The ideal night out in Mumbai….



Soon after landing in Mumbai  a year and a half ago I went to one of the city’s premium bars on a Thursday . I was wearing ripped jeans. ( I mean deliberately ripped, to be fashionable.)

Luckily I got past the bouncers, but inside, surrounded by women in black sequin dresses and rich men in striped shirts, I felt rather stupid. In fact, not a single man looked at me.

On another occasion I lit up a beedi while at a classy garden dinner party. The other guests who had until then been engaging in small talk with me, stopped, watched and turned white.

I’m sure Rollies were in ‘in’ the UK then.

Anyway these were some of my many initiations into the Mumbai partying scene.

I realised the backpacker look of flip flops and combat trousers was ‘out’, as were beedis and  that  looking loaded was ‘in’.

So following the proverb ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’, I invested in several dresses, bought various brands of designer jeans and lots of sequin tops.

I then went  to X on a Thursday,  Y on a Friday and Z on a Saturday – the ‘in’ places for each night of the week, then.

But after several months I got bored.

Bored of meeting strugglers, models  and bimbo actresses in  Bandra; bored of getting chatted up by male models who never pulled their wallets out when the drinks bill arrived; and bored of meeting friends in high-end bars that despite the calibre of clients they attracted, still got flooded in the monsoon.

In south Mumbai too I had had my fill of  being getting chatted up by real estate agents and diamond dealers, who still had their wedding rings on. I was also uncomfortable in the rich expat scene where peoples used rupees like it was monopoly money and made me feel like a struggler.

I also disliked standing in posh clubs with noone speaking to me and noone to pull. And I was fed up of being introduced to women in bars wearing mini dresses and bare legs, showing their cleavage hanging out who just smiled but who had no interesting conversation.

I was also fed up with spending on two drinks what I pay my maid each month and consequently reaching the end of my salary by week two in every month.

So, that explains why  I spent last Saturday night ducking every time a tree  branch hit me.

Sounds odd? Well, it was.

I was on an ‘organised bar crawl’ – Yes  - that took me on an open air blue bus with 100 other drunk Indians and expats bar hopping around bars in Bandra. And we discovered there were lots of trees in Bandra, despite environmentalists claiming otherwise. But they had not been planted to handle open-air bar crawls via bus, it seemed.

Every so often the Best bus would screech to a halt and we would all cling to our seats.

We went to lots of bars people don’t usually frequent and ended up in Bollywood Mischief in Bandra, hanging out on the roof playing pool, chilling and laughing. It was my best night out this year.

And so I reached the decision the way to have a cool time in Mumbai is not to blindly follow the crowd and go to X,Y or Z, but to do different things all the time. So, I’ve started compiling a list of cool and cheap things to do in this diverse city. Here is my first draft:

1)      Smoke a Cohiba (Rs150) at the Mumbai cigar club in south Mumbai or puff a hookah pipe on the roof of Mumbai Times Café, Bandra

2)      Eat fish at Jai Hind on Hill Road, Bandra; devour chicken on top of your car bonnet at Bade Miyan behind the Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba; savour Afghani chicken at Khanekas opposite Mini Punjab in Banrdra or have a candlelit dinner at the Tasting Room, Lower Parel

3)      Go and see a foreign film at either the Blue Frog (nominal charge) or Bootleggers (free)

4)      Meet a friend at the  Sun N Sand bar in Juhu. Sit there and have endless snacks served to you just for the price of your drinks then wander outside and sit next to the pool as the sun sets.

5)      Go to the Mumbai Times Café on a Monday night to either watch Mumbaikers perform stand-up poetry or see short films (free)

I was all ready to try out my new-found social diary on a friend who turned up a yesterday from Old Blighty.

She suggested meeting up so, dead excited,  I suggested one of my new cool alternative ideas.

But ‘I’ve heard X, Y, and Z” are really good,” she said, as though I hadn’t heard of them. It’s the same when foreigners suggest going on the slum tour or eating at Leopold Café, they act as though they are the first to have come up with the idea.

I asked a friend what to do. “You have to take her there. She is a foreigner and that is what they want,” he said.

So, back I was in X dressed in sequins, surrounded by strugglers and women in skimpy dresses, spending my maid’s wages in two drinks, pretending to enjoy myself.

Anyway that was the start of my list. What is yours? What is your ideal night out in your city?

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  • http://axw11.wordpress.com/ axw11

    Beedis…remember the good old days when we didn’t have enough money to buy cigarettes and used to smoke beedis (Brand: Mynah). Now we have money but cant smoke….used to smoke beedis at rock shows at Rang Bhavan…and people used to just stay away from us low class people :D

    Btw, beedis come with this highly advanced one-minute auto shut off mechanism…dont puff for a minute and gets shut off….much safer than cigarettes….

    [Reply]

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    Ripped Jeans in India?

