'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menopticaling - view from taxi in Mumbai...

A fellow blogger recently posted about a taxi ride in Dar Es Salaam. It immediately triggered memory of a rather taxing taxi ride last September.

It was a little unfortunate and was on the verge of breaking relations; however, it got looked upon later as all part of the greater picture of experience.  You see it was when Emm and Gee came to Mumbai to aid my transition from ashram to outside life again - and the leaving of India.  Part of the plan was to take outings in the sensual world - like seeking a dining delight in the heart of the city.  A vegetarian restaurant of some repute.  

Emm expressed the desire to reach said establishment via taxi, and that we should incorporate a ride along Marine Drive prior to reaching.  I expressed concern, having become familiar with prevailing traffic conditions, that the timings allowed for may present a problem.

Some of the things the taxi wallah was muttering in Hindi indicated he was of the same impression.  There were a few words with which I was unfamiliar - possibly a good thing. What did become clear at one stage though, was that he was not entirely sure how to get onto Marine Drive. A journey that on a reasonable run might have taken 40-50 minutes turned into two hours of fiasco.  We were stopped more than we were moving.
Such are 'the prevailing traffic conditions'!  

Things had not started particularly well when we tried to even catch a taxi.  It was the hint that the locals knew this would be a frustrating run. The fellow who did agree to take fare began to regret before we had even reached half way.

I had already made up my mind, having agreed to go (it had taken some persuading by Emm) that I would simply enjoy the outing.  Yes, it is noisy, smelly, crazy; but I do love the place.  

The 'Nik' on my lap ready for action, I kept translation of driver comments to a minimum and resolved to enjoy the view. Mind you, almost invariably, the traffic would move just as the shot was in action. What you see here is straight from camera - no 'fixings'!

Above, some of the many colourful lights on buildings and streets...

Left, the crescent moon, apparently chasing an imposter...

Below, the Haji Ali 'mosque on the sea' as seen at night in traffic which by this time was moving...

No more were taken as we did finally arrive at Marine Drive.  Quite the anti-climax it was too.  Next challenge?  Find the restaurant.  It took another 30 minutes or so.  Then we drove right by.  Why?  The queue was outstanding.  Literally.  Standing outside.  it was heading towards 10pm now and we were tired and hungry.  The driver agreed to take us back to Powai.  

It took 45 minutes.

Driver was laughing with us by the end.  He earned well for his troubles.

I prepared us a meal in my one-pot-wonder and all became well with the world.


  1. Suddenly, the Aberdeen rush hour traffic doesn't seem so bad after all….

  2. WE don't have rush hour traffic out here in the country... unless you consider the occasional Farm tractor and School Bus to be a traffic snarl.
    We think we like it better on our hill. BUTT it was GRAND to see how some folks live.

  3. This is really interesting Yamini, made me smile :)

    And I really like the creative and very natural and raw shots you took, they capture the moments well...

  4. Plan B, my mother used to call that. Thank goodness for one pot wonders.

  5. Don't you love those neat photos? Well done.
    You are creative.


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