Long Post Ahead..written for Record Purposes
R and I..we did some moving around without RD on Saturday..while the father was enjoying the hospitality of the aviation sector, the mother and daughter, were enjoying the thrills of traveling by local transport in hot and humid Bombay..
I must admit that for the first time, we travelled completely by public transport..only trains and buses..we didnt even take a rick or a cab *Proud to save some fuel for the nation*
So I was like well, I could it..take R to the South Side of Bombay and perhaps see the Museum and Planetarium.
Here I must admit, that I was too scared to do it alone..so I asked a couple of people, but most of them were busy..so I decided to cancel it, but RD was like why not?
Well, then I gathered my courage and went ahead and booked the tickets for the 3 o clock show for the Planetarium.Online. All by myself. Without calling RD for help. Major achievement I tell ya!
Anyways, you just need to book the tickets here incase you want to book them in advance(Its a good idea because most shows are housefull due to the summer vacation rush)
So this is how we did it.
Got up in the morning and I packed
1. A roll of tissues
2. Two nasta dabbas with biscuits and chips
3. Water bottle
4. Extra pair of clothes for R
5. Books for both of us to read in the train
6. Caps for both of us
7. My office backpack to carry all that
and so we set off at about 9.30 with idlis in our tummy.
We got a bus to the station. and then took a fast local to churchgate. R finished reading one of the books in the train 🙂 Well I read for her..but whatever!
and we saw the names of the station, giggled at silly things, smiled at co-passengers and drank one bottle of water.
We got off at Churchgate and I showed her the engine. Since we were sitting right at the start of the train where the ladies compartment was, I had to just get down and show her where from where the horn was blowing. We peered into the engine as the motor men changed their shifts but both of them seemed unwelcoming to ask a child to come in and check, so we just peered from outside, wondered how ‘high’ their chairs were and went ahead.
I had warned R that she would have to do some major walking. The sun hit us as we went out of the station but thankfully the walk was pretty shady.
Here I must admit, that my knowledge of South Bombay is zero, nada, zilch. And as such my geography would have made even Colombus cry..but, I was a determined mother.
So, we kept asking and going…first few times I asked Prince of Wales Museum and people looked at me as if I am a martian from Venus, but when I started asking Chatrapati Shivaji Mueseum, they told me to keep walking…
Just near Flora Fountain, we both found a lovely Parsi worship place Behram Well (image found on google http://www.flickr.com/photos/humayunnapeerzaada/471669360/) built in 1725 AD.
It was lovely and both of us peeped in. It was clearly written ‘Entry only for Parsees’ and R wanted to know why she could not go and say namaste to the God inside..Errr…well…I didnt answer her anything and said they would allow only Parsis like Jamshedji (one song she hears has the word Jamshedji who speaks Parsi) to enter..she recognized the holy symbol of Parsis in the temple and connected it to the song and was very happy 🙂
and then we moved on from there…walked and walked till we both were getting a bit tired..so stopped at a nariyal pani wala and had yummy nariyal pani!
and then we walked again and finally figured out the Museum…There was a huge crowd of the Mumbai Darshan buses but we went in…
Stood in the line for about 15 minutes and finally I asked for one ticket (I didnt carry a camera and R didnt require a ticket since only above 5 years need a ticket) It was Rs.40 and I had only 30 Rs in tenners and Rs.500…the man was pretty rude..give me change…I said ‘sir I am out of change’
Him: ‘Give me I dont have change either’ which I didnt believe because I saw 3 people hand him 100 Rs notes which he would have with him at least 1000 Rs in change…I said Sir please I dont have change..he just waved me away and I was so furious..but I didnt say anything because R was getting bugged in the heat and was getting worried asking me Amma kya hua no ticket..so I gave him chillar…my precious coins for 10 Rs 😦
Anyways, that apart we went in..and first saw the Pre-historic section..which had stuff on the Harappan civilisation…I loved the way one father was teaching about the ancient stamps to his 8-9 year old daughter…I stood there listening and he realised I was
eavsdropping listening and he smiled at me and went on with the explanation…
R was interested in the broken pots! and old age weapons..
Then I realised that perhaps she was a little bored so I took her to the natural history section and boy! we came out impressed..
They have stuffed birds, animals, snakes, octopus, sharks, whales, snakes, insects, butterflies and what not…Totally impressive..
both R and I were totally impressed with the weaver bird’s nest and the remains of the shark…Its awesome and I recommend a visit to every parent..while 4 years is definitely young for a museum, just take them there to get a hang of old things and of course the natural history section..
We went upstairs to the coin section but R was clearly bored and hungry..
took her out and didnt know where to eat..so called up a friend and she suggest a place called Chetana very near the museum..but knowing my sense of direction! I got lost..it was hot and R was cranky…
I asked around and even saw a Synagogue inside a gaali…wanted to go there, but R was so so cranky that I had to search for that Chetana..when we went in, they said they had only thali…
RM: Kuch nasta nahi milega?