    People wear silk saris and gold just to go to McDonald’s over there!

    At least in Delhi, Micky D’s is considered a “night out” at a “nice restaurant”.

    [Reply]

    ankur kakkar Reply:

    who considers McD’s a hang out in delhi ??? with pandara road , nizammudin, PVR saket complex and various other places open all night … WHO would think of going to McDonald’s ?

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    Beedis are dead cool man. That was all I smoked when I backpacked round India at 19. I dont know why we have to make so much effort to “look rich” all the time…We should making “looking poor” in again.
    There was a time when looking poor in the UK was dead i’n.’ I had some really wealthy friends and they went round in rags. Ripped jeans were very trendy for aged.
    Of course cigars are also cool and they make you look rich. Hookah pipes are also amazing – love them to bits.

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    I meant to say that ripped jeans were trendy for ages (not for aged lol)
    . Can someone explain to me why is that girls in Mumbai dress up to the nines to go out just to a simple bar? And why is the aim to always “look as rich as possible”?

    [Reply]

    axw11 Reply:

    I believe in the Fight club philosophy…not the fighting bit :D but the “you are not your bank account….you are not the clothes you wear…..”

    i wear jeans to work….where most of the people dress up in all formals….like i don’t understand all this about showing an image….you might be the worst person deep down in your heart, but might be wearing an Armani and driving a porsche…nywayz who cares!!!!

    xyz Reply:

    @Naomi: Beedis, Cigarettes, Cigars, booze? From one the previous posts: “I thought I had discovered a new breed of men to date”. Why do I feel the Aunty’s banter carried weight?

    pavementfreud Reply:

    ‘I mean deliberately ripped, to be fashionable…’ yeah right…we know as much…kids here been doin’ that for ages as well!

    About then bidis…well…they are the staple of them guys who do those menial jobs…the scavenger…the archetypal slumdog (for lack of a better word)…it’s yet to become *in* in India!

    Most of these girls who go to a simple bar are from relatively affluent families…just that they don’t seem to endorse your ragged-jeans-are-oh-so-cool POV…simple eh?

    Lastly, the ‘aim to look as rich as possible’…now this one’s universal…I am sure many a Brit has similar aims!

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    XYZ, bidis, booze and cigars do not equal past sexual history and past sexual history does not equal AIDS.

    The “aunty” in question commented about both of those things, NOT booze, bidis and cigars.

    Marques Reply:

    I do not understand why our young do what you firangees do. Like you know the ribbed jeans and fadded jeans. I think they do not go well with our kind of skin and surroundings. The environs are never so clean as back there in west. I see that lloking worn unique out of place in a clean surroundings so it looks cool but in India!!!???

    Prabhakar Reply:

    Would you not be better off trying some marriage web sites………

    [Reply]

    xyz Reply:

    @Naomi: Why is it a common belief among western women that a woman who wear a burqua or a hijab is ignorant of the world around her? Like the journalist woman who lurks around rich businessmen and second grade politicians for quotes and is oh-so-connected because she knows where to get the cheapest booze or knows which restaurant closes at what time is modern? You really think a man or a woman who find pleasure in simplicity such as a walk on the chawpatty or to the ice-cream parlour next door is in some way inferior to those who insist on having a single malt or a cognac every night at 5-star hotel? I had much better image of you until this. Holy Christ Naomi.

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    No idea what this jibberish is supposed to mean.

    “And one thing more, wearing some jewellery is part of daily life of a woman here, not that she would specially take off her wedding ring or Mangal Sutra to go to McD’s. The more you open your mouth, the more you prove yourself ignorant. Why not shut up once in for all? You knowledge of this country and its people is ZERO. Also, explain to me why is it weird to buy a McD’s hamburger at 1 am? The ham inside is sleeping?”

    WTF?

    Neo Reply:

    “And one thing more, wearing some jewellery is part of daily life of a woman here, not that she would specially take off her wedding ring or Mangal Sutra to go to McD’s.”

    Very true indeed. An Indian woman without some form of jewellery was an exception till a few years back.

    “Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai” – a unique name indeed! any story behind that???

    xyz Reply:

    I’ve given up on you whatever your name is… No amount of explaining can make you understand it’s meaning, so forget it. In Hindi we say Moti Akal! Go call your north Indian cousin or friend if you got one to know the meaning. *Shakes head in disappointment* Creatures God creates!!!

    Naomi Reply:

    What? To discover an ideal night in Mumbai. Dont think so.

  • Samar Halarnkar

    Call your friends home, cook some good food, buy some booze. No traffic, no noise. Cheap and best

    [Reply]

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    so you should crib about having to pay your maids salary on a couple of drinks. But expect the guys to empty their wallets if drinking with you…

    lol – using rupees like monopoly money.

