Friday, 19 November 2010

Victoria Terminus

Headed out after breakfast to take photos of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station. After about an hour I'm back in the hotel lobby, dripping wet and exhausted.

Bought a coconut juice along the way. Twenty rupees, and yesterday I sat in the Intercontinental Hotel on Marine Parade and had one cup of tea and it cost 200 rupees. I had to be frisked to get into the hotel building, previously targeted by bombing terrorists. The views over the bay and some cool and quiet were well worth the price. It would be nice to be that sort of tourist once in a while I have to admit. Later in the day I went to a shopping mall and again we all had to have bags searched at the entrance, like in the UK in the 70s.

So, the train station. Picked up two little boys along the way. Where you from? You speak Hindi? You click many pictures. You have pictures your country?

I said how do I say hello in Hindi, and they said Hello. So I said, I know hari om. Much giggling that one casused. I left them still nudging each other and saying Hari om! Hari om!

Best photo is of the Mishra Dairy. From the smells, there are cows in the darkness in behind, but at the front a semi-naked substantial man and several boys with lots of metal churns and some glasses with milk in them too. Chains of fresh marigolds looped over the front of the stall and incense burning. Can't say I got that one.

At a corner there were two cows tied up, with women hand feeding them stalks of fresh green from large woven baskets. I stood watching for a while, not sure about taking a photo. A passing man in a turban, the ever-helpful bystander, said to me solemnly, Cow.

The train station was remarkably orderly. Long long queues outside for the beat-up double-decker buses moved quickly. Inside more queues. Still, at this point I'm relieved I don't have to work out how to buy a ticket or actually travel by train.

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