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The Mumbai I Knew

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Kamalji, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    The Mumbai I knew


    I was born and brought up in Mumbai,and married too there.The first half of my years 27,were spent in Mumbai,and the other 27 in jaipur.I have very fond memories of Mumbai.


    I was born in Ulhasnagar,and then we shifted thru Ghatkopar, Sion,Chembur,finally settling in Worli,where my Mom and brothers are still there.Mumbai these days is very crowded,the traffic a nightmare,but when i talk of the Seventies,it was heaven.Bus Stops we used to stand in line,and the buses used to stop at Stops,not like now when they just dont stop and stop at the signals,where people get down.A friend of mine used to stand for hours at the Opera House Bus Stop,where noone knew him,and he was in the habit of rushing with the crowd for the bus,but with no intention of getting in the bus.but to pinch a few bottoms in the crowd.This was his idea of thrills.


    Theatres were excellent,and exciting.Just as u ladies love to bargain for fruits and vegetables,we friends used to love standing for extra tickets,asking every pretty girl passing by, "Any extras ?",and haggling with the black marketers over the rates.Most good movies used to be housefull from day one.Sterling Cinema used to have the underground parking,very steep ramp,and while coming out after the movie,my Fiat could not climb the ramp with the friends inside,and i had to tell them to Get off the Car, only then it could climb up.And it was embarrassing,as other cars were lined up after mine,and honking away impatiently.

    I have seen movies like "Danger diabolik",( the orignal of the Amitabh Zanjeer), in Rex Cinema,in the bylanes behind VT Station,as also a cinema house called Radio.I dont know if these still exist.And Grant Road had the best assortment of Cinemas like Super (where Shaildendra the Raj Kapoor Lyrcist used to sell Tickets at the counter),Novelty(prostitutes used to do all in the open,could see it from the roads,as they had no curtains),and hence my first choice those days.Good Time Pass.And there was Alexendra, the famous Theatre, whose Gatekeepers used to translate the English movie name into Hindi(they had the bosses permission).

    Their Translation of the Bond movie Goldfinger was very funny,see if it makes sense "Sone ki Ungli,ne kiya Bahut Khujli" !Another Bond movie called "Thunderball" was "Barish Ayee,Hua Thunder"Picture dekhne Aaoo Ander ".Of course this theatre,alongwith Moti,Taj,Silver, were infested with pimps and prostitutes,and i have been privileged to have them as my companions besides me.How many of u can boast of such an august company !And i was very handsome those days,I think so,and was solicited inside the movie halls,for as little as 10 bucks.But i found movies a better bet.


    Trains were less crowded than now,i could comfortably get in and get a seat then.Take a Miday for a buck and sit and read the gossip.But i could never buy a ticket as there used to be a line of dozen guys for the tics,so i travelled without a Tic always.I knew no one would dare enter a 3rd class compartment and check.As i used to get down, i would go and stand besides the TT at the gate,insde the platform and keep looking at my watch,as though waiting for someone,and as soon as the TT got busy with a guy checking his ticket,I used to quietly slip out.I used to wait to be caught once,so that i pay the fine,and have a clean consience,but tht time never came.If i add interest for all these years,im sure the amount now that i have to pay will run into thousands if not lakhs.


    After 8 pm, driving was a pleasure,we used to go for night movies,and my rickety fiat could notch up 60 kms speed,and from Worli to excelsior we could reach in 25 mins flat,a distant dream these days.And the lovers,who can forget them.Worli Sea Face,used to have Cars lined up,with the boss and secretary combo, Bf Gf, or god knows other combos.We friends used to get in my car,and we would go and park behind a car with action.We could see in the dark just two heads close to each other,and suddenly one head dissappearing,and we could imagine all sort of things.I would suddenly open the head lights,which would catch the couple by surprise,cruise besides their car,and my friends would give them a few choicy bad words,and run away to another victim.

    I had gone with a friend to Ulhasnagar,for some embroidery work for our exports,as most karigars used to stay there.on the way back at around 7,it was getting dark,and we reached the station to catch the train back.My friend felt like doing the big job,and in those days we did not have the Sulabh Toilets at Stations.So myfriend could not wait, told me to wait and went to do his job little behind the station.He sat down,merrily reading his Midday paper,and later planning to use it as a Toilet paper.As he finished,he was about to wipe himself,when he felt something warm at his backside.As he turns to see he sees a huge pig licking his ass,eating the goodies right at the source.My friend just got up and ran for his life,and I could not stop laughing seeing his state,all hanging out.Poor guy i still rib him about it.