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    NO!! What I am saying is this: why should I pay for the drinks of male models and actors????? I dont mind splitting the bill, but , so what, who cares about women’s lib, we still want the men to either pay for our drinks or pay for their share. And I thought it was an Indian custom for the man to pay for everything?
    I can’t help it that drinks in Mumbai are so expensive that they two of them can equal my maid’s wages…Drinks prices are too high, in fact I think they are higher than in London in some bars.

    [Reply]

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    hahaha. Indian custom. yeah the Indian man pays for everything… you are right about that. But anyways this will take another turn into Indian v.s western… which frankly i am tired of…

    are drinks prices really that high… are you sure they don’t charge differently for expats… good thing is that this is one less thing that this Indian man will pay for.

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    xyz Reply:

    Lol, I have a slogan T-Shirt I wear around, it says: Before Marriage a Man Yearns for the Woman, After Marriage, the ‘Y’ becomes silent. :P Hehe. Can’t help but it’s true for a majority of women, here or abroad. They are all the same, sure they talk about women’s lib, but when it comes to work they hardly do 50% but still want equal pays.

    pavementfreud Reply:

    Can I hire your maid?

    Naomi Reply:

    Do you mean my maid or the maid that XYZ employs? How much do you pay yours then?

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    Neo, I’m not talking about a mangala sutra or wedding ring coupled with a nice pair of earrings and a few bangles.

    I’m talking – these women were decked out head to toe in silk and desi bling as if they were going to a wedding or an expensive, upscale, very posh resort…. …all to go to MacDonalds for a burger!

    And one couple actually planned weeks in advance to celebrate their one year wedding anniversary with a “romantic dinner for two” at ……. …………………..MacDonald’s!!!

    Now somebody please explain THAT to me…..

    Neo Reply:

    What you are talking about involve cultural differences, economic disparities and personal tastes. All of us feel fascinated by unfamiliar things. I remember when McD outlets were newly launched in Metros in the late 90’s, it was a new concept and people were very enthusiastic. It represented the American way of life. They wanted to feel it themselves. The PPP concept in terms of the cost of a BigMac.

    However, you should realise that compared to highly homogeneous(single language, single religion, comparable income groups) nations in the West, India is a world in itself – heterogeinity to its extreme. So always be fully prepared to encounter things that may seem strange or bizzare by your standards. India has some of the richest and poorest people on the face of this planet living together in same cities like Mumbai. When their worlds collide(like at a McD outlet), all are amused and fascinated looking at others.

    While rich and poor are extremes of this scale, there are all the shades of gray in between. Add to that the religious differences and personal tastes and the picture becomes a lot more complicated. The real beauty of India lies in this mosaic.

    A Reply:

    Very well said,Neo. And I guess the warring spartans will take a bow and call it quits here.
    Just as an aside, it never hurts to be ‘more’ considerate than your first, instinctive reaction- to the sensibilities, or the positions in life, of others. Even those born with copper spoons intheir mouths, then to look down or scorn at others in India.

    pavementfreud Reply:

    Aghori gal…it’s obvious that those bejeweled folks do not share your sensibilities…it’s a given that you won’t be seen celebrating anything at McDonald’s…but there are many who don’t see it as a sin…so don’t be horrified gal…just pretend that they don’t exist…if at all that helps…

    Pankaj Reply:

    Well, Y’day I went to Firangi Pani to drink with my friends and I can tell you that the only gals who were decked up were all white girls. They looked European but don’t know where they hailed from. And all our Indian girls were dressed in normal Tees and denims.

    NOW ANY BODY PLEASE EXPLAIN THE RATIONALE TO ME?????????????????????

    Naomi Reply:

    Sounds like they were Russians to me..

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    Does Mumbai have outdoor bazaars like Delhi does? With chaat houses?

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    What is a chaat house? I went to Dilli Haart in Delhi and loved it..In Mumbai we dont really have outdoor bazaars I dont think.

    [Reply]

    XYZ Reply:

    Chaat house is a small shop selling streetside food!

    Naomi Reply:

    Actually that is definitely the solution. I always have a great time at house parties. The problem in Mumbai is that unlike Delhi, many people’s homes are too small to host dinner parties (mine included), but if the home is not, then you always have a good (and cheapish) night out. I know this is where you excel as home cooking is your forte, as indeed your blog demonstrates:)

    [Reply]

    Ankit Reply:

    Come on if you have a car, go for a ride in the city with music system on with your close friends and boooze n snacks with your ripped jean and bidi too and stop at roadside dhaba to have your dinner.

    [Reply]

  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    “who considers McD’s a hang out in delhi ??? with pandara road , nizammudin, PVR saket complex and various other places open all night … WHO would think of going to McDonald’s ?”…

    I know it’s weird… but they do.

    I know one couple who went out to eat/celebrate for their 1st wedding anniversary all decked out in gold …
    to McD’s!!!!

