black colour on its
pelt, which is otherwise like a Royal Bengal tiger. Such a
variant has been observed in Orissa, around the Simlipal tiger
reserve. Some documents report a mythical `blue' or Maltese
tiger, whose proof of existence is highly debatable, but possibly
can be attributed to reports of some South China tigers having a
greyish colouration (`maltese' as in maltese cats), and not
actually being blue in colour. Again, my interest in different
coloured variants had come about from observing albino animals
and birds, wondering why white tigers were not albinos, and I
had read newspaper reports on the `black' tiger. I could not have
known about the tabby tiger or the ghost tiger, had it not been
for the Internet. I do not remember the exact sources, since I
seem to have made notes on them some time back.

48.6 A B77W Flight for the Family!

From the big felines, let me come back to reality.
The Green family went back to take some rest, while we hurried
back to finish our packing, and head off towards the airport. We
had a flight to catch in the evening, but this was something I
had promised The Wife and Junior for a long time,
a ride aboard the Air India B777!

Admist a sea of construction, we sped towards the crowded
Terminal 2 of Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
(CSIA). We got down at the less-crowded Gate A instead of Gate B,
where the Air India counters were located. The CSIF guard looked
at our tickets, and told us that AI 101 had a domestic BOM-DEL
leg, and that some passengers often made the mistake of going to
the domestic terminal for this flight. This was interesting! He
directed us to the part close to Gate B, from the inside. The
display screen in front of us said counters 68 and 69, which we
found indeed where the guard Mr. Patil had suggested they would be.
There was a sea of humanity at the immigration counters close to Gate A.

Our return trip itinerary was as follows:

Set out 19 Dec (Wed) for New Delhi from Mumbai
AI 101: Air India (B77W) [Seats: 43A, 43B, 43C; PNR: YLYM6, YLYM6, YWJND]
CSIA T2, Mumbai - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Mumbai (BOM) - New Delhi (DEL)

I asked the check-in agent a bit apprehensively, as to whether
the flight would indeed be operated by a B77W. He smiled, and
replied in the affirmative. Our pre-assigned seats were also in
place. We were handed over boarding passes with a `D' printed on
them, indicating a domestic leg of an international flight. We
were also given a customs document, which had to be filled by a
family unit. We were whisked past a serpentine line, and seeing
Jr in his stroller, an officer directed us to an elevator,
to a less crowded ground level. This was a nice gesture.
A slight digression - Jr has long outgrown strollers, but we take
it along almost always, lest he suddenly get into one of his
uncooperative moods, and simply refuse to walk, or come along. We
were permitted to have the stroller with us, and were told that
we could hand it over at the boarding door of the aircraft, and
that we could collect it from the baggage belt on arrival at Delhi.

We roamed all around the current CSIA T2, and were much
disappointed with the fact that in spite of the immense
renovations, there were no good spotting points from where one
could view the movement on the tarmac. We wandered around most
shops there, with The Wife indulging in some excited
window-shopping, before finding out that we were not eligible to
the duty-free selections, since we were domestic travellers,
indulging in something like an international experience, but only
quite so! I sat down to work, after lo(u)ngingly looking into the
Air India Maharaja lounge, where one look at the lady seated at the
entrance, suggested perhaps why the term `lounge dragon' was coined,
in the first place.

As we went towards our assigned gate (2B), I noted `Madhya
Pradesh' standing at the adjacent gate, en route to Ahmedabad as
AI 144, from New Jersey. I was waiting with bated breath to find
out which plane we would get. I did not get to see our plane
until we started the actual boarding. Boarding was announced an
hour in advance, at 08:30 pm, for a 09:30 pm flight. I found an
old friend, VT-ALO `Karnataka'. I had flown `Karnataka' on my
2011 Beijing trip. I had been on `Karnataka' on 15 Sep (Thu)
2011, DEL-HKG on AI 310, en route to Beijing (PEK) via HKG. TW
wondered why this is important to me, how it matters, if at all.
On the Air India 777-300ERs (`77Ws'), I like row 42 when I am
alone, since this is a two seat row on the sides, not on the exit
row (hence I get some stowage space for my analog SLR camera and
my laptop), and have a window view un-occluded by the huge wing.
The proximity to the input and output facilitators (which are
themselves a bit close to each other) namely, the galley and the
lavatories, is an added advantage. This time, I chose row 43 to
be close-by, but had not thought about the disadvantage of not
having a back-seat PTV (43C and 43H for instance, have foldable
PTVs, and no in-seat power). The missing power aside, the
foldable PTVs would have to be stowed for take-off and landing,
which was not much of an issue, since Air India has a policy of
not starting the IFE unless one is at cruising altitude, which
they seem to follow on most occasions. This makes perfect sense,
as a passenger will not be distracted by a PTV programme, in case
it is necessary for a passenger to pay attention to the goings-on outside.

