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Whadya mean we have no water?

Ding dong! Door opens with No water until 6pm today, tomorrow and…?”

Welcome to the world of bucket baths, no water during the day and insufficient in mornings and evenings for normal daily use.

When my partner and I left for Canada and the UK in June, monsoon was just kicking off. We had hopes our time away would coincide with the worst of the torrential rains. Let’s face it – monsoon in Mumbai can be marvellous at first and then maddening as it carries on. (more…)

So long, farewell!

As we prepared our home for the demolition gang, completed last-minute shopping, we struggled with the internet… Yes… living in Mumbai you cannot rely on having one internet alone!

You would think having easy access to four options (yeah that’s 1..2..3..4…) would be enough:

  • My so-called ‘high speed’ internet has been down for two days and counting…
  • My partner’s slow but steady MTNL internet was sorta kinda working but now has gone from barely functioning to not…
  • Our recently re-charged data card isn’t compatible with my MacBook Air…
  • So I’m on my back-up to the back-up to the back-up… using my phone as a ‘hot spot’… however the signal keeps dashing off leaving me intermittently ‘high and dry’ as the city drowns in monsoon floods

Because ultimately the monsoon is the real culprit in this equation. And the poor drainage conditions in this city that leads to regular flooding, damaging cable connections and more.

I’m not sure how often I will post over the coming weeks while we trot around the globe to London, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and back to London… so quick before I lose this precious connection… ciao for now and catch you in a bit!

Looking to London, then Van-Groovy... then Winterpeg... T.O. and back to Big Ben!

Looking to London, then Van-Groovy… then Winterpeg… T.O. and back to Big Ben!

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Mumbai monsoons…

I returned from Singapore to a muggy Mumbai… the kind of weather where you feel sluggish and slow.

I also returned with a freshly injured ankle, so put myself under ‘house arrest’. Which meant an opportunity to witness our living room be transformed into

  • A salon for theatrical readings of new plays my partner is planning to produce…
  • A film set where our bookshelves became backdrop to a short scene
  • An impromptu evening of merriment (my favourite kind!)

While I busied myself with post-Singapore trip follow-up, plunged into the depths of accounts (ugh!), day after day, we had no respite from the humid heat. Teasingly, rains would come only at night where the drop in temperature had negligible impact.

Each morning our maid would share her impatience for the rains…  everyone knows how important a good monsoon is to the people and economy of this country. A poor monsoon is devastating. A good monsoon brings prosperity.

Early this morning the heavens opened and the deluge began… and didn’t stop… I think it’s safe to say hello monsoon! Welcome back and may you shower us with blessings this year!

Monsoon evening sky...

Monsoon evening sky…

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If the shoe fits? Footwear follies in Mumbai…

In advance of the next demolition action in our living room, we’ve been systematically pulling out stuff from various corners in an attempt to cull the crap before it has to be moved to the other room to make way for the workers.

Today was the shoe cupboard. And I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. (more…)

“Mauving to Manitoba” from Mumbai Monsoon

We returned to a decidedly wet Mumbai still very much in the midst of monsoon. In an amusing moment, just days after leaving Winnipeg, I was reminded of Manitoba at the most unlikely of places – a Mumbai spa!

View from the backseat... a tenacious Mumbai monsoon

View from the backseat… a tenacious Mumbai monsoon (photo: Carissa Hickling)

While I enjoy little indulgences and luxuries, I rarely prioritize such activities. Most days, basic grooming suffices with self-trimmed nails, no polish, skin and hair that gets the most rudimentary daily cleansing and moisturizer. I’m not fussy about getting ready and can go from a slovenly state to shower, make-up, clothes and out the door in 20 mins or less if required!

A dear friend of 20 years, by contrast, delights in pampering and makes a point in her annual visits to Mumbai to fit in spa treatments.  We normally have a month or so together each year, so it is a ritual that at least one mani / pedi / hair spa visit is made augmented by calling a masseuse home a couple of times.

(more…)

Home remedies – sick chick soup!

I lost the battle! A nasty cold was ready to pounce even before I left Monday for Bangkok. A couple plane rides, killer air conditioning and sleep deprived day or two later, I returned home well and truly sick. Naturally as I’m a generous sort – my partner also is blessed with sniffles and cough.

With only three sleeps to go before our big Canada trip, we knew we needed to up our ‘home remedy’ game. So in addition to the tried and true (list below), I also made a couple of soups. By Sunday, it was full-on comfort food craving time. Rummaged around the fridge and found carrots and ginger – and voila! A savoury Sunday soup for a ‘sick chick’! (more…)

Monsoon soup – What to make when the rain won’t stop!

While I do enjoy the monsoon, it does put a bit of a damper on getting out and about. Even prowling around the market for fresh veggies seems an effort. So when the mood to cook hit and rains didn’t abate, decided to make a soup with whatever was handy in the kitchen.

Must say, the results were so yummy, just had to share! (more…)

Mumbai Monsoon, Manitoba Memories

Balcony view of monsoon in Mumbai

Balcony view of monsoon in Mumbai

The monsoon has reached Mumbai and even after so many years here, the first rains bring a special joy! There is something about the monsoon. It is the difference between the economy flourishing or failing. It is the delight of dancing in the warm rain. Children playing, laughing with abandon, splashing about soaking wet. There is a different light in the sky, a different scent in the air, the feel of life pulsing strong, plants and trees take on a lush rich green hue, bursting with renewal.

(more…)

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