Tag Archives: Asia

mumbai mumbai

I’ve made it to Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. Today, we took an all city tour of Mumbai! I’ve been to Mumbai on several occasions, but I’ve never actually seen the city. I know it’s super cheesy to do super touristy things, but recently I’ve been loving it. I mean, I love the hidden secrets of cities, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s cool to really see the history of a city. Surprisingly, I had a really awesome day, despite being on a bus for about 10ish hours, and going to some places that I didn’t think were very Mumbai-ish. We basically did a huge bus tour of the city. We visited the beaches that surround Mumbai (all Arabic ocean—the water is so gorgeous might I add), looked at various old buildings that are a part of the city’s history, and naturally saw some of Bollywood’s biggest stars houses (including Amitabh Bachan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rekha, and Salman Khan…also Kajol’s house I can see from my aunt’s house!).

The thing that struck me the most about this city was how you can really see how much of an influence the British had in this city. You can tell by just the architecture that is seen throughout, especially in South Mumbai where a lot of the older buildings are, and where the Gateway of India is located.

It’s also safe to say that I don’t think I’m used to such crowding, not even in big cities like NYC. There are people everywhere. Literally. One of my cousins told me every day about 25 million enter the city, including residents, visitors, people who work in the city, etc.

One of the biggest tourist attractions, or so I think, is the Gateway of India. It was created to welcome the first arrival of King George V and Queen Mary during the British rule in India.

I think the big thing I saw was how long influence can last. Sure, the architecture of Mumbai is something so physical, but it has left such an impression that it has become part of the city’s culture. It’s important to remember how our actions and words leave an influence around those we surround ourselves with, because it can literally become a part of who that individual is.

I don’t have much more to say. I am definitely exhausted from the day! Mumbai is such a magnificent city, and I wish I had more time to explore the city. If India is on your list of places to go before you die, I highly recommend Mumbai! Below are some pictures from the day!

Beautiful sunset over Mumbai

Beautiful sunset over Mumbai

Looking over the shore in Mumbai

Looking over the shore in Mumbai

Another building built during the British era.

Another building built during the British era.

Forgot exactly this building, but built during the time the British were in India--you can really see the influence just in architecture

Forgot exactly this building, but built during the time the British were in India–you can really see the influence just in architecture

Close up of the Gate of India

Close up of the Gate of India

Gate of India- built in 1911 to welcome King George V and Queen Mary to India for the first time

Gate of India- built in 1911 to welcome King George V and Queen Mary to India for the first time

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first out of town trip

So, we finally leave for our very first trip tomorrow morning, and I couldn’t be more excited! We will be traveling 6ish hours by car to Somnath, Veraval, and Div. Somnath is considered one of the many holy places in India, as it is home to the Somnath Temple.

Why is this significant? Because Somnath is the home of the very first Jyotirling (wiki link). A Jyotirling is a shrine for the Hindu god Shiva. There are only 12 in the entire country, and the pilgrimage to visit all 12 starts at Somnath. I’ve never been before, but I have heard only great and amazing things about this beautiful place.

Packing for this short trip was one of the most hectic things so far in my (basically) 2 months of being here. I have only one month left here in the Motherland, and I have so much more to report. This has seriously been one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had in my life. To say that it was a learning experience is such an understatement. It has been a period of growth in all realms for me, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc. I can’t wait to reflect on my last day here. Of course, I will have a lengthy post on everything I am feeling and thinking and experiencing. Until then, I hope my last month here is just as exciting and fulfilling. We will be travelling for a majority of the last month, so I will try and blog and post pictures as much as I can in between.

Here’s to life y’all!

open door policy

Kind of going along with my last post about India being a very personal state, everyone here always leaves their front door wide open throughout the day. As soon as you wake up, you go and unlock the door, and just leave the screen kind of closed, but basically wide open. People come and go as they please. The only time a doorbell is really needed, is at night when you’ve closed up shop to go and get ready for bed. I wonder what creates this strong feeling of trust amongst communities. It’s not as if there is zero crime in India, because there definitely is. Is that feeling of trust an inherent quality or an acquired one, and what is stopping us in America from trusting one another? There is an obvious element of fear in play here. As people we’re afraid of so many things: snakes, bugs, heights, etc. But isn’t a bit silly to be afraid of members of our own species? Lions aren’t afraid of other lions. To top it off, we are supposed to be rational animals, and that rationality should tell us to not be afraid of members of our own group, population, community. Rather, we should live in harmony with them.

In my yoga session today, we were working on flexibility motions. One movement involved reaching your arms wide open and raising them above your head and slowly bringing your hands into prayer hands. But the concept behind it is that we’re inviting all the positive energy of the elements and our environment into our being and into our soul. This is a pretty neat idea huh? We’re so quick to close ourselves off from the rest of the world, weary of what others can do to us, but why aren’t we open to others bringing positivity in our lives? This is something I am learning more and more every day. There is so much out there that I haven’t been exposed to. But why am I so reluctant to open myself to the vast amount of knowledge, culture, people, or whatever else that is out there? And again, I am brought to the fact that I’m afraid of change, and not only change, but afraid of where all these things can take me in life, and maybe just maybe I might like it. This is scary.

I think we can learn a lot about this from water. My aunt and uncle took me to the river front of the Sabarmati River here in Ahmadabad (there are pictures below). But the nature of water (haha, no pun intended hahaha), is such that it takes in anything that comes its way. It will eventually flush out whatever is not good for it, and retain things that are good (i.e. heat from the sun…positive energy…see where I’m going with this?). If you look at great rivers or oceans, they go on forever. It’s hard for us to see the end. The vastness is just one big wave (ha, I’m really on a roll today) inviting whoever and whatever is willing to take that first step in. But are you going to just wade in the pools by shore, or are you going to swim as far as you can go?

We should do the same with our lives, inviting in as many good things as we can into our lives. We need to create a reservoir of good energy that we can reach into whenever something negative comes our way, because in the end, good always outweighs bad.

Today, read a good quote, poem, do a good deed, tell your best friends something positive about them, tell yourself something positive about you.

Mosquito Bite Count: 3 | Serious Craving: a good American sandwich with provolone and Swiss cheese.

Boat ride on the Sabarmati River

Sabarmati River

Sabarmati River