Its a Sunday.
And whilst many of my friends are out there trotting the globe or leading their very exciting lives, I am at home in my glasses, Sunday pants and an “I don’t care how I look” hairdo surfing Facebook, feeling sorry for myself. Finally, after many hours of self pity and a few “leg fell asleep” moments, I have realized how silly I am being and decided to take control of my life. This basically means, I will write a blog post about fun and exciting things to do in Mumbai on a small budget (read: can’t afford a real vacation) rather than getting up and actually doing them. I surfed the net for many ideas and “inspiration” but alas, I think I am destined to write this one all by myself. So without further ado, I present to you, my list of what I like to call, “broke people’s cheap thrills”.. yes… you can quote me on that. And I promise I have tried many of them myself… I swear……pinky swear.
1) Go for a free art exhibit in the Kala Ghoda area. Take a friend who is as clueless about art as you and you will have a blast trying to figure out what each painting “represents”. Modern Art exhibits are the best. Jehangir Art Gallery or the National Gallery of Modern Art are quite fun.
2) If art isn’t really your thing, head over to Sassoon Docks and the Ballard Estate area for a leisurely stroll. The place is eerily empty, especially on a Sunday and is a refreshing change from the otherwise over crowded city
3) Try actually exploring your city, seriously, its fun. Visit one of the forts in Mumbai, choose from Worli, Bandra, Bassein or Sion (Bassein is not the same as Sion, its in Vasai. Yes, you heard that right Townie Lemur… its all the way in Vasai and you will probably have to take the train). The actual Fort area, is quite disappointing, if you are expecting a fortress.
4) If you are one of those rare, over enthu, species that actually wants to spend their Sunday hiking (*fake gasp*), then my favourite is Matheran. (ya I am really not much of a hiker). Even if you don’t really care much for hiking, the walk up to the hill station offers some spectacular views and makes for a great, affordable day trip. You can take the central line from VT (or the nearest central line station) and board a train headed for Karjat. Get off at Neral (not Nerul), eat a Vada Pav outside the station, share a cab to Dasturi (every 5-10 mins there are cabs going up) and walk from Dasturi to Matheran (Its about 25 to 30 minutes). You can eat lunch (Read: beware of crazy monkeys), take a couple of selfies for your Facebook page, where you pretend your life is fabulous, and take the train back in the evening. I have once done the entire trip in less than Rs. 500 including lunch, so its pretty affordable.
5) Are you actually reading this post in the middle of the afternoon and are still in your pyjamas. Matheran is obviously not an option for you, my friend. But if you still want to go on a picturesque walk, head on over to Malabar Hill. Right opposite the water pump, after Kamla Nehru Park and at the edge of the road that joins Malabar hill and Kemps Corner, there are these stairs heading downward. This road is pretty awesome, with ample greenery, no people and lots of peace and quiet. A word of caution though, at one point the road forks out onto the right. I have been advised to not use that road alone as it ventures out into thick forest (yes I am still in South Mumbai) and apparently a few troublemakers call that forestry their home. So if you are a lone wolf, continue on the left hand side concrete staircase and lo and behold, find yourself in Babulnath!
6) You can combine the previous walk with a visit to Kamla Nehru Park. The viewing point up there makes for some of the finest views of the Chowpatty and Marine Drive areas, especially at dusk when the lights come on. It would probably make for a great proposal spot. Although the hordes of over eager tourists, pushing and shoving to get a bit of the view on a Sunday, might be a bit of a romance kill.
7) If you are too lazy to do any of these things, find a great bar/restaurant that has Happy Hours on a Sunday afternoon. This is a very affordable drinking time and with most bars being almost empty at this hour, your friends and you can be as loud as you want. There is also something thrilling about drinking in the middle of the day, plus they do say that more alcohol is the best cure for a hangover.
8) Head on over to Borivali National Park and visit the beautiful Kanheri Caves (I haven’t been there but the pictures look nice). They say there is wildlife there as well. Maybe you will get to see a deer or something. If you do see one, please let me know.
9) Go on a boat ride to Mandwa. Its fun and takes only 45 minutes to reach there. If you can actually do it, then an early morning boat ride is the best. The views of the Gateway of India in the morning are absolutely spectacular…and also, make for great selfies. More importantly, its super affordable.
10) Actually try and read the paper, Mumbai Boss or Times City once in a while. They have some fantastic options for things to do in the city. There is always some festival, play, science exhibit, workshop, walk or other exciting thing to do in there that you haven’t done before and often you can find really cheap or free activities.
11) If you are more in a “stay home in pyjamas” kind of mood, then maybe you could try creating your own Sunday cocktail. I tried three recently (I know, I have a problem, so what?) Here is a cool summer recipe.
– If vodka is your thing, take a large watermelon, cut off a small portion of the top, use a spoon to mash all the fruit inside the small opening, add some crushed ice, vodka, lemon and mint leaves, top it with a little soda or sprite, put in a straw and slurrppp. Instant Goa wali feeling
12) I heard the aquarium has re – opened in a new Avatar…. so……. if you try it, let me know
13) Take up a cool DIY project. Upcycle your old clothes into funky usable things or maybe give them a new look for dinner later that evening. The World Wide Web is at your disposal with millions of fantastic ideas.
14) Call all your friends over for a board game party. You can give regular games funky twists or even make it a drinking game. (Yes, as you must have guessed, alcohol is a large part of my Sundays)
15) Finally, sit back and plan a fake vacation on Google for a time when you can actually afford it. If all fails, atleast you will have some fantastic hopes and dreams. Believe me its a real fun activity, plus nothing beats an actual vacation, so taking out time to plan a trip will bring you closer to actually going on it.
And if you are tooooooooooooo lazy to do any of this, just write a blog post like me.
Musafir, Over and out!