48.7 Food for Thought

Captain S. S. Randhawa was in command, and Ms. D'sa was the cabin
superintendent. We took off from runway 27.
`Vegetarian, or Non-vegetarian?' asked a pleasant voice.
I woke up with a start, and looked up to see the row in front of
us being asked their culinary choices. I woke up TW hurridly, who
after my repeated descriptions of Air India food, was also
looking forward to the moment. Jr was up, and was doing some
random doodling on the Air India magazine.

There was a very fresh long bun, with an Amul butter chiplet.
The butter chiplet was served on top of the hot meal box, for
obvious reasons. For equally obvious reasons, I quickly shifted
it from its perch, and placed it on the tray. In my scheme of
things, butter tastes best when it is rock solid. Not much damage
had been done, and I devoured the bun in no time at all. TW and
I, much to our surprise, noted Jr nibbling at the bun,
with his favourite butter.
One swallow does not a summer make.
One swallow does not a dinner make, either.
It was a false start. As I finished the Indian green salad: two
slices each of tomato and serrated cucumber, with a piece of
green chilly, served on a bed of lettuce, with a lime slice
beside it. It was nice and fresh, but it would be hard to go
wrong with Indian green salad, right?
The main course had an aromatic long-grained steamed Basmati rice
(I request the reader to forgive my use of too many adjectives,
but I am often rendered helpless, by the presence of good food in
my vicinity) in the centre, whose aroma was beautifully
complemented by the presence of two halves of a lightly fried
cashew nut kernel, with a similarly done raisin at the centre,
much like the Doordarshan symbol, or the somewhat unceremoniously
referred-to `Pepsi-style' of the Korean Air symbol.
There were two curries to the left, and the right, flanking this
visual and gastronomic treat. I had reserved a bit of the pepper
powder and lime slice, to go with the rice and the curries.
The curries looked a bit oily as compared to the usual Air India
light-on-oil recipes, but were a delight for the senses,
especially that of the taste.

To the left was a cauliflower-and-peas based curry (in a
cream-based gravy, accounting for a bit of the oily visage). The
cauliflower was done perfectly: neither was it soft and soggy,
nor did it taste a bit crunchy or raw. There is a fine dividing
line between the two, and Air India catering does this tightrope
walk with great dexterity. To the right was a very tasty chicken
curry (`malai chicken curry'), done in a cream-based gravy, but
this one had lightly fried shredded onions and tomato, giving it
a different taste, altogether. TW had attempted to get Jr
interested in these culinary masterpieces, but the cartoons on
the PTVs (Tom and Jerry, precisely) ended up being such a hit
with Jr, that he decided to forego food almost altogether,
watching the programme with great delight. In spite of quite a
bit of persuasion, the extent of Jr's intent did not change
appreciatively, and I found his main meal tray plonked right in
front of me. Even though TW was stressed out, and made her intent
clear, she took a few helpings from this tasty treat herself,
too. Of course, after doing justice to her share. By now, the
beverage service had started, and both of us looked forward to
some good coffee. The expectations were far greater than the
product, though...it was the usual bland instant coffee, and I
noticed TW putting forth a request for some more, which was
happily catered to, quite quickly. The dessert was the
masterpiece I often look forward to...the Air India firni! This
Kashmiri sweet is something that is usually done to perfection by
most Air India catering agencies.

No, I missed the usual strand of saffron on the top, but the
embellishment of chopped pistachio nuts and almonds on top, and
the incredible consistency of the magical offering below, was
simply amazing. It was a pity that TW had to rush through this,
as Jr did partake of a bit of this. He strategically realised
that with seat belts around both his waist and TW's, the latter
would not be able to reach him or his mouth with the usual
practiced ease. The latter would not coax him too much either,
lest he spread the goodness all around, or create a scene, or a
mess. The trays were cleared promptly, and both TW and I drifted
in and out of sleep, as Jr sat watching episodes of Tom and
Jerry, with great interest. The silence in the cabin and mood
lighting made Jr fall asleep quickly, though. A member of the
cabin crew came around, and handed us an Air India signature
pearly white blanket, and Jr sure did not mind the extra comfort.
This was a nice touch!

The touchdown was equally incredible...Captain Randhawa landed
the huge plane like a feather on the main runway 28 (Jr was
seated on the window seat, else either TW or I would have loved to
watch the landing). It was just incredible, we hardly felt
anything.

