This is not a recipe post, it is travelogue of my visit to India. After 4 long years we visited India in the month of February. This was also my son’s first visit to India, and also the first time his grandparents and relatives saw him in person. My princess also came to know more about her grandma and grandpa during this visit. We started from here on 31st January and landed in Mumbai on 2nd Feb.
The first week was horrible, everybody got sick. Jet lag was horrible, waking up in 3 .00 clock in night, following US time for long time. Finally by the end of week we got back to normal routine. Every time we visit Mumbai we make sure to visit Siddhivinayak temple as well as Mahalakshmi temple. It was those two places my sister had introduced me for the first time when I visited Mumbai before marriage. Going to temple from my in-laws house is a tedious job. We stay in Kandivilli west and according to Google maps it should takes only 57 minutes to reach temple, however it took us about 2-3 hours to reach there. My husband’s friend Kishore and his wife Anita took us there in their car. I admire their friendship as they have known each other since they were toddlers and still maintaining their friendship beautifully. Otherwise this trip to the temple wouldn’t have been very difficult with a cab. The other option would be to take a local train, and for that you need a special training and course required, people are hanging in and out of train.
Traffic in Mumbai is really crazy, roads are always jam packed; if you want a little free road then you should travel in night, or early morning before office time. Otherwise it is a mess. Here when somebody cut in front without putting signals I get upset. But if you are driving in Mumbai you need 3-4 eyes to watch out front, back sides everywhere, people can cut at anytime from all sides. They even going on red light, I think traffic lights in Mumbai are a joke at times. Only in a few areas they follow rule. If you think road is this way, air will be fine, you are wrong, even for airplane landing it will take few hours to get the runaway, you will be circling around Mumbai for at least one to two hours before its gets landing. We had very fun trip to both temples and on the way back we stopped for lunch in a vegetarian restaurant. I always get excited thinking that I am going to taste best food in world when I visit restaurants in India. Just with one dish my dream crashed into pieces. Most horrible food was served there. My princess was happy to see pizza in their menu, but when it arrived in front her, the poor girl got really upset. It was like flat bread topped with cheese. Did anybody call it a pizza? Finally my sister-in law bought pizza which looks like a pizza from a local food court in mall. She was happy and loves to eat them.
While coming back we were able to see 400 years old Haji Ali Dargah: Tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.)in a distance , this time too I was not able visit it.
Which is in my wish list long time may be next time. It is really unique as it is situated in Arabiansea; you need to visit when it is low tide, otherwise walking will be difficult. Then there is beautiful sea link : Bandra –Worli Sea link bridge, which connects Bandra in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai with Worli in South Mumbai.
I think the architect got inspiration from our Golden gate bridge in San Francisco. It is really beautiful ride compared to rest of Mumbai ride.
Then second week we went to Delhi to see my dad and sister’s family. We stayed there for 4 days, and were able to see Qutab Minar and India gate.
We were not able to take pictures as much we wanted as 4 kids were running around here and there, my two and my sister’s two. I think next time when visit Delhi, we will make sure to visit lot of places including the Taj Mahal. I was able to spend some time with my dad, and he was really happy to see his grand kids, my son went to him easily where daughter was not mingling with him as he wanted. He looks fragile due to old age. I also did some shopping too while I was there. I bought some steel vessels for my prop, sister gave me two sarees and 6 Indian dresses, and kids got their gifts too from my father and sister. Then we came to Mumbai.
Third week the last week in India, we visited The Global Vipassana Pagoda which was made with inspiration from Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. It is a Meditation Hall near Gorai, North-west of Mumbai, India.
You need to take ferry from Kandivilli jetty to Gorai. It is one of the most peaceful places in Mumbai. I think we will visit again and again there. With two kids we were not able to meditation still worth the trip.
Even though we missed of lot places, we were able to stay with family and visit friends, every weekend while we are there, my sister-in-laws made awesome lunch for us. My mother-in-law who is another awesome cook made lot yummy dishes. Also I got a chance to learn, Mooli ka paratha, gobi paratha, karanji from the cook who comes to cook at our house.
We also met different version of human behavior while in India, on one trip of Auto rickshaw to local shopping center. My hubby gave him a 500 Rs note and when he gave change, he put the balance in inside his valet without checking. The auto rickshaw driver asked him why come you did not count sir? Hubby told him I believe in you? Then he told hubby that sir you have to count as five fingers in hands are not same and people can cheat. Hubby told him, if I won’t believe you then how can I travel in your cab as you are the one talking through traffic. I trust my life then why should I not trust when it comes to money. The auto rickshaw driver got so impressed an gave big Namaste (a customary greeting).
The other side of human behavior: we were standing in line at airport to check in for our flight to Delhi, one man and woman came with lot of baggage and started pushing me. I told him I am in line; he told us that he is going to miss his flight. So in spite of standing in line with luggage and kids, hubby agreed and let him move ahead. He did another fuss at checking the bag by pushing the man already standing in the counter. This happens around 8.30 A.M, our flight is going to take off at 10.45 A.M so hubby told me it is okay to let that guy go. When we boarded the flight, we saw the same man sitting 2 rows ahead of us on our flight. I was so angry that this man did all the fuss to board the same flight, and lied that he was going to miss his flight. I also find people are rude in Delhi.
Our flight back was totally miserable; at first it took 4.5 h (instead of 3 h flying time) to land in Dubai airport. Then on the flight to Houston, we were sitting in flight for 4 hours before taking off and after 17 hours of flight, here Houston immigration took another 2 hours. Finally when we reach home, it is like reaching in heaven.0
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.