Man: Madam, thali ka time hai
RM: oh kuch bhi nahi hai? *Pleading look*
He looked at me and then R both looking at him expectantly and said well starters hai
Man: Aloo bhaji and dhokla
R: dhokla, dhokla, dhokla, dhokla
Well he didnt have a choice did he?
He gave us a piping hot plate of dhokla and R finished 90% of that and then 1 cool chilled superb glass of mango milkshake
Then we left the place and I saw a sandwich wala on the street…just as I thought of ordering the brat sees the next guy and screams ‘Amma poochka’
Thats it…we had poochkas at 1 in the afternoon in the blazing sun 🙂 Topped it off with a sev poori (I think poochkas taste better in town!)
Anyways, we walked back to Churchgate while R was cribbing a bit about the heat and all that…but I carried her for a while and we stood for a bus to Worli..and we stood and stood and stood
for about 20 minutes, till I thought let me just take a cab..when I saw a bus and asked the conductor if it went to the Planetarium and he said yes…I bought the ticket and requested him to let me know when it comes so that I can get off..he said yes yes of course
So we boarded the bus and had a mini-south bombay darshan..saw the Lamington road where Appa and RMB visit often for electronics part..the best part was R watching a train moving with us all the way till Charni Road station..she was so so fascinated by it..Amma dekho we overtook the train or the train over took us..the bus was pretty much entertained..
we stopped at the Haji Ali signal and saw the sea 🙂 ‘Amma dekho kitna sara water…only small boats in sea’
It was awesome and finally I realized we reached a stop called Nehru something…I turned around and asked him ‘yeh hai Planetarium’ and he was like yes yes..and then there was some confusion…I dragged R to the front of the bus shouting ek minute ek minute to the driver while the conductor rung the bell..in short total confusion…Finally the driver stopped and we got off with R shouting ‘Amma aa gaya, Amma aa gaya?‘ wondering why we were getting off in a hurry 🙂
Anyways we crossed the road and reached the Planetarium…I was astonished to see the amount of people and kids there…ALL SHOWS were running housefull and I was thankful for having booked tickets in advance..
We stood in the line and they allowed us entry at 2.45….We used the loo (Pretty clean though one idiot of a lady made her kid pee on the floor in the western loo and made the entire floor wet Gah!) and then there was a mini exhibition where R could recognize a few planets by name 🙂
The guy explaining also talked about the transit of Venus on June 6th and also gave superb information on which planet is visible from where at what time etc etc..
then we went into the show…I had booked a separate seat for R since she is almost 4 and then this was the first time she would be alone in a theatre like atmosphere (I have never taken her to movies till date)
Anyways, we sat and then the show started in 20 minutes time (It was late, and people were still coming in..when will people in India learn to value time I wonder 😦 )
It was nice. Seriously informative..I would have preferred a slightly more understandable version for school kids..words used were a bit over the top but on the whole R enjoyed the coming and going of stars…They explained the origin of the universe the various star constellations, compared the constellations to the Indian rashis, different planets, milky way, solar system..in short it was a lot of information packed show…
We finished the show, came out and had some cucumbers…
then stood forever for a bus to dadar station..finally got a bus…and I asked the conductor to let me know when Dadar station came and he tells me ask the Driver..andI am like WHAT..how can I ask the driver…the driver turned around and smiled and said ‘dont worry madam, I will tell you:)’
R went off to sleep..
The driver was kind enough to tell me when the stop came and as I got down, another lady her 10 year old son and one blind old uncle got off with me..he heard me asking someone the way to Dadar station and he asked me if I could take him there…now with R in one hand sleeping and my backpack and me holding his other hand, I tried walking for a while but my hand holding R gave way (Its not easy carrying a 16 kg kid I tell you!) anyways, he realised I was struggling and he told me ‘Beta aapke paas bacha hai, aap jao, mein chala jaunga’ so I apologised and I let him and started walking ahead..that 10 year old boy’s mom looked at me and asked me what happened? and I told her that I couldnt manage all the three..she nodded..
Something made me look back and I realised he was struggling…I couldnt bear it and I went back to him and I said uncle I will take you and I woke up R and asked her to walk..she was so dazed that she just looked at me, and looked at that uncle and just started walking like a zombie..meantime that lady with her son came along and said, arey dont worry, you carry your baby, I will take him with me..and she took that uncle who profusely thanked me..
this is why I say that the world is still around…unknown good people helping unknown good people…
Anyways, R and I walked to Dadar station and we both got hungry..so went into an Udipi nad had pav bhaji and toast sandwich..
Got into a slightly crowded train at Dadar..R got a place to sit (4th seat) while I stood next to her..the girl who was sitting next to R was a sweetheart..she kept R entertained with songs on her mobile and what not!
Got off and we took a bus right home..
It was nearly 7 in the evening by the time we reached..
But what a super day…
While lying down in the night R snuggled next to me and said ‘Amma, maine toh aaj bahut enjoy kiya, we will do every Saturday?’
Ah! that made my whole day and I forgot the leg ache and the hand ache and what not 🙂
I would recommend both the places to all parents in Bombay..definitely worth a see!