I woke up reluctantly, Bombay’s crazy humidity making me drowsy even though I had just woken up. My uncle taught me how to make an Indian street food speciality I hadn’t heard of before called a frankie. It consisted of freshly cut tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, cilantro and chili sauce mixed in with the previous night’s paneer tikka rolled up into a tortilla-like daily flatbread called a roti. It helps get rid of leftovers, but tastes so good–it’s like eating freshly cooked food. After a hearty frankie-filled lunch, we all crowded into my uncle’s car to go on our quest of exploring Bombay. The traffic was insane! It took us an hour to get out of nearby towns onto the main highway. I learned one thing–if you learn to drive in Bombay, you can drive anywhere in the world. The traffic doesn’t compare, not even to NY or D.C. especially due to the lack of traffic rules.
My uncle took us to a small town made just for Indian army nationals and their families. The area was fenced in and so clean, it didn’t look like it was a part of Bombay. One of the parks within the town (Nofra) was right next to the ocean. We all stood right next to it as the strong waves hit the fence. The water was dirty due to the years of heavy pollution from the metropolitan city. Although the ocean wasn’t necessarily the prettiest site, that didn’t keep it from being a majestic one. The waves were powerful especially due to the monsoon. We were splashed several times!
Our next stop was for some street food in the same peaceful town until we made our way over to the not-so-peaceful Gateway of India. The Gateway is a hostorical site erected to mark England’s entry into India at the beginning of British occupation. At night the Gateway looked beautiful, all lit up with purples and blues and standing adjacent to yhe great Arabian sea.
On our way to another family friend’s place, we stopped by Marine Drive, a long stretch of land right next to the ocean, a popular spot for couples and people who took morning and evening walks. We sat there for a while admiring the ever powerful waves and the city lit up in gold right next to it. Hours on end sitting next to Marine Drive would never get boring. Bombay city next to the sea would always have its old-time charm. ***