Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mumbai- the city that never sleeps

I love Mumbai like I suppose every other Indian who has visited it once and has fallen in love with the place.
My first visit to Mumbai was in 2005 and till 2014 the count has been to 5. not good enough but not bad either..
The travel in local trains, the local dialect, the dirty beaches,vada pav and fashion street evrything of Mumbai makes me love it even more.

Places I have been to in Mumbai:I know I haven't covered a lot. but that gives me more reasons to be back to this city. :)

Haji Ali Dargah: I always feel a sense of calmness after I visit the dargah.
The imposing Haji Ali is both a mosque and tomb. It was built in 1431 by wealthy Muslim merchant and Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who was inspired to change the course of his life after going to Mecca. It also contains his body. Situated in the middle of the ocean, Haji Ali is only accessible during low tide from a narrow, 500 yard long walkway.

The Gateway of India:Mumbai's most recognized monument, the Gateway of India, was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It's also a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. just opposite it is the famous Taj hotel which was attacked by terrorists in 26/11 attack

Aksa Beach: I have been to Juhu chowpatty but they were really dirty and always crowded so I tried Aksa beach which makes me recall the song "tujhe aksa beack dikha du aa chalti kya". this was cleaner and calmer.I spent a lot of time here. its a bit far from the city but worth going.

Marine Drive: the most happening place of Mumbai.whether you have gone with your partner or friends, you are bound to have fun specially at night. the lights around the beach, the smell and sound of the waves, all together can complete your mumbai darshan.Lined with flaking art deco apartments, it’s one of Mumbai’s most popular promenades and sunset-watching spots. Its twinkling night-time lights earned it the nickname ‘the Queen’s Necklace’.

Elephanta Caves: I had visited it in 2005 with my mother.At the Gateway of India you will find a line of ticket offices and a large number of touts.Elephanta Caves are 9km from land.There is an island tax to pay (minimal).Elephanta Caves are an UNESCO World Heritgae Site. If you have, in your Indian journies, already visited the Ellora Caves or the Ajanta Caves you are not going to bowled over BUT they are still VERY impressive and they get you away from the hustle and the bustle of Mumbai for the best part of a day!
The caves were "created" circa AD450 & AD750 at a time when the island was known as Gharapuri.
The temples are dedicated to Shiva and there is an incredible bust of Shiva with 3 faces and eyes closed which means eternal contemplation. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Elephanta.

Fashion Street: I always visit this whenever I go to Mumbai. its a shoppers paradise.Once you get into Fashion Street, don't be surprised if you are surrounded by a horde of stomping students and teenagers. A vibrant flea market, Fashion Street is a shopper's Eden. Tourists will often find themselves surrounded by over 100, small shops, where chic, export surplus clothing and fashion accessories are available for offbeat prices

SiddhiVinayak Temple:most of the times in news for a celebrity visiting this temple. this is one og the most famous attractions in mumbai.This temple is situated at Prabhadevi in Mumbai. It is a two hundred years old Temple. People believe that Lord Ganesh of Siddhivinayak Temple fulfills the desire of His worshipers.

 The temple has undergone a complete make-over in the recent past. The idol has been kept as it is and the temple has been built into an unique six-storeyed construction, which almost touches the sky. The top of the temple is clad with a golden dome, which dazzles brilliantly in the sun. It is a great looking temple in Mumbai, which is anytime worth paying a visit.

Mahalakshmi Temple:I have been to this temple twice in my visits to mumbai.Mahalaxmi Temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples in Bombay. It is dedicated to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and Vishnu's consort.

The temple is located by the sea at the northern end of Malabar Hill and is easily seen from the Haji Ali Shrine further visiting Haji Ali can definitely visit this temple.

VADA PAV : Undoubtedly, my favorite food in Mumbai.that taste I could not find it elsewhere.This lovely, spicy Indian burger is a staple street food of mumbai and you will simply love it.Although now it is available everywhere in India, nothing can beat the taste of authentic, Mumbai Vada Pav. Vada Pav stalls have their presence in almost every alley and road in Mumbai and each having its own loyal patrons.