    [Reply]

    Saral. Reply:

    Come On !! If you hve seen a couple at McD for their 1st wedding anniversary( btw , how do you know if it was their 1st wedding anniv. , any relation?) doesnt mean all Delhiites take McD as a Night Out Place..:O …HuH!!
    There are many other hang out places in delhi( PVR’s , Rajouri Malls , farm houses etcs) and yeah even you can find any such couple in Mumbai and other metropolitan cities also…its just not a case of delhi..

    [Reply]

  • gaurav

    where is mumbai cigar club exactly….

    [Reply]

    Amit Reply:

    Wow Naomi you have a wild variety of reactions to your blog on the mumbai night life. I think for a Mumbai ite you have hit a delicate nerve – the night life has started to suck. The night life in Mumbai is mainly around very expensive bars and a bunch of people who usually have the same type of conversation to make weekend after weekend.

    Interesting thing you did with the pub hoping bus – send us details on where we can get on if its not by invitation only. Also, the theatre scene in Mumbai is not bad if you want to try.

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    The bar hopping was AMAZING, completely cool. It was organised by http://www.bestofbombay.com
    They do really innovative things in the city.

    [Reply]

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    Rahul, I don’t know what your friend is talking about. I’ve been in several American McD’s over several years’ time and they are clean. They have some company rule where the bathrooms get cleaned every half hour or so.

    And I’ve never seen anyone sleeping inside a McD’s at night. When the place closes doors are locked.

    Wish they had the veggie burger options though like India’s McD’s have.

  • Naomi

    The Mumbai cigar club meets in a secret venue once a month. If you email me at naomicanton@gmail.com I can tell you more. They don’t want too much publicity so cannot put the information on here. It’s pretty cool as they all meat to puff on cigars. I was there a week ago. A nice mix of Indians, NRIs and expats. I think Im going to starts the ‘Beedi club’ for retro cool lovers wanting to relive their backpacking days. Ripped jeans will be compulsory. Or maybe ripped saris.

    [Reply]

    Narendra Reply:

    What about ‘beedi breath’?? I used to smoke beedi’s in college (when out of cigarette money) and they really pong…

    [Reply]

  • Shalini

    i think there quite a bit to do in delhi……well depends wht your looking at and how much you wanna spend……… the horribly expensive sunday buffets are a no no……. they would take two months or maybe more of your maids salary for one buffet lunch……..

    visit the numerous parks filled with couples lacking space to coochie coo :)

    visit janpath or sarojini nagar for some good export quality clothes !!!

    watch the numerous plays and cultural acts that are performed regularly …trust me some of them are really good !!!

    hang out with friends at someones terrace and bonfire ( i bet u cant bonfire and bbq in mumbai ) enjoy the evening with close friends and sit and chat over drinks and pot luck meals !!!

    take a stroll down india gate with people actually cooking their food in pressure cookers ( i swear i m not lying ) which is like a night family picnic for most families out on a budget entertainment !!

    can just think of these for now !!!!

    Cheers !!!

    [Reply]

  • Naomi

    I like it man:) I love discovering new and interesting ways to enjoy Mumbai/India that a) are not expensive and b) more enioyable than the high-end places and c) are more Indian so-to-speak…Thanks so much for your ideas. Some of these can be replicated in Mumbai. I agree with you about those buffets – they are so expensive and I jsut can’t stand them, Who wants to spend all day on a sunday getting drunk eating too much in an a/c five star hotel? One of my best times was with this Indian guy who took me to a street stall (one of thise sanitised ones) and explaine d all the food to me,. UNtil then I had no idea what it all was and suddenyly i fely empowered to eat it and it was delicious. That is why we expats end up in Barista and five stars because we cant read the menu in other places, but when someone Indian takes you to one of them and explains it, it is so much more fun…… A great street tfor little restaurants o explore is the one behind the Taj Mahal Palace…I also want to take this opportunity to praise Mumbai for its hot cross buns. I disocvered this little old bakery on Hill Road in Bandra called Hearsh an Co and I had the most amazing hot cross bun there I have ever had in my life. ….(today being Good Friday)…It was freshly baked and delicious. In the Uk they come pre-packaged and you can eat them all year round from supermarkets..In Bandra no prepackaged buns exist – all are freshly baked and you dont need jam with them, whereas the British supermarket ones are gross without jam and butter,. Now Iwhy is it live in Bandra and its taken me a year and a half to discover this bakery…

    [Reply]

    Prabhakar Reply:

    wouldn’t you be better off trying to invest money on a marriage web site advertisement.

    [Reply]

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    lets get set for another Aghori Girl and XYZ duel.. the new and improved version.

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    If I invested as much in a marriage website as I do on beedis, I’m not convinced the results in terms of men would be worth seeking – there is a price disparity somewhat. The men would be cheap.
    However, funny you should ask as I did go on one such website and the results of that will be revealed in my blog this week – posted up tomorrow night….I await your forthright comments.

