Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ten years in Four hours - A Journey

The excitement of travelling by local train after a gap of around six months, that too during rush hour, excited me as much as my first ever encounter with this Mumbai lifeline 11 years back which was a dream come true for me...most of the people I knew then back in my hostel were too frightened of the train and rush...well actually I always like weird things more, so that answers my liking for local train travelling too...but sadly, that day there was not much of a crowd in the train as it was a second Saturday – usually a holiday for many well I travelled comfortably till Churchgate, seated near the window, no fights and abuses by a single person in the whole compartment. Now that’s saying something...

I get down at Churchgate station platform number one...out of the usual habit, I turn around to take a glimpse of Sydenham College – the Pink building I am still in love with, the B road that still forces me to walk on it whenever I am at Churchgate, and so I do that – a walk down memory lane, to the canteen, the cutting chai out there with the mawa cake(s)...Ah my mouth is watering right now...

The taxi that i am going to travel by for the remaining part of my journey is stuck in trafic, so I have another half an hour to the second destination of this not at all planned journey – Tea Centre...another chai there, chilly garlic french fries and open face sandwich (new on the menu), and i am all delighted...

Yasinbhai calls me informing that he is waiting outside for me, so I finish my tea and leave from journey has just begun...some work near Stock Exchange and from there to Thankur Dwar near Charni Road via Crawford market, the cab passes by my Hostel, and again the same old nostalgic feeling is back haunting me...the STD booth from where I made calls to mum and dad every second day, the Chinese corner that served us food on all the bad food days of the hostel (four times a week i.e.), the GPO PCO, VT station (it was VT when i was in hostel), bus number 138 that took me from hostel to college everyday, the Bora Bazar lanes that were used so frequently as shortcuts, the hostel building that was home away from home, the charitable hall attached to it that provided us snacks on so many evenings thanks to the weddings and other functions happening there all the time...

After completing the Thankur Dwar work, we are all set to return home, and upon my request, the cab has been taken via Hinduja College, opposite to which my classes where i studied for 5 years are there...the tall ancient looking building with the hoardings of various classes names flashing, the sandwichwala is no longer there near Hinduja College, but the Aarey stall and coconut water fellow is still there, the Golden Star Thali – famous for its Rajasthani Thali and quantity if you are ordering a take away. Three to four people can easily eat from one parcel for Rs. 180/- (I guess the rates are still the same)...though home is still around one hour away thanks to the new Sea Link, for me, my journey, ten years of my life span that i have managed to revisit and relive in four hours, comes to an only the travel part – a mere formality to reach home, or call it my end point...A journey i don’t want to end, well it will never goes on and on, the new destinations are waiting to be discovered, or rather, already there on cards...

PS: Click on the link to read the detailed posts on the Hostel and Tea Centre.
PPS: I have found another place that has embraced the whole Mumbai City in four walls...A post on that will be there soon...and yeah it's another restaurant :D


  1. seemed i was travelling with u...well narrated!! U mentioned the phone calls u did to mom and dad but r u forgetting to mention someone else!! School n college days are the best days...its full of fun and happiness. No tension.
    U really seemed to be in love with your college and tea...lolz!!
    Can u elaborate a bit more by what u meant " always like weird things more" :)!!
    Your post made me rem by coll days...!!
    Good post!!

  2. A very nice nostalgic post.. you narrated it so well that I feel like I have visited Mumbai now. I know so many places now that I really feel like visiting Mumbai :) College days are always the best days of our lives :)

  3. enjoyed the virtual train journey

  4. Every time I read your post, I feel like I'm having a nice cup of hot brewing coffee (Well, I'm a coffee freak). :-) It's really fresh. "Chilly garlic french fries and open face sandwich..." Damn! My mouth is watering (I haven't yet had breakfast, as I'm reading this post). :D
    And nostalgia is a beautiful feeling, isn't it? :-)
    "...always like weird things more..." :P
    Fabulously narrated. Felt like I was traveling with you all the time. :-)
    Have a nice day! :-)

  5. You really love tea don't you? You must be a fun person for sure. (read my wife doesn't drink tea)

  6. @ nazish, thank u for ur comments...well STD booth was indeed used for making calls to my parents...and yes, you guessed it right (not that it required rocket science :P) that I love tea and Sydenham...elaborate that particular line? well, how bout a post on it? me and my liking for weird things? thanks :)

    @ Avada, thanks girl...I am glad you liked it...come down to Mumbai, I will recommend u few more places..:)

  7. @ sm, really? thank u :)

    @ karthik, hmmm, coffee will also do so far as u find my posts refreshing :D
    nostalgia is indeed a great wonder every second post of mine is on it...I think i should rename my blog, what say? I am glad u liked it..:)

    @ Ramit, welcome here...thank u for ur comments...I love tea, does that make me fun person? hmmm, interesting theory...ok lemme add this one in the post with the weird line :)

  8. Enjoyed this virtual journey and a very nostalgic one,..I am also like that remebering all the past things all the time, but sometimes I wonder..why w always remebr the past so much? why everything that passes feels better?

