Yesterday I had the chance to do some shopping and sightseeing around Mumbai (Bombay). It has been interesting when I ask people about the town, just how many still say Bombay. It seems to depend a lot on age. Older people grew up with the town as Bombay at it has a great nostalgia for them, but the younger generation has less allegiance to the name Bombay and seem ok with the change. But overall, a majority of people use the name Bombay.
Javed and I started off from the hotel and headed to the downtown area to meet two girls I work with. We stopped a little along the way to do some shopping and then met up with the girls in Colaba. I bought several things there….jewelry, pashminas, etc. The girls did all the bargaining for me to make sure I was getting a good price. I have had some experience bargaining in Mexico, but nothing compared to what these two were capable of. Most of the time, they spoke in Hindi with the vendors, so I was clueless for most of it. But I knew they were getting a good deal when the seller looked less happy about the final price. Then we headed to Bandera where the shops are more current, like Nine West. We didn’t spend too much time there, but it was interesting to see that side of the shopping as well.
In between shopping we stopped at the Gateway of India and a Mahatma Gandhi’s museum. The Gateway was amazing. There were people everywhere and it is next to the Taj Hotel, which is also a sight to see.
Facts about the Gateway: It was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay in 1911. The Gateway was the monument that visitors arriving by boat would have first seen in the city of Bombay. The cost of the construction was Rs. 21 lakhs (2,100,000), borne mainly by the Government of India. For lack of funds, the approach road was never built, and so the Gateway stands at an angle to the road leading up to it.
Next stop was the museum.
Facts about the Museum: Mani Bhavan is a simple old-style, two storied building on Laburnum Road, Mumbai. Whenever Gandhiji was in Mumbai between 1917 to 1934, he stayed here. It was converted into a museum and research centre. Mani Bhavan is recognised as a Research Institute preparing students for Ph.D. degree in Gandhian Thought and Rural Development by University of Bombay.
Library - consists of around 50,000 books & periodicals in reference and lending sections. It contains books on and by Gandhi, Gandhian thoughts, freedom movements and allied subjects.
Gandhiji's Room: The room on the second floor which used to be the living room and working place of Gandhiji has been preserved as far as possible in its original setting.
The Terrace: A bronze plaque with an inscription now marks the place of the tent in which Gandhiji was arrested in January, 1932. He used to sleep and hold his prayers on this terrace. (This was close while we were there)
It was a great day. I got lots of good gifts and a few things for myself as well. :)
I spent Sunday sleeping late, laying by the pool, and relaxing in my room - a day of well deserved and needed rest. Tomorrow I am off to Pune for three days, to see our other facility.