    [Reply]

    Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai Reply:

    India has some of the richest and poorest people on the face of this planet living together in same cities like Mumbai. When their worlds collide(like at a McD outlet), all are amused and fascinated looking at others. ……………

    A poor Indian cannot afford McDonald’s in Delhi, don’t know about Mumbai.

    But when I was in India the veggie burgers at McD’s were 40 ruppees minimum, then you order drinks and fries, the whole thing set you back well over 100 ruppees. and that was more than 6 years ago when I was living there.

    On the otherhand, McD’s is considered “low budget” in USA often where welfare moms will drive thru in their pj’s to pick up a “happy meal” for their child and what to speak of dressing up to go there, like I said, you can wander in in your pj’s and nobody will mind or notice. Just as long as you got shoes and a shirt on, you’re good to go.

    So yeah, I was a bit surprised to see that in India, McD’s is considered a “night out”, when in actuality, India had already had many nicer and more refined restaurants before the onslaught of global American fast food which tastes like **** compared to traditional Indian cuisine.

    Rahul Reply:

    I took a Belgian female friend to a McDonalds recently. “Wow” was her first reaction. “They are squeakily clean here”, she said adding that in the US, McD’s are dirty and in the night one can find drunk people sleeping inside. Not so here, McD’s here maintain hygiene and decent people visit it apart from college crowd who can enjoy a daily burger for Rs 20. They are pretty popular here even with the high class. At Khan Market I have seen TV journalists and rich diplomats coming to McDonalds. I don’t think McDonalds means low standards here, as some would say of the American image of the chain. Here it’s OK to catch up on one of it’s burger while driving home from office.

  • vikas

    i m agree with ur to-do list or maybe the list u following nowadays, i maself found places less frequented by crowd more appealing but one thng i didnt get, abt male models, who dont pull their wallets out, i mean is that occured to u? really? coz its my weakness that i cant ever do this to a girl though i always want to do, coz what the heck, why do i pay, why do we give so much value to girls, but ur case telling me, that, i cn give it a try, atleast next time i m nt giving sumone else’s bill, wil pay my share only..

    [Reply]

    Harshal Reply:

    “Emprowered to eat” is amusing. Looking (or re-looking) at Bombay through this expat point of view is a fun read. What are the other quirks you see?

    Ayub’s is a significantly better alternative to Bade Miyan’s. Just down the road towards the docks. As is that old south bombay classic Ghetto. But lots of new places, there’s a thumping new club at Apollo, Colaba that I noticed last evening – bang opposite Polly Esther’s.

    [Reply]

    xyz Reply:

    History consists of everything even past behaviour, not just sexual history. History in a sense means character or a suitability to be a wife, or to be a future member of the immediate and the extended family. And one thing more, wearing some jewellery is part of daily life of a woman here, not that she would specially take off her wedding ring or Mangal Sutra to go to McD’s. The more you open your mouth, the more you prove yourself ignorant. Why not shut up once in for all? You knowledge of this country and its people is ZERO. Also, explain to me why is it weird to buy a McD’s hamburger at 1 am? The ham inside is sleeping?

    [Reply]

  • http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com Ishmart Alec

    naomi do a list for us ghaas poos walas to. ones who would be more comfortable in a non alcoholic environment. Not that I have anything against drinking. just that i would rather be at a place where i dont stick out like a sore thumb just coz im not drinking. Some cheap locations for a minority like us too..

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    [Reply]

    xyz Reply:

    And perhaps in these posts lies the answer you posed in that post: Why do did the Aunty made the comments she made.

    [Reply]

  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    How about cool places for vegetarians who don’t drink alcohol but love to have fun and eat good vegetarian food at moderate price???

    [Reply]

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    Exactly. yes i am looking for that too.

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    What about Mocha? They do great food and coffees and you can smoke hookah pipes. Same applies to Mumbai Times Cafe. There is no pressure to drink there. Both have lots of veg options. I recommend the paninis at Mocha.

    [Reply]

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    how the annoying part. do they have eggless stuff too. what are paninis

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    xyz – Chill. its okay. I totally agree with your point that people who enjoy a stroll together or a munch at mcd are no less ignorant than the others.

    But im guessing this blog is all about the fine things in life. Its not about the middle class existence anyways. But that sure deserve a different blog altogether… wot say?

