Mumbai’s Terminal T2, more

pics of art and murals at Mumbai's Terminal T2 by Arun Shanbhag

After my earlier passage through Mumbai’s new T2 terminal, I knew what to expect. On arrival, as everyone else darted to Baggage Claim (and staring at flapping slats whizzing by), I strolled through the endlessly curved, glass-lined walkway. I paused at each exhibit and took it in. The breadth of art types on display was stunning. Ubiquitous worker bees hovered nearby and demonstrated practiced busy-ness. Art was not simply a picture or a sculpture, an entire south Indian courtyard (for e.g.) was recreated; Mumbai was mapped with computer mother boards. And despite my earlier reservations, the exhibits were well maintained. Continue reading “Mumbai’s Terminal T2, more”

Joyful Waiting at Mumbai’s Terminal T2

photos Mumbai's Terminal T2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport by Arun Shanbhag
Departure lounge at Mumbai’s Terminal T2 – appears like a subterranean cavern inspired by lotus pods

On arriving at Mumbai airport on my recent trip, I trudged the long corridor dragging my carry-on. My tired brain perceived a few garish, modern interpretations of art, then a collage of a young, angry Amitabh (circa Don), a beautiful frieze reminiscent of Tamil Nadu art, a well detailed Rajasthani courtyard. Only then I realized I was walking through the new Terminal T2 at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Though exhausted from the long trip, I slowed my pace and enjoyed the sights like if I was visiting a museum. The Immigration Hall was ginormous putting to shame the one in Boston. On the front wall were giant letters in many languages spelling “Welcome” – nice; should make Mumbaikars proud. Continue reading “Joyful Waiting at Mumbai’s Terminal T2”

Swami Vivekananda Jayanti

Sw Vivekananda at the Gateway of India, Mumbai
Sw Vivekananda at the Gateway of India, Mumbai

For Swami Vivekananda’s 151st birthday, wanted to share these pics of the Statue of Sw Vivekananda at the Gateway of India in Colaba. And here is his speech at the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893. Continue reading “Swami Vivekananda Jayanti”

Gupta Chikki – Yummy Candy

Pictures of Lego Minifigures enjoying Peanut Chikki by Arun Shanbhag
Lego Friends enjoying Chikki

Growing up in Mumbai, chikkis were our treats. Local kirana dukkan (stores) had a assortment of chikkis available for a pittance. Chikkis are the traditional Indian candy bars before there were candy bars. PiPi (fennel candy) was our other delicacy. The simplest chikki’s are roasted peanuts in a gooey, crunchy slab of jaggery (see Making Jaggery). Chikkis are made with every imaginable grains or nuts including peanuts, rajgira (amaranth), sesame (black, white), coconut (desiccated), rice (puffed), mango, cashews, pistachios and almonds. The closest equivalent in the US would be peanut brittle, but the indian chikki is typically nuttier and crunchy. Continue reading “Gupta Chikki – Yummy Candy”

Mumbai Street food: Shri Krishna Batatavada

Pics from Shri Krishna Snacks, Dadar Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

In the back lanes of Dadar (West), a few doors from the legendary Ideal Bookstore, is this amazing place for batatavada, samosa, juices and anything you can stuff in your mouth. Mouth-watering delicacies and super cheap prices. For $2 you can feed a whole family (Meera only sips juice). Continue reading “Mumbai Street food: Shri Krishna Batatavada”

Thankful for All

Pics of an older woman cooking on the sidewalk in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Meera and M are doing superbly well and healthy. Our lives have been enriched in so many ways: great family and friends, satisfying careers and fulfilling “dharma”. We are thankful for all this and more! ~ Arun

This post by Preena reminded me of this older woman cooking on the sidewalk in South Mumbai. It was a simple, charred metal can she used to boil a little bit of rice. That was all she had for dinner. Continue reading “Thankful for All”

Mango Manna

Its mango season and I’m reposting this from a few years ago. Gosh, how I miss shopping mangoes in Mumbai. A case of the best.
Crates of Aapus Mangoes at Jyotiba Phule Mandi, Crawford Market by Arun Shanbhag

In India, the scorching heat is but a small price to pay for luscious aapus mangoes. My mother was irked I skipped lunches and feasted instead on four mangoes, and a few more after dinner. During the last week, I was gulping 6-8 aapus a day, hoping to be sick of them by the time I returned. Alas, in the cafeteria today my eyes searched for mangoes, knowing full well there weren't any. Continue reading “Mango Manna”

Lights at the Gateway of India

Pics of Lights at the Gateway of India, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
On a recent visit, the Gateway of India was lit up for a Classical Indian Music Program. Other than the loud screeching, jostling crowds and ugly barricades, it was a wonderful evening. Continue reading “Lights at the Gateway of India”

Dayaram Damodar for Sutarfeni in Mumbai

D Damodar Dadar Mumbai Sutarfeni pics by Arun Shanbhag

Post updated with newer pics from a recent visit.

Hope you have all tried Sutarfeni – the sweet, shredded, flaky, rice dough, topped with pista and almonds. What a dangerous agent it is; melts my self-discipline, and like a slobbering idiot I empty a pound of this “buddi ka baal” in no time. Continue reading “Dayaram Damodar for Sutarfeni in Mumbai”

Hanuman Mandir Picket Rd Mumbai

Hanuman Jayanti Maruti at the Picket Rd Hanuman Temple pics by Arun Shanbhag



Shree guru charan saroj raj, nija manu mukuru sudhari |
Baranau raghubar bimal jasu, jo dayak phal chaari ||

With the mirror of the mind, cleansed by the dust of the lotus feet of my Guru;
(listen) to the unblemished glory of Hanuman, exalted one of the Raghu dynasty, who can bestow the four fruits (dharma, artha, kaama and moksha)

Wishing you all a wonderful Hanuman Jayanti!

