Trip Start Oct 01, 2005
137Trip End Sep 20, 2006
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Where I stayed
Salvation Army Hostel
We like Mumbai, we both think that it has more of a 'vibe' about it than the other Indian cities we've visited. We're staying in the trendy Colaba area of town (so trendy, Sachin Tendulkar has a bar here, but we don't think we've got the glam to get in!). Mumbai still has the tropical feel that we found in Goa, there are lots of palms around and maybe the fact that it's a city on the coast gives it a different atmosphere
In the afternoon we went to the Eros cinema and saw the Bollywood film 'Shaadi No.1' which translates as 'Marriage No.1'. Before the film started we all had to stand and 'assume a respectful position' for the Indian National Anthem! The film itself was a riot, we don't really know what the exact storyline was but we enjoyed it all the same - it was total fantasy bearing absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the lives we've seen people leading in India; everyone was beautiful, the clothes and the houses were stunning, and of course everyone kept bursting into singing and dancing routines which were very impressive and great fun to watch. The filming moved around Europe too, one minute they were singing and dancing in Milan, the next in the harbour in what looked like the south of France...! Anyway, we recommend this film to anyone who wants a Bollywood Experience - we might get the DVD of it to read the English subtitles & find out what it was all about!
This morning we got up early and scooted down to the Gateway of India where we had heard the Laughter Club of Mumbai meets every morning to do their routine of laughter therapy, Laughter Yoga. There's a lovely little garden set just behind the Gateway where lots of Mumbai residents go to do their morning excercises and there, just as the trusty Lonely Planet had said, was a circle of people aged about 50+ all limbering themselves up for a good old laugh. We have to agree it's a great way to start the day and we found ourselves creasing up watching these men & women (women dressed in their salwar kameezes and trainers) doing all this controlled laughter - although at times they just fell about laughing at themselves. They finish with the mantra, repeated to clapping of hands: "One, two three, Cup of tea, East or West, Laugh is best". And long may they continue!
Today we're going to be walking up to Chowpatty beach in time for sunset - apparently Chowpatty is very much an evening place. Then we're off to the airport and bid a fond farewell to India...