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

  • Naomi

    For all those of you interested in joining the cigar club in Mumbai, a story on it is in today’s HT Mumbai edition.
    It can also be read online: http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=TabloidSectionPage&id=77c431ea-ec38-4943-b128-6df309cc83e1&Headline=Smoke+signals+from+the+underground

    XYZ – thanks for your comments. However, Im not pertaining to be a burka-clad women who stays indoors making chapatis, cut off from the modern world. Im not seeking a husband that wants me to be Little sweet miss innocent who stays indoors watching old Bollywood movies, and for whom my most exciting outing is a trip to McDonalds or an ice cream parlour.
    Im looking for a modern left-of-centre Indian man who changes nappies, cooks, travels, drinks, , smokes cigars and who wants a modern woman who smokes hookah pipes, drinks white wine , works as a journalist and has two cats.

    [Reply]

  • Naomi

    My favourite place in Mumbai is Juhu beach, actually. And my second favourite is the shops and stalls on Juhu beach. In fact I am quite upset that they have squashed them all into that tiny stretch of sand near the Marriott. It was much much better when they were sprinkled randomly everywhere. I used to love wandering around and getting stopped by hawkers and goggling at all the unusual food and drinks on sale.
    As for suggesting I frequent snooty five star places, I’m the one promoting smoking a beedi, for goodness sake! Someone earlier, called Freud, said they were what “people doing menial jobs” smoked.

    [Reply]

    xyz Reply:

    I would not ‘buy’ that in particular but that is the image of the beedi. Many backpackers/enthusiastic first timers do it for adventure. You are neither (right?) In any case it was not particularly directed at you, it was said in a metaphorical sense. I don’t look down upon anyone who frequents five star hotels. If you have the money and the means, it’s ok I guess. But what’s with the tone buddy? “…cut off from the modern world. Im not seeking a husband that wants me to be Little sweet miss innocent who stays indoors watching old Bollywood movies, and for whom my most exciting outing is a trip to McDonalds or an ice cream parlour.”
    Infact you may just make sense here; I guess you had lost your innocence way before you even stepped into adolescent, so you won’t find the simple pleasure/excitement that a walk on the sand on a moonlit night might offer when compared a night spent in a luxury Yacht off the Greek coast sipping barcardi. I do not if I should pity you or should I be jealous. Watchya fink lass?

    [Reply]

    xyz Reply:

    “I’m the one promoting smoking a beedi, for goodness sake!” As if you are doing social service promoting it? Saving the livelihoods of the people engaged in making it, so to speak!!!! Puhleeezzzz spare meee!!! Ha!

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    Yeah and what is wrong with saving the livelihoods of Beedi makers? Why don’t you, as an Indian, think of that? Why is it me? And what is wrong with smoking a beedi anyway? (Of course sounds like the type of woman you are after would not be allowed by you to smoke a beedi. Or drink. Or go to a five star.)

    And what makes you think I drink Bacardi on yachts? I have never done that in my life. (I drink white wine. In bars.) Also as I said my favourite place is Juhu Chowpatty, in fact. I like the buzz, the atmosphere, the food, the hawkers. And if you were to read my previous blog on Facebook ending my relationship it was actually that very beach where Prit and I sat and stared at the stars.

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    XYZ Reply:

    You don’t find anything wrong in smoking beedis, hashish, cannabis, don’t find anything wrong in having a thick history of whatever you mean by history, what else is on offer? It’s like the hypocritical French, for them everything is oh so ok; c’est normale they would say to anything ranging from adultery and fortification to women hooked to drugs. It’s their special brand of hypocrisy.
    I understand that many westerners by the time are adults see more or less everything and thus nothing excites or startles them anymore.
    And since you talked about the woman I’m after, why would I have to tell anything? Why can’t i select someone who herself prefers to stay away from these filthy habits and mind you, there are many of those not looking to be fakishly forward by lighting up a cigarette to draw attention to herself. I feel pity about these women, they don’t even have the decent intellect to draw a male’s attention because of ‘Her’ and not because of a cancer stick she’s been sticking up her mouth.

  • xyz

    No need to explain anything to you, you will remain perpetually dumb even after explanation. And you tell me this: Five-star/expensive restaurants have rules that you can wear jewellery as their customers but McDonalds bars such displays? For some in this country, a McDonald’s burger IS actually a treat. They do not believe in spending money as if it was monopoly money, squandering it on a Claridges or a Taj every night. We do not have a great social net, people NEED to save it for their children to go to school/university.

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  • Ms V.

    Oh my, you are too right. Nothing more annoying then a poser when you are having your after work drink (or 10 depends on the day). The problem is sometimes you just want a bar to drink in. No muss no fuss just a place where everybody knows your name….

    I feel the issue is (and not just in Mumbai) the whole see to be seen mentality that i really don’t understand. I always feel like setting people straight and saying ” No you will not land a movie deal because you are wearing this sessions Gucci outfit,” or really ” just because you a tall thin and good looking, it does not mean you have talent”(Wait scrap that last one, most people in the industry are tall, thin good looking with no talent!!!!)Ugh!!.

