Mumbai calling 2011

Mumbai Skyline

I booked my tickets to come to Mumbai last month, when my plans for a trip to the USA and Canada fell apart due to my crazy work schedule.

My past two trips have been on British Airways, but this time I booked tickets for our very own Jet Airways. I booked a cab to the airport and reached Heathrow Terminal 4 with time to spare. I must admit that I missed the awesomeness of Terminal 5.

The flight was very comfortable, though I did feel the service was all over the place. The flight was a good 10 hours with minimal turbulence and I did catch up on some sleep and three movies, viz. The Lincoln Lawyer, Rio and Pay Check.

I prefer landing at Mumbai Airport over any other airport in India because of the really quick immigration counters. During my last trip to Bangalore Airport, I spent a good amount of time waiting to get through immigration and then had to wait for my baggage. This time it was only the wait for the baggage that I had to handle. What can be improved is the pre-paid taxi desk at which I had to wait nearly 20 minutes.

Now, I need to book tickets for my trip to Mumbai in December. And, the prices are already over the roof!

Mumbai Skyline

I began my trip in Mumbai by going for Sunday mass in my church. It sure has been a while… Sunday continued to be a very quiet day with me spending the rest of the day at home.

August 15 is the Feast of Annunciation of Mother Mary as well as India’s Independence Day which we love to celebrate :) The day began quietly with mass in the morning and lunch at home. Mom and me went over to my Grandmas place. I also met up with Cloreisha after a long long time at Mocha Mojo in Bandra. Mocha’s definitely has a whole new atmosphere now that hookahs have been banned in Mumbai. Another stupid rule after the “no serving alcohol to persons below 25″. I am waiting for Starbucks to set up shop in Mumbai.

Dinner was back at my Grandma’s place, who is always enthusiastic to order in! So, I had my first taste of Indian Chinese cuisine after a long time.

I celebrated my 29th birthday on August 16. This time it was a lot different from the years before. Last year, I had a very sad birthday stuck at work till 2am. This time was a lot different. I brought in the day with true geek style by redesigning this blog. I have a bit more website and WordPress work to do in the next two weeks.

Birthday lunch was with Ramya at Global Fusion in Bandra which is a place I will definitely recommend. The prices are a bit on the higher side and the place only has buffet. But, the food was really amazing and the ambience is pretty good.

Next stop was to buy me lots of really cool gifts at Shopper’s Stop. I was definitely disappointed because I didn’t find anything good at the sale. Managed a pair of jeans and some good Adidas deo, but the place was rather dry. I plan on visiting the one at Irla to see if I can find something good.

Spent the rest of the day at my Grandma’s place followed by dinner at home. A quiet, uneventful day to celebrate my birthday.

Yesterday and today have been quiet days with some bank work that didn’t happen and an internet connection that didn’t work and lots and lots of rains!

Shopping and eating

T.M. Lewin shirts

Little above a year back, a young man of 20 something, having finished a year at his new job, received the good news of his secondment to London. In preparation for his six weeks in London, the young man set out to a few shops in the city to buy the necessary attire for the new job profile that he would be in.

On 3 May 2010, this young man took his first long haul flight from Bangalore to London. As he walked out of the airplane and took the cab to his apartment, he fell in love with the city and hoped that those six weeks would be a lot more. Little did he know that his wish would come true. However, his work was recognised and he was given an offer he could not refuse. And, he didn’t.

The six weeks turned to six months and the six months turned to nine, as he waited for his visa. After a brief visit in Bangalore, he packed up his belongings and returned home to Mumbai. In Mumbai, as he struggled to adjust to the time zone difference, he tried to put his affairs in order and met a few friends. He was back to London in early March to begin his new job in a role where his friends would refer to him as “Banker”.

I don’t need to tell you that the young man is me and am happy to say that I have completed my first year in London, in a job I grew to love!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This isn’t the case with Ajay (yes, sad joke!), who is perfectly at home at his work place. But, I do go out and have my share of fun and this included a wardrobe improvement with the help of his new found friend Sveccha (introduced by the great Idea-smithy.

We went to Westfield mall, which is one of the largest malls in Europe (view on Google Maps). I picked up a few shirts at the T.M.Lewin store and at Marks & Spencer, a pair of shoes and something that makes me smell real good!

T.M. Lewin shirts

Some Vietnamese food, pastries and Starbucks completed the rest of the day. This was the first day of the long two weekends, the Easter weekend and the Royal Wedding weekend, most of which were spent in the confines of my super sexy apartment!

The living room

The kitchen

The bedroom

View from my bedroom window

What use is a good, well furnished kitchen (courtesy Tesco Direct), when you don’t put it to use. Met up with Sveccha on Saturday and we decided to cook at home. She did the cooking and we did the eating. The prawns turned out to be super awesome and the rice and the dal were yum! Need, I say, I need to take up cooking as a hobby!

And, work continues as usual…

The Indian feel in London

Met up with Clayton, my good old friend from my days of choir singing. He decided to take me to Chennai Dosa, which is a popular Indian cuisine restaurant in Wembley and other places in London.

Travelling to Wembley on a weekend from Canary Wharf is always a pain because the Jubilee line has “planned engineering works”. So, instead of taking the Jubilee straight to Wembley, I took the Jubilee to Stratford (opposite direction), which will soon be the place of the London Olympics.

From Stratford, I took the Overground to Gospel Oak where Clayton came with his car. Going by road today turned out to be rather painful since we came across three accidents yesterday. The first one made us take an alternate route which was several kilometres all over the area. The second one didn’t restrict our travel.

Chennai Dosa turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The rates are much lower by London standards, but I couldn’t help running a quick 70x conversion to INR! The place was filled with Indians and is apparently run by Indians.

The mutton biryani wasn’t too good, but the other prawns and chicken lollipop was yummy :)

Clayton decided to drop me back to Canary Wharf, but for the third accident near London Bridge and I chose to get off at Waterloo and take the Jubilee back home.

Tomorrow is a new day and we’re still debating if we should go watch a movie or not.

Three Short Tales in One

Work, work and more work ensures that a simple person like me doesn’t get time to blog. So, here’s a post that summarizes the last two weeks of my life.

Team dinner

Every quarter the teams out here go out for dinner. Last quarter we went bowling and had a quiet dinner. This time work pressures ensured that we skipped the bowling and just went for the dinner directly.

Dinner was at Jalsa, which is in Marathahalli. I had originally inteded to take the bike to work, but dropped the idea. But, we had enough of bikes and so there wasn’t a problem.

Regarding my bike, the Bajaj service centre really seems to have screwed something up and the pickup has dropped and so has the top speed. Now, am hunting for a local mechanic out here. There are a few in Bellandur and Sarjapur area where I intend to give the bike. Let’s see…

Jalsa is a moderately priced place, designed in a very Indian setting from the times of the kinds of old. I stuck to starters as I usually do when I am out for dinner. Who wants the non-chicken part, right?

Got a lift back home thanks to a colleague who was passing this way.

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Consumer Durables are on their way

Hi everyone, I am still very much alive. I wish I could write in more often but by the time I get home I am usually too exhausted to get online and blog. Then again with work ruling my life, there isn’t much to talk about.

However, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and luckily for us that is something that holds very true out here as well. So on Monday after work my team went out for a mini outing that involved bowling and a light dinner.

We first intended to go bowling at the Leela on Airport Road, but after reaching there we realized the place was super booked. So instead we went over to Church Street and finished a round of bowling. It has been a