It has been a little over two days and I am starting to feel comfortable in Bombay. One of my main concerns about coming to one of the hottest countries on earth during the summer was that I would not be able to handle the weather. I figured that because I am a Syracuse native that I would be the trip’s first casualty (I don’t deal well with the heat). To my surprise the heat isn’t that big of a deal.
On the hottest day we have faced so far, we all went out shopping on the street markets of Mumbai. The day spent at the Lokhandwala Market was what I consider my first real look at the city. The shops were full of cheap silks and tourist trinkets, so I did not buy anything. I would like to see if I can buy some good silk at a better price later on.
The market offered more than stuff to buy. I think this outing gave us a lesson on how be handle ourselves for the rest of our trip. The heat and the crowds and the traffic were enough to make sure we stayed mindful of our surroundings. As with any major city there are beggars and pick pockets looking to get the best of you. None of us have had anything stolen yet; the worst thing to happen thus far was a couple of pinches we received from a group of children beggars.
After shopping was when the real fun began.
Mark tool us to one of his favorite places to eat in the city. We all make our way into the air-conditioned restaurant called High Point. It was here we forged ourselves on local favorites and got to meet Mark’s friend Priya Kumar (who is amazing). The food in Mumbai is incredible. Everything is a delicious blend of veggies and spices to be eaten with steamed rice and fresh naan. What makes the situation even better is that the majority of Mumbaikers are vegetarian, so finding food I can eat is easier than it is back home.
Our first meal outside of the hotel was a fantastic spread featuring several classics. We began with a sav puri and then moved onto saag. Yellow and black daal, naan, roti, and samosas made up the rest of our lunch. The meal was closed with mango kulfi (frozen mango). I was still hungry after lunch so I grabbed my first street food of the trip. The vada pav I had was fantastic and cheap.
It was this meal that assured me that my decision to remain in Mumbai until July 17 – well past when everybody else has gone home – was a good decision. Up until that lunch all the food I had eaten was prepared in an upscale hotel. I was worried that once the class is over and I am no longer living at the Sai Palace Hotel that I would not have anything to eat without getting sick.
After lunch we got to meet some of the most important people we’ve never heard of. In Aram Nagar, Versova Mark introduced us to director Anurag Kashyap and line producer Harish Amin. Both men were incredibly kind and humble for the in depth discussions they had with us.
Every day is so packed that it is hard to recall everything we’ve done, so that’s all for now.