Soon after exiting the aero-bridge, with a sleeping Jr on the
stroller (and most bags all around my person), we encountered
Captain Randhawa waiting for a colleague. I went up to him, and
asked, `Captain Randhawa?'. He gave me a soft quizzical smile,
and I complemented him on the incredibly soft landing, proof of
which was on the stroller, with Jr blissfully unaware of any
of the goings-on outside. Captain Randhawa asked me if we were
heading over to JFK. I told him that we had wanted to experience
a domestic 777 ride, in which the Captain possibly gauged the
enthusiasm of an aviation enthusiast, and smiled in appreciation.

The bags came out on belt no. 7 quite quickly, and we rushed out
to our friendly waiting cab driver, who took us home, in the 11
degree Celcius temperature outside. Both the cab driver and I,
would have about two hours of sleep in all (he, a bit more), as I
had a Chennai trip after a few hours, which included a possible
date with the Dream)liner. Needless to say, I had requested him to
drop me at the airport. Jr had his school the next day, and both
TW and I were happy to see him getting some much needed rest.
Would I finally make it on the Dream)liner, after months and
months of waiting for an opportunity to do so,
and one miss on this very flight, AI 439?
I request the reader to stay tuned to find out,
the next one will describe the December Chennai trip.
---
Links to my 48 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/


Last edited by sumantra on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ameya
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Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR Sir.

The washing machine looks like a semi automatic one, since it has two tubs  Very Happy

I have heard this T2 departures from you quite a few times, however I keep wondering how AI manages this.

If I am told the dep is from T2 in BOM, which means additional travel time on ground, I would rather opt for a flight from T1. Infact, if you are coming from town side, I bet on traffic days, you can take a flight from T1 an hour earlier.

Looks like you like short taxi times and long taxi rides - which you would get at T2 and I would prefer a shorter taxi ride and long taxi times which I would get from T1. (Sorry for the pathetic pun)
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Sir!
ameya wrote:
The washing machine looks like a semi automatic one, since it has two tubs
Ha ha, nice one!

ameya wrote:
I have heard this T2 departures from you quite a few times, however I keep wondering how AI manages this.
Yes, there is the logistics part to it - Sahar is a bit far from many points (except the Powai side!), and the traffic snarls take time to traverse. I do not like Sahar in its current incarnation (post-renovation) since there is hardly any visibility outside (and no power-ports, either), and would avoid it unless I want to have a wide-body experience on Air India. In the latter case, all the above points are not relevant Smile I usually choose to avoid the 8pm Hong Kong flight unless I have to, since it is a narrow-body. I do not know how Air India manages good loads - apart from my 24 Jun'13 flight that I told you about, I have seen excellent loads on this sector. My last flight had only about 50% loads - a bit surprise for me.

ameya wrote:
Looks like you like short taxi times and long taxi rides
Nice one, Sir! In summary, I would for for T1A/C over T2 anyday, unless I want a domestic wide-body experience.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buddist cave complex in downtown Bombay? I never heard of it! I thought its all in Ajanta Elora area.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Buddist cave complex in downtown Bombay? I never heard of it! I thought its all in Ajanta Elora area.
Sir, this is not quite downtown Mumbai - Kanjurmarg/Vikhroli (the closest local train stations to Powai) are some 45 minutes from downtown Mumbai. However, this is one place I had never visited as a Mumbaikar (due to the relative lack of public transportation options to the place), and it was a pleasure to see. It is not quite in the league of Ajanta/Ellora, but quite nice. The other nice caves closer to Mumbai are the Karla caves close to Lonavla. I have seen only Shukla-ji's photos of the same - I would love to visit this place one day!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
sabya99 wrote:
Buddist cave complex in downtown Bombay? I never heard of it! I thought its all in Ajanta Elora area.
Sir, this is not quite downtown Mumbai - Kanjurmarg/Vikhroli (the closest local train stations to Powai) are some 45 minutes from downtown Mumbai. However, this is one place I had never visited as a Mumbaikar (due to the relative lack of public transportation options to the place), and it was a pleasure to see. It is not quite in the league of Ajanta/Ellora, but quite nice. The other nice caves closer to Mumbai are the Karla caves close to Lonavla. I have seen only Shukla-ji's photos of the same - I would love to visit this place one day!
Cheers, Sumantra.