Continue reading “Hanuman Mandir Picket Rd Mumbai”

The Earth is an Egg

Pics of The Earth is an Egg, Exhibit at the Shivaji Museum, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

During a visit to the Shivaji Museum in Mumbai, I captured this outdoor installation on the grounds of the Museum by Prashant Keluskar and Laxmi Narwekar. Very creative. The artists are trying to remind us that the earth is fragile. I think it better depicts the fragile and infantile nature of the human psyche. Perhaps you see both here. I have included a few more shots as well as a grab of the artists’ explanation below. What does this tell you? Continue reading “The Earth is an Egg”

Cricket at the Oval

Pictures of folks playing cricket at the Oval Maidan in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
Its a long tradition in South Mumbai ~ come Sunday morning the boys head out to Oval Maidan with whatever gear they can scrounge around. They stake a tiny sliver of a pitch, drive stumps in the dusty field and play some cricket. The pitch (and cricket) is a social leveller; the quality of your gear is immaterial, its how you connect – bat to ball. Three stumps is a luxury and bells are definitely not needed. Who needs shoes and pads? A tennis or simple rubber ball will do. As kids I have even played with layers of paper crumbled hard and held by rubber bands. When you are all sweaty and exhausted, grab some limbu paani or ganna juice on the way back home. Another beautiful Sunday! Continue reading “Cricket at the Oval”

Visiting the Gateway of India

Portrait of a Tourist from Madhya Pradesh wearing an Ochre Turban visiting the Gateway of India by Arun Shanbhag

Since I grew up around the corner, visiting the Gateway of India makes my Mumbai visit complete, like visiting relatives, or a nearby temple or eatery. Gateway of India is home. On a recent early morning visit, I noticed this group of out-or-towners striding to the waterfront. Women in colorful sarees and ochre turbans of some of the menfolks caught my eye.
Continue reading “Visiting the Gateway of India”

Ragda Pattis

Ragda Pattis by Arun Shanbhag
The best of street food at home. Pan-roasted Trader Joe’s Masala Burger, topped with basic ussal, yogurt, chopped onions and chaat masala.

I used TJs Masala Burger for these Quick Pattis Roll-ups too.

Ragda Pattis from Kailash Parbat (Mumbai) is my favorite and I have posted their ragda pattis pics twice before:

Meera goes to the Mall

Meera trying out an outfit at Pantaloon in Phoenix Mall by Arun Shanbhag
Meera loves visiting the Phoenix Mall in Parel, Mumbai, particularly one of their stores which has a huge toy section. The Pantaloon store has a small but nice collection of Indian outfits for little girls. Reasonably priced too. Here Meera is trying one on before we bought it. Continue reading “Meera goes to the Mall”

Ganapati Visarjan: Wadala & Lalbaug cha Raja

GSB Muth Wadala Ganapati 2011 Amol Kamat
During the 11 days of Ganapati, the murthy is brought into our homes and the divine spirit invited to reside and bless us all. During these days, we treat Ganapati as a valued guest and shower him with the best of flowers, fruits and delicious foods. Friends and relatives visit in awe at the divine presence. At festivals end, we bid farewell and the material form is immersed into a water body so as not to soil it. Bidding farewell to our divine visitor is called visarjan. In villages, Ganapati is dunked in the home or community well, or nearby lake or river. In Mumbai, the murthys are carried with pomp and celebration, with much dancing to one of many beaches and immersed in the waters.
Continue reading “Ganapati Visarjan: Wadala & Lalbaug cha Raja”

Ganapati at the GSB Muth, Wadala

Ganapati at GSB Wadala by Arun Shanbhag

The GSB Wadala Muth Ganapati holds some of my fondest memories of sarvajanik (public) Ganapati. At 8 ft, it is not the largest of the Ganapatis, but certainly one of the most artistically excuted and ‘constant.’ Even though the artisans craft a new murthy from clay each year, this murthy has not changed one bit over the last three decades. The size is limited by the doorway to the hall where this Ganapati sits. The GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati contrarily, is built on and sits on a trolley which is covered under a huge outdoor tent. On visarjan day, the stage is dismantled and the trolley with the Ganapati is pulled out. The Wadala Ganapati is wheeled/carried out of the hall, placed on a trailer and taken to Shivaji Park for immersion.
Continue reading “Ganapati at the GSB Muth, Wadala”

Ganapati at GSB Seva Mandal

pictures of GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati 2011 2012 by Arun Shanbhag

The GSB Seva Mandal is one of the largest Sarvajanik (public) Ganapati celebrations in Mumbai. The murthy is 14 ft tall and all pujas ( devotional services) are performed in Sanskrit following traditions prescribed in ancient scriptures. See pics from our 2009 visit here.
Continue reading “Ganapati at GSB Seva Mandal”

Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai

pics of Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, old Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
During travels to Mumbai, I often bring Meera to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), a few minutes walk from our house. Meera enjoys chasing butterflies in the gardens and running around the spacious interiors. (See also Mumbai’s new Terminal T2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.)

She is invariably awed by the stone sculptures of cows, horses or lions, and loves the Natural History wing. She gets to see animals (stuffed) she only has seen in pictures. She loves the ducks (badak), parrots (popat), turtles (her favorite) and the huge whale hanging from the ceiling. Wild animals scare her. Safely tucked between my legs, she points and whispers, bhalu ( bears), rhinoson (rhinoceros), tigherrr, lion and cheetah. Love taking her there. Continue reading “Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai”

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