    On the funny side, I have to say that my fave thing to see on a night out is a B grade (and some A grade) stars working it just waiting and hoping that someone is going to recognise them. I’ve often “acted” like a ignorant westerner and “assumed” that they are part of the bar staff and giving them my empty glass and ask for another drink. Its funny and they generally stop acting like wanks after that!!!

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  • http://www.choosingmyconfessions.wordpress.com Pankaj

    aha, that’s a lot of discussion.
    Well, I guess I would like to start my evening by munching a couple of road side chicken rolls and sit on the marine drive and relax for a while. Book your table in the Not just Jazz by the Bay before returning there at around 9:30 (that’s when the live band starts playing). Eat snacks and drink beer (or any of your favorite drinks). Leave the place by 12 and go and party in a five star’s disc. Coz those the only discs that are open till early morning.

    I liked Firangi Pani (Andheri W) a lot. Sometimes they do play S**tty music but most times its good enough. Usually retro mixed with R & B and Alternative Rock. The best part is they don’t charge you for the entry.
    Would like to hear more about the hangout places and not the silly discussions on yacts and biddis.

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    Naomi Reply:

    The French Loaf in Bandra is amazingly cool. Serves coffees and European sandwiches. Mocha is about to re-open in Bandra – looks very interesting. Catching world cinema is very ‘in’ and lots of places are showing it now – check out Enlighten Film Society, NCPA, Blue Frog, Zenzi, Cinemax – all doing regular screenings of French, German, Iranian films etc

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    Pankaj Reply:

    Oh thanks a lot for this information, Naomi.

    I love German movies. You don’t get the DVDs of German movies easily in India. So usually i end up downloading the stuff. Filthy Downloader.
    It would be great to check out these movies on bigger screens.

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  • http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com Ishmart Alec

    I second rahul on this. Mcds are the filthiest places i have ever been to while in the US. Apparently the half hour rule isnt taken seriously, atleast at McDs that I went too. ANd yes, loads of druggies, drunks and meeting point for gangs.

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

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  • pradeep rao

    My coworker, a tall young Pathan went home for Id to Calcutta fm Delhi in his ripped jeans. His Granny burst into tears – :-)

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  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    ”I second rahul on this. Mcds are the filthiest places i have ever been to while in the US. Apparently the half hour rule isnt taken seriously, atleast at McDs that I went too. ANd yes, loads of druggies, drunks and meeting point for gangs. ”

    What type of ‘hood were these McD’s in? Newark Ghettos?

    I’ve only been in suburban McD’s and they were on par with Delhi’s McD’s.

    I’m shocked that Indians, who are famous for their delicious cuisine and tasty street “chaat”, would allow franchises like McD’s to come in.

    India has it’s own fast food – pav bhaji, samosas, pakoras, gol guppas, etc. What is the need for this overly priced American fare?

    [Reply]

    Pankaj Reply:

    what’s wrong in letting McDonalds set up their shop in India? We are not a communist state, are we? I would definitely leave India for good it that ever happens.
    Btw Ishmart Alec went to the McDonalds in Stevenson Street, San Francisco and I can tell you that that neighbourhood is probably one of the top five most expensive places in the US. So that was definitely not a ghetto.

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    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    Pankaj saab. Don’t leave ji. Kya hoga hamaare desh ka .

    Mcds tried to change our food habits but then had to bow out with Indian versions of their fried food. not that they are any more healthy. but at least that shows that people are not just blindly following whatever is sold to them.

    But I did hate the fact that they had no veggie options in city like SF. The one on market and the one opposite golden gate park is also a hang out point for druggies, beggars (its a more respectable “bums” there) and gang meets.

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    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    Pankaj saab. Don’t leave ji. Kya hoga hamaare desh ka .

    Mcds tried to change our food habits but then had to bow out with Indian versions of their fried food. not that they are any more healthy. but at least that shows that people are not just blindly following whatever is sold to them.

    But I did hate the fact that they had no veggie options in city like SF. The one on market and the one opposite golden gate park is also a hang out point for druggies, beggars (its a more respectable “bums” there) and gang meets.
    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    [Reply]

  • http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com Ishmart Alec

    well judging by the fact that I almost never get a seat rightaway in Mcds in mumbai, i am guessing people are loving it… lets get obese together… wohoooo!!!!

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

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  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    I wish Haldiram’s would open a chain here in USA

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  • Abhishek

    Well , just a brief about myself. ……I am frm Delhi but a Non -Reliable Indian from Dubai (I like the place as its v close to India).

    First of all ……I wanna admit that these blogs are addicting, I am jst hooked to them also I am amazed that some indian saying are finally coming true.
    Naomi being a foreigner has adopted so well to Indian culture & she knows mumbai so well that even some mumbaikars may not know.

    I have ,made a list of things that she did & whenever I happen to come to Mumbai , I would do all of them….but for sure these expensive places are a big dent.

