Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mumbai - August 2011

Date: 15th August 2011

Bandra-Worli Sea Link built by Hindustan Construction Company, opened to public in June 2009

The first time I set my foot in Mumbai was when I scheduled to take an international flight from Mumbai, i.e. nearest airport to take me home to Kuala Lumpur for eid. I was in Pune at that time as told in my previous entry, "Maharashtra State - Daund Taluka". It was my first trip back to spent eid with my family on 15th August 2011 after almost a month fasting for the first time in India. Mr Warren, our Project Director was very kind in allowing me to leave early from the office that day and even suggested that I did some sightseeing in Mumbai city before taking the night flight. 

Rainy day along Mumnbai-Pune expressway in August month

Malaysian staff does not normally take a flight from Pune to Mumbai as the check-in, boarding time including waiting time is equal to the time travel by road from Pune to Mumbai using Mumbai-Pune Expressway. We booked ahead a taxi from Pune city where the office driver will dropped us at the meeting point. I was not lucky that day as the taxi driver from Pune is not familiar with Mumbai road and it's places of attraction. In addition, it was raining through 4 hours we were on the road till we reached Mumbai city.

Reaching toll gate of Bandra-Worli sea link bridge, also known as Rajiv Gandhi Sea LInk

Entering the Mumbai city while passing the slum-dog areas, I noticed how dirty the Mumbai city a home to about 20.5 million peoples though most glamours and famous film star, business tycoon etc had their home here. Beggars are numerous. I concluded that I don't like Mumbai though Mumbai is the wealthiest city in India, been ranked 6th among top 10 global cities on billionaire count ahead of Shanghai, Paris and Los Angeles.

The stay cable bridge connecting western suburbs to Nariman point in Mumbai business district

Mumbai is also the commercial and entertainment capital of India, generating 5% of India GDP from industrial output and maritime trade. The city houses important financial institution such as Reserve Bank of India and Bombay Stock Exchange beside a preferred place for the corporate headquarters for India business corporations as well as other multinational company established themselves in Mumbai. The city also houses Hindia (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Due to that, it attracts migrants from all over India becoming a melting pot of many communities and cultures. I discovered that only on my second trip to Mumbai receiving my family in year end of 2011.

Haji Ali dargah seats very near to Bandra-Worli Sea Link which we finally found after misleading search

The Taxi was stopped by Mumbai police as accordance to the city law, only Mumbai taxis can bring tourist in Mumbai. Lucky that the driver can communicate well with the police with no language barriers as all people in Maharashtra state speaks the same language, "Marathi". Shortly after that, I instructed the taxi driver to sent me to the airport as we were driving without direction as he failed to take me to the most famous monument, Getaway of India. My head was spinning fast seeing how he struggled to find the Getaway of India and/or the Taj hotel. The only thing that I discovered that day was plentiful shopping mall, which we made a quick stopped for me to shop sarees and blouses for Haniza, my sister-in-law.   

The Cancer advert withdrawn my attention to TATA, a huge conglomerate tycoon in India

I of the building that attracted my attention, snapped from the car
I encountered quite similar experienced with another taxi driver when I returned in early December the same year to pick-up my family from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The ongoing Metro Lines construction in major parts of Mumbai city makes the heavily traffic within the city worst still. We were late by half an hour with the same detour. Hence we decided to drove back to Daund rather spending 3 days 2 nights in Mumbai as initially planned.  

Sad day to visit Mumbai, Sigh!

Stay tune for more stories of Mumbai in my next entry.

Remarks: Bandra-Worli Sea Link foundation stone was laid in 1999 with Indian rupees 6 billion budget, anticipated to be completed within 5 years. The project was dragged to another 5 years with a revised construction cost of 16.6 billion Indian rupees, which ended contracting parties in a big litigation case. The project was commissioned by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).   
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