    We used to swim at a swimming pool called Mahatma Gandhi Swimming Pool at Dadar,was it,or Mahim.Somebody had written that the the water inside had 90% urine,and 10% water.Knowing that too, we used to go,as it was the cheapest at 1 buck per swim,time unlimited.Once I forgot my trunks,my friend said dont worry , the give on rent too, we will take that.We went to the counter,and they said sorry out of stock,wait a while.We said ok.Suddenly we see a skinny looking dark boy giving his wet used trunks to the counter,and the same were given to us.I can swear by anything, they must have contained any number of diseases,as that guy looked sick,I tell you.That was the day i did not swim and we came back.I dont know if the pool still exists.

    And people at this pool had no ethics.i could feel the guys peeing in,as u can see the bubbles coming out,or farting in the pool with a big bubble coming out from the back of his trunks.But those were the days,my friends,I was young and Gay.Gay had a different meaning those days.Now i have turned from Gay to Grey.

    Mumbai, dear Mumbai, I miss those railway trains and the crowds, the pee fuilled swimming pools,the flies over the Sugarcane Juice,those free rides in the trains,and the prostitutes besides me in the cinema hall.Oh to be young and Gay again.Will God ever listen to me !

    KAMAL MAHTANI
     
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  2. subbutr

    subbutr Senior IL'ite

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    :exactly: My dear Kamalji,

    The Mumbai as we saw in our youthful days and present, there are lot's of changes, We just recollect those olden days spent at Opera House, Fountain, Juhu beach, Fort, church gate, nariman points, chowpathy evening stalls and so on...

    Just unforgettable experiances and Ulhasnagar's sindhi communities contributions to mumbaities requirements always highly commendable.

    The present rush every where and people rushing up in all directions with many hopes & main aim to make some fast buck... Can we deny ???

    Mumbai tho Mumbai hein magar...dil chayyeah... subh theknaka...

    Salute to all mumbaities
    Subbu
     
  3. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear subbuji,

    Yes everyone is in a rush these days in mumbai.

    As they say if anyone runs away from home, the first place he will go to is Mumbai.

    Mumbai is like a drug, jeena yahan maran yahan, is the style there.

    I was lucky to have been detoxicated from the Mumbai drug and am happy here in the small town Jaipur.

    Thanks and regards.kamal
     
  4. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi kamalji,

    The mumbai you knew is too rang birangee... i liked the movie names of the bond movies..your friends thrills, and your other friend with the pig..mygod...i started laughing loud..thank god fil is not there..then i 0 have to give him the whole story as a narration....

    Those days whether it was mumbai/chennai.. there was a little humanity (for want of the apt word)... you have a problem..people used to help..today nobody wants to find out who is the neighbour....

    I also heard apna USA(aka ulhasnagar sindhi association) is the best..can give you the exact copy of whatever you want..

    Change is part of life..even places....

    whatever said ..the die hard mumbaikars will say aamchi mumbai is great.....
     
  5. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Shanti,

    glad u liked it,and now i am waiting for Veda;s comments.:2thumbsup: Bombay was good then,had lots of fun.Yes change is a way of life,and i accept it.

    Thanks for yr great comments.Regards.kamal
     
  6. Vysan

    Vysan Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Kamalji,

    That was a nice narration of old mumbai.....

    My stint in Mumbai till date in my life is only 72 hrs max.... I came ther 3/4 times.... morning visit and evening leaving.... All for interviews....

    But whatever you have said can be related to our great Chennai.... The change that is taking place is great.......

    I can visualise your fun with the couples in the cars.... Your friends thrills in the Bus.... Great..... I can understand that you have really enjoyed your (g)olden days......

    When you talk of Bond movie translation, it reminds me of one school incidence..... My friend went and saw the movie Shaan and came back and narrated the story to us.... He doesnt know abcd of Hindi... " Hey, u know what a movie it is.... He came and told some thing and then he hit him... What a shot....." It went on and on... No story.... hitting, dancing, talking.... What and all nothing.... But that fellow was thrilled in narrating... We also enjoyed that.....

    Every Metro has such summing pool or what..... We had a swimming pool near Anna Samadi..... horrible.... But it was closed now.....

    Whenever I imagine of Mumbai, I thing which comes to my mind is the pickpokets, Dance bars etc...etc..Because all the time my cousins who stay there used to tell me is be very careful, dont talk to anybody, etc.....I used to feel am I a child or what.... But they are much much smarter is what the answer is...

    My frined who has moved to Mumbai for Job some few years before from Chennai..... Doesnt want to move out of Mumbai... Now he doesnt like Chennai any more... It always lures people.....

    Mumbai is mumbai...............

    Veda
     
  7. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Veda,

    You have spent 72 hours in mumbai, reverse that i have spent 27 years of my life in mumbai.:)

    Mumbai is additive, i see my brothers and friends, they just wont leave mumbai.i guess i am one of thelucky few to have left it for good.

    That Shaan description was good.Thanks for yr kind comments.shanti was laughing when she read this blog.

    I have written 9 episodes of Mumbai, but the response here on Indus iis not too good, so i wont post them.

    Regards.kamal
     

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