Another set of caves are the Mahakali caves which are between SEEPZ and JVLR. Since my office was very close to this, I have had an opportunity to visit this heritage site full of people using this as a shelter for their morning chores
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Another set of caves are the Mahakali caves which are between SEEPZ and JVLR...heritage site full of people using this as a shelter for their morning chores
What an anti-climax! I had expected something exciting which we had missed in Mumbai, and ...(p)oops! Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR Sumantra - thanks for sharing! How full was the 77W on BOM-DEL? And any idea how many were domestic pax vs. pax going on to JFK vs. connecting to other destinations via DEL?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Nimish!
Nimish wrote:
How full was the 77W on BOM-DEL? And any idea how many were domestic pax vs. pax going on to JFK vs. connecting to other destinations via DEL?
The 77W was not very full - barely 50%. I have taken the DEL-BOM AI 102 in Jan'13: it also had similar low loads. I asked someone in the know about this - AI uses AI 101/2 to rotate its wide-bodies through the maintenance at BOM depending on the need and availability, one may often see a B77L, a Dream)liner or a B77W, as one has observed, in the past few years. Does it work out well for Air India? Yes, he said, it works out better than a ferry flight on a need-basis. Connection to other destinations: I really wonder how I can ask this question in an unobtrusive manner, to a check-in agent, without arousing undue suspicion. From circumstantial evidence, it was mainly passengers going onwards to JFK and other night bank departures out of DEL (I do not know the percentage division), since very few passengers de-planed with us, to the domestic arrivals part. On my 13 Jan13 DEL-BOM AI 102 flight, most passengers were doing the JFK-BOM leg, there were very few domestic passengers. Domestic passengers do not seem to like the Sahar connection to the city - Sahar comes out to be closer for those in Powai and some close-by suburbs, else Santa Cruz has better connections. Given a choice, would I take a wide-body flight, in spite of the Sahar T2 no-power-port and near-zero-outside-visibility terminal? Yes, simply for a wide-body domestic experience!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its quite disrespectful to reply to the finest TR writer's report so late. My apologies for that.

This was another amazing trip report, featuring the best (and rather unknown parts) of Mumbai! The pictures of the memorial, washing machine, the big cats in particular, were superb!

Interesting comparisions between a developed and developing country! So many facts I overlooked! Aqua-planed, you got me there! Smile

Also, that is one big bunch for interesting cat facts! Cat-astrophically, I don't think many people would know these! I also saw a picture of a tiger with downs syndrome, it didn't look too good Sad Nature's dark side I guess.

And of course, the wide body flight! If I had the time flexibility, I would have taken the morning (AI348) flight to Delhi, depending on which day it leaves. Another set of amazing descriptions of everything, from the food, to the IFE, aircraft condition, the voices, etc.

Looking forward to the B787 TR, I know you will get the B787 this time around! I hope to read this before I leave Smile

Regards
Jish
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir, thank you for the very kind words, though I feel you have been much more kind to me than what I deserve!
Tiger with Down's Syndrome - this is new to me, my poor knowledge of biology precludes my knowing much about this. I have seen pictures of cross-eyed white tigers, and some sad and bad effects of intensive cross-breeding, just to get more of Nature's freaks. In fact, the crosses between lions and tigers (yes, they can inter-breed, surprisingly) were quite popular in India in the 1970s, and the zoos had them as popular exhibits before the programme was rightly stopped.
Sir, right now, I am in Ameya-town (Pune), let me see if I can send in the 788 report from here.
Thank you once again, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Sir, right now, I am in Ameya-town (Pune), let me see if I can send in the 788 report from here.
Thank you once again, Sumantra.


Sir no need to hurry because of me Smile
I'm not going anywhere until next Saturday!
I hope you have a great time there!

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Jish
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
I hope you have a great time there!
Thanks, Sir!
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra, first apologies for not being able to comment on your TR earlier.
I am just trying to get few things done during summer before we go under snow cover again Laughing

Your TRs are getting longer for good reasons. You are adding sights & sounds of the place that I enjoy reading. A trip is not just a set of aeroplane rides or excitement during trip planning, it's also the people we meet, food we eat and places we see. You did an excellent job (filmstar residences/ Lion/ Tiger or archeological sites) on that front.

Also, you are adding more pictures and your titles are getting more humourous day by day.

Now on filmstar residences: Few years back when we were in Bombay and had a couple of days to see the city again, we hired a cab to show us the residences of Bollywood heavyweights. During the trip, the cab driver non-chalantly mentioned "This one is Lata Mangeshkar's residence" That was an unforgettable moment..I came so close to the singer who mesmerised us for so many decades! And what a simple residence as compared to one-season wonders like Justin Beiber or un-realty TV stars like Kardashians and their mansions in L.A.

"Simple living and high thinking" is still practised in India; many years after M.K. Gandhi Very Happy

Keep up the good work, Sumantra!
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAL@YWG wrote:
A trip is not just a set of aeroplane rides or excitement during trip planning, it's also the people we meet, food we eat and places we see
Why thank you, Mr. Pal - I have always kept that in mind after you had mentioned it on one of your lovely trip reports, and you couldn't have put it in better words, above. I love the same, too. Unfortunately, most of my trip are work-related, and hence, have very little of the other part in it. Thanks a lot for going through my rantings in such level of detail, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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