I got back last week from 4 brilliant, hectic days in Mumbai. I went with my new hubby (blush) for my best friend Divya’s wedding. It was a bittersweet time. I was really happy for her but its truly the end of an era that began in UCL 11 years ago and is now OVER….sad.
It was the start of monsoon season so it was really muggy and a bit sticky. I didn’t do a lot of sightseeing (apparently not that much to do in Mumbai anyway) but I did do some great shopping, I enjoyed the warmth of Indian hospitality and four fabulous wedding events. Mumbai was so similar to Lagos – the social scene, fashion, family- but in so many areas it is so far ahead! Not only have they preserved their colonial and precolonial architecture soooo much better than we have in Lagos, but the city is truly modern and Mumbai is really running to catch up and compete with other cosmopolitan Western cities. Whoever the Mayor is is defintely not sticking ALL the city’s funds in his pockets!
First, I have to apologise (for the last time I promise) for my awful phone camera. Ive now sorted my actual camera and that’s what I’ll be using from now on.
I was really impressed by Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji airport. We went through immigration and baggage very quickly and the taxi stands were waiting right outside Arrivals. It was much better than airports in some so-called ‘developed’ nations.
Our driver was waiting for us and it was a 1hour traffic-free drive to our hotel.
We stayed at the Malabar Hill Club in a really lovely, part of town. Its a members club which used to be an English club pre independence. It was very comfortable and everythings really cheap for its’ members. The bride Div lives right across the road and she took over the whole hotel for guests from out of town.
First we headed off to do some hit-and-run shopping to get me an outfit for the Sangeet the following night. We did all our shopping in South Mumbai.
Melange was a really gorgeous boutique on Altamount road and its where I got my Salwar Kameez! (A photo of this coming up in Part 2) I wasnt allowed to take photos in any of these boutqiues so I had to be really sneaky!
Back to the brides apartment to get her mendhi (henna) done for her feet. It was incredibly time consuming but worth it. After welcome drinks that night, we had a much deserved rest.
A very early start for the legal signing. The ceremony was held in two really lovely rooms with lots of food, tea, coffee for about 200 people and soothing live music. I was the chosen chief bridesmaid! So I sat next to her during the ceremony and helped take care of her gifts (haha!)
After the ceremony, all the women had their mendhi done.
I had to learn two Indian dances together with the bride and her friends via a recording so I was a bit nervous but we smashed it! Everyone did a dance – the bride and her family, the brides mother and her sisters, the bride, groom and other couples – they take their dancing seriously!
Im hoping to get a pic of me dancing soon. In the meantime here are pics of some of the other dances.
We had a day off from the wedding events so we shopped! Colaba Causeway is South Mumbai nearest high street and I love it.
Next – tea and muffins at The Trident Hotel. One of the hotels that came under attack in the 2008 terrorist attack, there is serious security here. It’s such a beautiful, elegant hotel and I really didnt want to leave.
The Trident is connected to a second hotel, The Oberoi, and below both hotels is a magical mine of boutiques and cafes.
Unfortunately, I slept through our dinner reservation at Table, a highly recommended restaurant…
The wedding night!
We went back to The Trident rooftop venue for the vows, speeches, cutting of the cake and dancing. And of course, more food.
I was so bummed to miss the huge dinner reception in The Trident’s ballroom but we had to catch our flight.
So in full evening wear, we raced to the aiport in the rain and 5 hours later – we were home!
This was a loooong post! We packed so much in four days. I loved Mumbai but happy to be back in Spore.
Part 2 coming up soon and it’ll be all about my shopping purchases. This time I promise to wear them…