March 12, 2005


I think when the indexes cross above average, anything becomes complicated to interpret. Because, then there are different versions and perspectives of one event. Mumbai contains one of the Asia's biggest slums. And being the host of Bollywood and other icons of India, it shelters some of the richest people of India. The house rents are high. There are expensive and branded shopping malls; good infrastructures like a good shuttle train network (the lifeline of Mumbai); many overpasses, the marine drives and increasing trendy population, who follow a lifestyle ahead by few years from other Indian cities.

S. from Sri Lanka was telling about the poverty she saw in the road which is almost non-existent in her country. I think she should have also seen the page-three nightclubs (the ones where celebrities go) to put things into perspective. Mumbai is an expensive city and here people have money as the economy is vibrant. What is remarkable is that people do not show off their wealth and brag much unlike other states of India (Delhi et. all).

Our training and workshop has ended successfully. Some of my Mumbai colleagues were generous enough to take us for some tours (shopping and/or sight seeing) whenever we got some time. On the 10th we went to the shopping malls in Phoenix mill at lower Parel. In 1997, Kishore Biyani, an entrepreneur first opened one shopping mall in Kolkata. Now he has set an empire of more than $1 billion dollar in numerous Indian cities with his shopping malls chains like Big Bazaar, Pantaloon, Food court etc. Biyani, whose idol is Sam Walton of Wall Mart, has set his motto "Pile goods high and sell at the cheapest rate". Although he has competitors like the popular "Shoppers stop", people know where to find the best at the cheapest.

P of Nepal had become a father for the first time. He was not sure how express his feelings and only broke the news while we were shopping at phoenix. We took him to a trendy restaurant called "Out of the blue" to celebrate the birth of his son. The dinner was good and specially the ambience had surprises like Japanese style sitting arrangements in open air.

We went to Nariman point and the Gateway of India yesterday afternoon. We walked a lot but the heat of the sun was not pleasant enough to stay sometime to enjoy the views. Then it was our duty to let P. find something for the newborn as he left soon after.

We had a get together last night. As the ladies bowed out, it had become a informal studs party. We enjoyed and we could get to know each other in details.

Today is my last day at Mumbai. I am on my own as all of my colleague has left today morning. I have bought a map of Mumbai and will explore some of the places. Stay tuned.


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