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Mumbai through a different lens

Published : Apr 6, 2016, 9:45 am IST
Updated : Apr 6, 2016, 9:45 am IST

Sidharth Bhatia, author of India Psychedelic is a bombaywallah at heart


Sidharth Bhatia, author of India Psychedelic is a bombaywallah at heart

I would say have an Irani meal at Military Café, Fort because apart from getting a chance to experience what ‘Irani’ food is all about, you also get a little bit of Parsi food. It’s got great atmosphere which must be exactly the way it was probably 80-90 years ago.

Also, have a look at Dhobi Ghat near Mahalaxmi station. Although it’s not easy to get a good glimpse of the area, you will certainly get to see something interesting.

Then, if you are ready to go outside Mumbai, you can go and see the Portuguese Fort near Vasai. Since not many people visit it, it is reasonably well maintained and reflects the history of the Portuguese rule over Mumbai. Out of all the Forts surviving in Mumbai, I think this one is possibly the best maintained one.

If you can afford it, then have a cup of tea at the Sea Lounge, Taj Mahal Palace because firstly you can sit there and watch the boats, and secondly, it’s an institution in itself. It’s lovely to sit there and would certainly say recommend if you’re tired of walking around the area and want so sit in some air conditioning.

Also, go to Chor Bazaar and pick up film posters and vinyls (and other surprises) after which you can have kebabs and handmade Taj ice-cream.

Chaitanya Tamhane, filmmaker, Court I would probably take them on an early morning breakfast at Café Madras, Matunga, or take them to Aaswad, Dadar. I would highly recommend them to attend a Hindustani classical music concert in the city because this city has quite a vibrant and massive underground scene for Hindustani classical music. You may also stumble upon great artists, which you might not otherwise do.

Cyrus Broacha. Satirist and TV personality I would ask the tourists to return to the airport as soon as possible. That would be my first piece of advice; but if they insist on staying, then I think only South Bombay is worth looking at. Because once you cross beyond Bandra, it’s extremely painful. So my personal advice would be come to South Mumbai, take a look at the High Court, all the old buildings that the British built, the museums, Gateway of India, the Oval maidan and then I think they are done. After that I would keep my head down and not look around, as far as aesthetics go. If they are looking to eat, I think my side of town has a lot to offer depending on your budget. From New Martin Hotel in Colaba if you like Goan food, which I know only small percentage do. The other place is Olympia which is right opposite and far cheaper than Leopold. Now they also have an air conditioned section, which means you don’t have to completely die.

Ritesh Uttamchandani, Photographer Once the tourists are done with their touristy humbugs, I’d ask them to them to take a cycle ride to Aarey Milk Colony. The place is a shocking revelation for most who come with a preconceived notion. It’s a lot quieter experience.

UsualIy, I try to take my friends to some of the shadier bars around the film city, which is where I happen to live. A lot of bars there have interesting characters coming in, like extras (in movies), late at night and so on.

There’s a gym on top of the Worli Fort where I would go with a couple of my friends early in the morning and work out.

Another interesting place is under the sea link during the low tide — it’s extremely fascinating to look at the city from that point.

I hate the whole Bandra culture because it’s quite confined within itself. You don’t get to experience the city in its truest splendour and mess.

Parmesh Shahani, Author of Gay Bombay and head of Godrej India Culture Lab Number one on my list is that anyone new to the city should take a ride on the Eastern Freeway because I think the freeway has some of the best views — with the city on one side and the lovely mangroves on the other. It’s an incredible road with the tunnels and great views. It feels like the past and the future of the city are all along the lines of the Eastern Freeway. Also, they should get off it at Vikhroli and swing by our Culture Lab!

Something that I have really enjoyed doing is explore our city parks. Such as the Mumbai Port Trust Garde near Colaba, which is an incredible place, where you can watch the sunset. It’s also a botanical paradise. Then the Maheshwari gardens at Matunga and mother of all, the National Park at Borivali. We are indeed a park city.

Also, one should try some amazing Maharashtrian cuisine. I love Prakash at Dadar, which is a legend. The Piyush (a special beverage) there is to die for and I haven’t had better Kothambir wadi anywhere in the world.

For me, although we have some world class museums, nothing gives as much peace as visiting Mani Bhavan, where Gandhiji lived. To see the simplicity of Mani Bhavan and see how it is kept so beautifully, is a great reminder of austerity and idealism and everything that Gandhiji stood for.