  9. It was a good virtual trip, only I wish you had a camcoder with you, we could have a trip of Bombay in 4hrs :)

    And i was thinking really hard today morning as what to write next as I am running short of ideas and now I get the idea what all can be written :)

  10. Neha,it takes me back to olden days.
    When I went to Bombay to start my career,I stayed for a few days at A road at Churchgate.
    The I moved to ThakurDwar as A road was a temporary arrangement.Finally,after years of struggle Juhu.
    I remember,I could not get off at Byculla from the local train a d could get off at Dadar.
    All that is history.

  11. nice..i do this when i go home....i take my bullet, and i roam around the city...just for nostalgia sake....and i feel all poignant yet pleasant. i can understand, walk down memory lane is a must, lest we forget who we really are and what our roots were?nbice post.

  12. @ Antarman, our past was once our present...we failed to enjoy that then...and we keep repeating this mistake all the time...we must remember our past - to learn from our mistakes...and always try and make our present beautiful too :)

    @ Mustaf, if i had camcorder, then u wouldn't have read this post that's something, my post helped u to find a topic to write about? cool cool :)

  13. @ Chowlaji, wow, nice to know that you have stayed there...I bet u understand my attachment to that area...isn't it the most beautiful and most addictive area? my my local train is indeed a nightmare if you have to travel by general compartment...we ladies are still better of..

    @ ZB, oh yes, such trips are required...u know, whenever i m a bit low, I make a trip to town... it refreshes me as much as a two day holiday...thanks buddy :))

  14. I traveled with you :-D.
    A nicely described one, you seem to be really in love with the college and the tea center.

    I am going to prepare a cup of coffee now, after reading about french fries and mawa cakes....droool

    You mentioned you liked weird things more. I feel you can dedicate one nice post to weird likings of yours :) I bet you will enjoy writing it as much as we all would enjoy reading it ...hehehehe

  15. @ Insignia, i am madly in love with my college and tea...and of course my husband :P

    after reading that u gonna make a coffee for urself, I made meself a cuppa tea :D...and oh yes, I even had a vada I being too mean here?

    A post on weird things? hahaha, u bet it's gonna be an enjoyable write up for me, but i dunno how you all will find it - main aur mere weird thoughts, akshar ye baate kiya karte hai...see it has already started turning out to be a disaster even before getting materialized in a post..:)))

  16. are wah..
    aapne to bambai ghuma di..
    thank you..

  17. awww that was so nostalgic... loved that tea shop picture... our college memories are made by these small details... lovely post :)

  18. @ Rahul, thanks for the wonderful comment :)

    @ Rajlakshmi, our entire life is made by these small details actually...I am glad u liked it :)

  19. nicely written.. never been there. was a virtual tour.. :) keep travellin and writin..

  20. Excellent. Memories. Frozen Memories. Everytime you write about your College and Tea Center, I wanted to visit Mumbai. After reading this, we are landing in Mumbai. Be prepared to receive us at the airport. (Yes, we are coming. We will stay in a hotel. But we will cerntainly meet with you.)

  21. Please write up...Waiting to read your weird likings :-)

  22. Girl simply loved ur narration!! U love tea more than anything in this world eh?!
    Good :)

  23. @ Chandana, thanks a lot Doc..:)

    @ SG, oh u coming to Mumbai? wow...I will definitely be there at the airport to receive u... we will surely meet up :)

  24. @ Insignia, will surely write that post for u and me :D

    @ Shruti, thanks a tonne for ur overwhelming comments always...u r truly encouraging :)

    @ Surya Kannan, welcome here...thank you for your comments...I am glad you liked it :)

  25. Neha
    Hey, don't expect me to the same always :)
    I can very well be a critic to u!! Got t?!

  26. Neha,
    And regarding the last comment..
    If i found a post interesting and worth a full read I will read them and comment. I never fake my comments girl!!
    And beware of me from now on!
    Btw, u never tried 55Fictions in ur blog! why?

  27. First a hug!!
    This post of yours brought back so many memories!!
    Our 8 years in Mumbai and the life out there will be cherished forever!
    I remember the initial panic attacks I used to get before boarding the local train and how I became a pro in a short span of time!!
    Mumbai is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your memories!! :)
    Cheers :)

  28. Hi,
    You have an interesting blog:) Keep up and all the very best to you!

  29. @ Shilpa, hugs...good to know that you have lived in this A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. city...oh local trains are a kinda things, no matter how bad and crowded they are, you still can,t stop urself from loving it..:)

    @ new beginning, welcome here...thank u for ur comments and wishes :)

  30. ah.. reminiscences.. see i told u u were a better narrator and this post proves it.. am joinin sg.. we'll surely meet u if we come to mumbai..

  31. Wow!You made me relive my college days too...amazing post! Loved it! I can feel your nostalgia while re-visiting these places:)
    I am sure the tea-center makes awesome chai:)

  32. It is certainly interesting for me to read that post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. BTW, try to add some photos :).