    I happen to vist one X,Y.Z place in a ***** star hotel once & the bill was staggering (I think its cheaper here)

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  • http://www.anelegytoearth.blogspot.com Roy D

    Hey!

    I’ve been in Mumbai since time immemorial. However it might be a sad revelation to you that the ’scene’ has depleted a lot. Earlier things were pretty bright – where kids, backpackers, newbees, rich and the old all could hang around in places across town.

    Now after the advent of Electronic Dance Music and the highly (irritatingly) overrated few artists who play across town; you will notice exactly the kind of people you’ve listed in your post. “LOOK AT ME” is what is painted all over their faces with a smirk of “Does that impress you?!”

    See i love music, especially when I come from the music industry and I have to ‘have to’ check out the live artists playing around town in Mumbai, but what displeases me is that the entire set up is meant for not a showcase for the artist/ getting lost in the music/ feeling a sense of absolute oneness with your co-pubbers and people in the club. On the contrary what we have here is a showcase of who’s trying to prove oneself the greatest in there.

    I mean…Cafe Leopold, Mondegar, Bootleggers, or even The German Bakery, Pune is a fine example of how the good ol’ days used to be when you could strike a conversation with the group sitting next to your table and gather a nice chain of acquaintances!

    Yet as I say this I will be attending the forthcoming Blue Frog nights this Fri & Sat (9th May) again just hoping that this time I see some effervescent positive light.

    Ciao,
    Roy.

    NB: Btw Jai Hind really serves some great sea food. :D

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  • http://www.anelegytoearth.blogspot.com Roy D

    LOL

    I have smoked beedis and also been in yacht- barge parties but not at the same though!

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  • http://www.mumbaiyachtclub.com sarika

    Mumbai yacht club
    Bombay’s splendid harbor was the scene of the Country’s first regatta in 1830 in which cutters, schooners, yawls of all sizes vied for the sweepstake of one Gold Mohur . The Bombay Yacht Club was founded in 1846. One of the prizes in the regatta then was a 50-guinea silver cup, half the value of the famous America’s Cup. All the yachts entered the race were lateen rigged. In 1876, at the request of Sir Philip Wodehouse, Governor of Bombay, Her Majesty Queen Victoria, graciously bestowed the Title of “Royal” upon the Club. In 1880, The Royal Bombay Yacht Club leased from the Bombay Port Trust (BPT), the waterfront area for the Club Building. In 1894, the Blue Ensign, with a Star of India surmounted by the Imperial Crown, was granted to the Club by Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Its ambience of quiet relaxation marks its character and its location at Apollo Bunder means you are in close vicinity of Mumbai’s Heritage buildings, landmarks, cinema halls, restaurants and shopping centers
    http://www.mumbaiyachtclub.com/

    [Reply]

  • http://www.mumbaiyachtclub.com reya

    MUMBAI YACHT CLUB is sure to make many a wild Dreams Come True!.. There are infinite possibilities of experiences & Points to Explore lined-up for you to decide upon… Take Family or Friends on a Sunrise or Sunset Cruise… just drop anchor on high seas & encourage your Kids to Befriend the Dolphins!.. Seal an important Deal over cool silent Sips on the sea! Train your kids to the Hook-line Rod, then lend your wife a hand to Cook the Sea-fresh Catch & together Taste Home on the highseas Lunch or Dinner!
    Enjoy thrilling Dives, have a sunbath on the deck or treat your eyes to a favorite Title/Volume in Cosy cabin.
    http://www.mumbaiyachtclub.com/

    [Reply]

  • http://www.gocubans.com/ Mark Henry

    In Mumbai any excuse is good enough to party. You can visit The Taj, Atrium Lounge at Bandstand, Bandra and enjoy your evening with it. There you find best cigars like Partagas, Cuban Cigars and many more cigars. So why are waiting – go party and enjoy!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.royalhabanos.com/ Brain Cox

    Night life in Mumbai is amazing. There are lots of pubs and bars to enjoy. Also in some pubs they keep great Cuban cigars. The brand i like is Partagas. There is a bar called “Chameli”they keep original Partagas. When i visit to India for my official work i don’t forget to get one there.

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    errbrbt

    [Reply]

  • Darbinder Sahdoo

    Where in Mumbai and what are the names of the gentleman’s clubs/bars where you can sit down with the company of a large breasted pretty hostess and have a few drinks while talking about business after work. These are all over south america and asia, but where in Mumbai?

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  • amod

    Try some thing new go make your night out @ Tiger point in Lonavala and make it big its and very good and new experience but hang out before planing to this place you first need to plan few things such has you need to carry your food water your drinks has its very costly and very very less options available at top.
    Very IMP TIP: Never ever mess with local guys and or any local people over their bcoz it may cause very big.pls be carefull and enjoy a lot Cheers

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  • ramukaka

    she has every right to refuse. no girl wants to marry at twenty.

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