Before we hit the sack, some grand plans were being hatched. Key words: Juhu Beach, 6 am. Not happening! Especially after the near-passing out experience at Leopold and gappe shappe till 4 am. So I woke up at around 10 the next day only to find my dear friend all ready with breakfast! Poor thing, I doubt she hardly got any sleep. Obviously after hogging so much at night, my stomach had to put up a sign saying "Ek-Do-Teen-Char, Band Karo Yeh Atyachar!". Alas I had to give a miss to those tasty grilled sandwiches.
I sustained on Neembu Pani and finally got ready for some Mumbai style mall shopping! This series of Mumbai posts would be inadequate without a mention of some other nice places that we saw the previous day. I think the one that had the most impact on me was the Oval Ground. It was this huge oval shaped ground where lots of kids were playing cricket and other sports. It looked like the ideal spot for a nice picnic. Apart from this, we also saw a very pretty Flora Fountain which was built pre-independence and is a postal address in it's own right! A glimpse of the towering World Trade Centre was on the cards and we sipped some fruit juice at a nearby juice stall while marvelling at its height.
Coming back to Day 2, we went to Inorbit Mall. Now, I've grown up in Dubai so I'm pretty used to malls. Even then, (or maybe it was because I was seeing a mall after ages), I couldn't help looking around awe-struck. The best thing about malls is that they are so well organized. Everything has it's own place, including the food court. Its pleasurable to shop during the day coz the natural day light and the artificial light merge together to create a soothing ambeince. As we started window shopping, my friend threatened to buy me something. I was already so embarassed about the amount of pampering I was receiving. Nevertheless, she did end up buying me a pretty Staedler pink dress, for which I was gushing for like a half an hour. I also bought myself a long top from a cool shop called "AND". There was a lot that caught my fancy and I noticed that the kind of variety I saw there could not be found in the malls in Pune. Someday, when I've got a fatter purse ;)
After the successful shopping stint, we both came back home. On my special request, my friend had made veg frankies and it was killing me to think that I wouldn't be able to have them on account of my mutinous stomach. I had a chat with it and it agreed to not create further problems on the ransom demand of a Coke. Thus, without further ado, I wolfed down 2 yummy frankies and started wondering how to double cross my stomach into overlooking the delicious chocolate pudding. After the delicious lunch, it was time to start packing my bags.
I confirmed and re-confirmed with the stupid Prasanna Travels franchisee that the volvo would leave from Borivali at 3:30 pm and that it would stop near Arya Dairy at 3:45 pm. After freshening up and saying my goodbyes to her in laws, I left from her place. I soaked in every last visual, sound and smell that I could during my final drive on Mumbai roads(for some time to come at least). My friend and her husband came to drop me and we reached the bus stop around 3:40 pm. There was no sign of the bus till 4:00 pm. It was very hot and a pain to stand in the sun with no shelter. Plus my stomach wasn't exactly happy about the chocolate flavored double crossing and I was becoming increasingly cranky. Finally at 4:20 I lost all patience.
I called up the Prasanna Travels office and asked them where was the damn bus. I got their standard reply "It's on its way". I persisted and that lady gave me the driver's number. After standing for 45 mins in the terrible sun with an upset stomach guess what I got to hear? "The 3:30pm bus has been cancelled, the 4:30 bus will be leaving in 5 mins". I wouldn't have minded going to jail right then for torching and stoning a few Metro Link buses. My friend's husband suggested that I should not rely on Metro Link and should take any AC bus going towards Pune. Finally at 4:50, after standing on that bus stop for more than an hour, a Neeta Volvo came by. I got a seat all the way in the back but by then I was so tired that I was ready to sit on the roof if they agreed to take me home. I said my goodbyes and boarded the bus.
The one thing I didn't know was that Neeta Volvo has offices on the Mumbai Puna route at every 0.5 km. If while coming to Mumbai we were stuck in Pune for 1.5 hours, Neeta created a new record by keeping us stranded in mumbai for 2 hours before we actually hit the highway. Mercifully though, this bus skipped the entire Baner Aundh stretch and went straight to Chandni Chowk. I got down at Paud Road and got a royal sawaari (my bro in our Ritz) back home. Home sweet home!
Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a mention of my final revenge. When I came home, my parents called me up and I told them everything. They were yelling at me for like an hour about how I took disadvantage of my friend (the food, the staying, the dress! *blush*). So, I finally decided enough was enough. My friend had casually mentioned that she was dying for some Bakerwadi. For some reason, when I had gone to the sweets shop in Pune (before), I bought Chiwda and pedhe for her. So after coming back, I first went to the DTDC courier guy and and told him that I needed to ship out some Bakerwadi. I thought he would point at me and laugh but he just asked me to get it in a box so that it doesn't get crushed. I sent the Bakerwadi by express courier and the next day my friend was shouting at me "You bloody idiot, who couriers Bakerwadi!! What is wrong with you? My in laws are shouting at me!".
Revenge. Is. Sweet. :D
Jokes apart, thanks a lot dear friend for the wonderful and amazing experience. I will always remember it and it wouldn't have been so beautiful without you. Cheers! :D