Local Trains: the trip to Mumbai is incomplete without experiencing the travel in Mumbai local. seeing the massive crowd in the station, one can feel like a victory after successfully entering the train before it starts moving and getting a seat is like a diwali can find lot of entertainment inside the train,beggars singing,artificial jewellery sellers,gossiping aunties and what not.The sea of people, the need to travel, the situation of chaos, time running out situations, cheap, comfortable transport and randomness is what Mumbai Local Trains are all about

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nirmala by Munshi Premchand

when I wanted to write the review of the books I have read, the first that came to my mind was Nirmala by Premchand, this I had in my grade 11-12 and I loved the way the character was portrayed,human suspicious nature , an aged husband trying to woo a younger wife and the helplessness of Nirmala trying to become a good wife and a good mother inspite of all odds

One of Premchand's most popular novels in India, Nirmala was written at a time—the 1920s in India—when the issues women faced in Indian society were receiving increasing attention from writers and poets.Unlike Premchand's other works, Nirmala has a darker tone and ending, and its characters are less idealised


Nirmala’s marriage was about to happen to a doctor in a rich Brahmin family but because of the death of her father, a financial burden starts looming over the Nirmala’s family. Thus, paying the dowry becomes a concern. Her marriage then happens to a widower, Munshi Totaram in his forty’s who brings Nirmala home in order to fill his first wife’s place. He has 3 sons and one sister living with him. He is a lawyer and is rich and respected in the society. By marrying, he hopes that his children would get the love of a mother and there would be someone to take care of his house too. His lost hopes to live comes alive.

But Nirmala could not find her dream man in him as he was too old for her. Even then, she faked happiness in front of him.

Soon suspecting the beauty of Nirmala, her husband starts doubting the relationship between his eldest son and Nirmala and so sends him to hostel.

All three children regret this, especially the eldest one. His health soon deteriorates in the hostel. A   catastrophes strikes the house of Nirmala. She was now blamed for all that happened and the situation goes on to become from bad to worse. The story wonderfully depicts that how everybody get caught in the situation even though it is no one’s fault.

the story is depressing and not suitable for people looking for romance or comedy.the wordings are simple. the relationship between Nirmala and the elder son Mansaram is very well depicted. the way Totaram tries to woo his wife and the failure and his  perception of his elder son and wife relationship as adultery, which shattered and broke his son to the extent that this intense grief took his life is depicted well to show human nature.

It is an all time classic and would recommend everyone to read it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shodh by Taslima Nasrin

I read this book in my 2nd year engineering and found this great satisfaction in the end.although I do not support what happened in the end but the revenge part overpowered my understanding and it was well deserved.It definitely boosted my feminism and made me stronger to face and give back an answer to those who underestimate the power of a woman

Taslima Nasrin is known for her powerful writing on women's oppression and unflinching criticisms of Islam, despite forced exile and multiple fatwa calling for her death.The same fearless attitude is depicted in this revenge story.

Here is a woman who does not distinguish between self, body and identity. They are one and the same for her. Perhaps it will not be wrong to call her a body obsessed woman. She is full of self-love, self-pity, and also full of revenge against the one who has violated her dignity.


The novel is about a woman Jhumur. She has done M.Sc. in Physics. She has lived very freely in her college days. She has been almost like a boy participating in party propaganda, pasting posters, roaming around. She develops a relationship with a young chap Haroon. When he proposes she postpones the question of marriage for six months. Then all of a sudden her father and family coax her into pressing Haroon to get married the very next day because her elder sister had been ditched by a boy earlier after five years of courtship. Haroon is shocked at this sudden change. But he is caught into the net and is married to Jhumur. Jhumur gets pregnant within six weeks of her marriage, a fact that fills Haroon with suspicion. He feels that Jhumur was already carrying someone else’s baby at the time of marriage and that was why she drove him to this fast matrimonial union. He gets her aborted. He puts her under a sort of a house arrest. Then he frantically tries to seed Jhumur with HIS baby. In the meantime Jhumur spots a young, burly fellow Afzal who lives downstairs. She sleeps with him carefully counting her days to get pregnant with Afzal and not Haroon. No one knows anything about it. Afzal conveniently goes to Australia after planting the seed. Haroon’s happiness knows no bounds as he thinks that the new born Ananda is HIS own baby. The revenge (shodh) is complete.

A Loving playful independent daughter suddenly is expected be the traditional Muslim wife: head covered, eyes averted, and unable to leave the house without an escort and hurt by the fact that his husband blames her of adultery. The revenge was planted and it was wrong but the feelings behind it were true. women are not only subjects for physical satisfaction or a caretaker. she gives up her whole life to make the lives of her family and needs the respect she deserves.

Readers from every walk of life will be stunned by this tale of love, lust, and blood ties.