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Mumbai Meri Jaan

Friday, March 09, 2012

If that’s how you feel about our vibrant city, you’ll love what we have in store. Rhea Dhanbhoora & Gargi Bansod bring you the best Mumbai merchandise, some forgotten places you have to visit and the films and books that capture the urban heart    

We’re still getting used to switching over from Bombay — but Mumbai is a city steeped in culture and surrounded by a variety of colours, sights, sounds, tastes and even smells. From bustling markets to swanky restaurants and the ocean dotting its coastline, the city offers a lot. We tell you how to get the most out of the commercial and entertainment capital of India.  

Grab a Souvenir From bags to keychains, here are a few items to pick up for a slice of the city:

Put a tag on it
Jazz up your bags and proudly proclaim your love for the city with this ‘I Love Mumbai’ tag.
Where Loose Ends, Bandra (W)
Price `200

Meter down
You can’t think of Mumbai without autorickshaws. This golden one makes a great showpiece.
Where Baaya Design, Lower Parel
Price `1,050

Hotel Shiv Shankar
Mumbai is synonymous with religion, deities and also the street food and this bag hits the spot.
Where Serenity, Bandra (W)
Price `950

Population spill
This dokra art showpiece speaks volumes of the overpopulated state of our city.
Baaya Design, Lower Parel

Bag it up
Pick up a Mumbai themed handbag from the Tribute to Mumbai collection by Malini Agarwal of Malaga, with pictures from the city printed on it.
Where 3rd Floor, Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel
Price On request

A pot of Mumbai
Depicting some of the most common sights of Mumbai, this kettle will make you whistle with love for the city.
Where Loose Ends, Bandra (W)
Price `1,550

Keyed into the city
Chaats and Mumbai go hand in hand and this keychain is sure to attract those with a love for chaats.
Where Loose Ends, Bandra (W)
Price `125

Truck story
If you’ve travelled a lot on the highway, you know how many trucks the city is filled with. Pay homage to truck drivers in Mumbai with this colourful printed tray from The Elephant Company.
Where The Bombay Store, P.M. Road, Fort
Price `875 — `1,350

Mumbai Tours

Mumbai Darshan
Think you know the city well? Think again! If you haven’t seen the spots we’ve mentioned here, you haven’t really seen Mumbai. Here’s what you can do: take a group of your friends along and go for Mumbai Darshan. There are various bus services which take you to all the tourist spots and you might be surprised to find out the history behind some of them.

Where Neeta Travels

Price `150 onwards


Take a walk
Forget the over crowded public transport and instead take a walk to explore the heritage areas and structures of Mumbai. Featuring groups of 2-6 people, these walks allow you to leave whenever you want to. But, once you are on the walk, we assure you that you will not want to leave. 

Where www.mumbaimagic.com

Price `1,500 onwards

Top 5 Bombay Films Here are the top 5 films that took their cues from Mumbai:

Salaam Bombay!

Even years after its release, this Oscar-nominated film showed off the life on the streets of Bombay. If not for Bombay, this Mira Nair movie will validate your knowledge about how hard-hitting and full of vigour life on the streets is!

Dhobi Ghaat

Named after Mumbai's famed Ghats; Dhobi Ghat serves as a metaphor for the film. From showcasing ground realities to different locations, Kiran Rao’s debut film is more of a “Mumbai Darshan” for the viewers.

Black Friday

Black Friday is a gutsy, gritty, adaptation of the book of the same name. It gives us a true account of The Babri Masjid incident and Bombay blasts, two unforgettable incidents in the lives of any Indian.

Chandni Bar

Perhaps Madhur Bhandarkar's best film, Chandni Bar was one of the first to discover the world of the once-ubiquitous Mumbai dance-bars. A must watch.


This Sudhir Mishra film shows a huge part of world's biggest stretch of slums. Dharavi is an excellent film about fear, cynicism and dreams.

Top 5 Books We tell you about the best books based on or in Mumbai

Shantaram by Gregory Roberts: You’ll never find out more about how chaotic life is in Mumbai than when you read this masterpiece about a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who flees to Mumbai.

Price `599


Maximum City by Suketu Mehta: A combination of memoir, travel writing and a socio political analysis, this is a great book to learn about the city of Mumbai inside out.

Price `425


Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity by K Boo: Based on a slum in the shadow of luxury hotels, the book talks about connections, family bonds and the rural state of the city.

Price `499


City of Gold by Gillian Tindall: The book draws people into the grandeur of Mumbai by talking about the architectural jewels of the city and the life of the people.

Price `250


Bombay Mumbai Ayesha Taleyarkhan: Ayesha understands that Mumbai is a city like no other and her book encompasses the true essence of the city through an extensive series of amazing photographs.

Price `1,950

Top 10 places to go

You can’t claim to be a true Mumbaikar unless you’ve stopped and stared at some of these iconic locations. They may seem a little touristy, but there’s nothing like a little tourist attraction to get to know your city. 

Gateway of India: Constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city in the 1920s, nothing speaks Mumbai like The Gateway of India. The impressive structure is the first thing you see while approaching the city by boat and is the perfect place to soak up a little Mumbai culture.

Kala Ghoda: Literally meaning black horse and named after an imposing structure of a horse in the area, Kala Ghoda is home to museums, galleries and the famous Kala Ghoda Arts festival every year.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park: In the midst of bustling city life and chaotic noise, take a second to stop and witness the beauty of nature at the biggest urban park in the world. Snuggled away from the city, the park is a great place to view open expanses of land and a heady mix of beautiful flowers, plants and wildlife. 

Haji Ali: HajiAli is a dargah that is located in the middle of the sea. Closed during the high tide, the structure is quite impressive and worth a visit.

Chor Bazaar: This literally translates to Thieves Market, but don’t get daunted. Apart from a few pickpockets, nothing awry will meet you here. The shops are worth a visit as they have great prices.

Vihar Lake: Here’s a little more of nature to deal with. Surrounded by trees and the main source of water in the city, the lake is filled with birds, some animals and has a great view of the sunset.

Hanging Gardens: If you’re used to hearing about the Hanging Gardens simply as a landmark, stop and take a look at it. Built on a water reservoir, the gardens are green, peaceful and offer a great view of the Arabian Sea.              

Vasai Fort: The iconic structure was earlier used to build ships. It was taken over by the Portuguese in the 1500s and now, is almost in ruins. But, there’s still a lot to see. Chapels, a well preserved ceiling and a lot of history will welcome you into this place.                       

Asiatic Society: Located in South Mumbai, the Asiatic Society is a regal structure and is home to sweeping staircases and a great library that will transfer you to another era altogether.                

Nehru Planetarium: The planetarium is a  meeting point for scientists and scholars and the center of scientific study. Go here to catch a number of shows and learn more about astronomy.                      


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