Christmas key hardik subhicchayen

In Bombay

Yesterday we had a meeting about planning the assessments for the end of the year. We were a group of eight women discussing what should remain, be removed, and added to this year’s end assessment. It was amazing to be around a group of people who are so passionate about what they do. This is not to say that this didn’t happen anywhere else I have worked in the past, but this was an especially interesting and momentous occasion for me. I’m not sure why exactly.

Update – Christmas Eve in Bombay
Yesterday was another meeting in Bombay where we were planning for two large events for the organization. I loved this meeting. This is a part of things that I really enjoy to do. Sometimes I think I should have been an event planner. It was a long meeting, but I think we accomplished a lot. It was also nice to see the rest of the Bombay part of the organization.

Last night was capoeira, it’s kind of the only thing on my mind right now. Mestre Chicote is still here so he gave a class that killed everyone, we started around 8 and finished around 11. We all went out for food and drinks afterwards. It was well deserved. The class was amazing. My very sore this morning, have a few bruises, but I feel like they’re battle wounds!

I also wanted to take some more time to focus on something else to write about, something typically Indian, but nothing comes to mind right now. There are differences between Bombay and Pune. Apparently, so everyone tells me Pune used to be a smaller town, quite, calm, not so much traffic, and in the last few years everything changed with the IT boom. There are now little cities within the city, traffic is a mess (not yet like Bombay traffic, but it’s getting close). The folks in Pune, especially my landlord’s family, don’t particularly like Bombay, and folks in Bombay think that Bombay is better than Pune. It’s a silly little rivalry but things like this exist all over the world.

History time with Nupur
The first people to come to Mumbai were fisherman because of the sea. It is a city of 7 islands and it developed into one city. Now, they’re planning to develop Mumbai like Shanghai. Nupur’s mom says that eventually we’ll see every culture in Mumbai. It is called City of Dreams. It is the biggest film industry in India, you’ll find all of Bollywood here in Mumbai, kind of like our Hollywood. A lot of people come to Mumbai to follow their dreams, not only in Bollywood, but to settle down, which is why it’s called the City of Dreams, kind of like New York. Nupur’s dad is in love with Mumbai and now Nupur is calling his dad so that he can get some more history. We have the same birthday and are both fascinated with elephants, so we have a great connection. Apparently he wants my picture, one of me normal and one of me playing capoeira. He works for a news channel and blogs for newpapers and Nupur said that he might write something about it.

Now a word from Nupur’s Dad about Mumbai:
Mumbai is India’s financial capital. Their police is the second best police force in the world, after Scotland. It is a global attraction; India is recognized because of Mumbai. The name changed from Bombay to Mumbai because Bombay is an English name and some politicians wanted a Marathi name (we are in the state of Maharashtra). The World Bank provides financial aid to the city of Mumbai; it gives to all of India, but Nupur says it gives special attention to Mumbai.

Side Note: Yesteraday I was sitting with Nupur’s mom for breakfast and asked about a piece of art on the wall. It’s Vital, writing vertically in Marathi. She told me about Vital; he is a god, but a god of the poor people. Later I asked a friend of mine about the story of Vital. I can’t remember it all but he went to visit this man (who’s name I can’t remember). This man was very dedicated and faithful to god, he took care of his parents, washed their feet, gave them massages, and Vital came to talk to him. However, this man was so involved with taking care of his parents he said, “just wait,” and gave him a brick to stand on. And he kept on caring and caring for his parents and the story goes that Vital was standing on a brick waiting for 28 centuries.

Back to History:
Now, Mumbai is famous because of the terrorist attack; the one at the Taj Hotel was on the 26th of July, 2008. A very famous business here is the delivery of tiffins, a homemade meal that someone carries from your home to your office. Basically you get a fresh meal to your office from your home. (By the way the Tupperware is very awesome here! It is a stainless steel container that stacks on top of each other. I’ll have to take a photo and show you all). Also the suburbs do the tiffin business as well. The people who do this business are called “Dabbe walla” (walla means person, like a rickshaw walla, rickshaw person). It’s really awesome how they manage the business and timeing, every tiffin reaches their destination on time. Their time management is so perfect, they invited to give a special lecture on time management in New York! They were invited by Prince Charles some of them in Buckinham Pallace for a wedding. They’re from a poorer class of people, so this is also a very bug deal. They usually use a Ghandi “hat” on their heads, it’s like their uniform.

Oh the Gateway:

Queens Necklace (Marine Drive): This is a long stretch of road along the Arabian Sea. At nighttime when all the lights are on, it looks like a lit up necklace, hence the name.
Hagiali (Mosque in the Sea):
Elifanta Caves (island close to Mumbai):
Siddhi Vinayak Temple:
Mahalaxmi Temple:
Shivaji Park:
Hanging Garden:
Babulnat: A Temple
Manibhavan: This is where they keep all the items that Mahatma Ghandi used. It’s a 3 story building.
Boravli National Park:

This whole experience involved several phone calls to Nupur’s dad, input from Nupur’s mom, Nupur and a guest to the house as well. It’s been very entertaining. We set up a whole list of things that are famous in Mumbai. I told Nupur that now this means that I have to go to all these places now that I wrote about them. I’ve been to a couple as you have seen in a couple pictures, and I’ve passed by others, but I’d love to do a little round about to do the touristy things. Mumbai never sleeps though (I was told to make sure I put that in there ☺

Ok, that’s enough for now, it’s time for lunch. There are no pictures to go with this. This is the first time I’m here that I’m not taking any pictures. That will change shortly.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas key hardik subhicchayen

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