LITTLE THINGS TO KNOW, Mumbai
Mumbai's Passport Office, being the only one in the region, caters to the residents from Greater Mumbai, over and above districts of Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Aurangabad and Beed in Maharashtra. Apart from this, it is also the sole destination for people applying from Daman and Silvassa, which come under the Union Territory of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. The main regional passport office is sited in Manish Commercial Centre at the Annie Besant Road, in Worli area of Mumbai (formerly called Bombay)
The Passport Office (Annexe) is placed in Bengal Chemical Building at Veer Sawarkar Marg, in the Prabhadevi region of Mumbai. To be found in Worli, the main passport office provides 'tatkal' service between 10 am to 12 noon. With this scheme, one can obtain quick passport and in case, they have promised you a date then your passport will be delivered at your doorstep. Moreover, all enquiries regarding delay in issuing, correction or undelivered passports are entertained here.
The one at Prabhadevi has two halls, both providing different services concerning passports, between 10 am to 12:30 pm. Hall No.1 accepts all applications for the issue of passport under ordinary channel. Whether it a case of new, renew or duplicate (to compensate for damaged or lost passport) passport, this hall serves all the concerns of passport applications. Hall No. 2 deals in miscellaneous services for instance renewal of short validity passports, Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) and Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) endorsement, etc.
Mumbai Passport Office Located AT 216-A Manish Commercial Centre, Dr. A.B. Road, Worli .
Passport Office (Annexe): Bengal Chemical Building, Veer Sawarkar Marg, Prabhadevi (Opp. Century Bazaar)
The fascination for the Island City of India, Mumbai, never gets exhausted. People plan trips according to their holidays and suitability, yet one should refer the weather and peak travel season of the city before scheduling the trip. Mumbai, being located on the coastline, observes humid and sultry climate throughout the year. Summers elongates from March to May, where high temperature doesn't allow enjoying the capital of Maharashtra.
Monsoon season gives an amusing breathing space, but excessive rains spoil the mood of a holiday. Frankly, one should not plan a tour to Bombay during the rainy season. Due to its propinquity with the sea, the Bollywood City virtually floats in the heavy showers. The cultural festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, held in August/ September, attracts people from various parts of the country as well as the world.
After monsoons, the weather changes and, owing to the light breezes, becomes quite agreeable. Winters arrive and make the climatic conditions truly pleasant. It is the time when the city is comparatively less humid. However, winters doesn't mean wearing loads of woolens in Mumbai. The weather is just fine to take pleasure in the attractions, which the city offers. Thus, the best and ideal time to visit Mumbai is between the months of October and February.
Bandra is a tiny little suburb of Bombay (Mumbai) where Ash grew up. Thought we would share this historical bit of information that we googled up.
Legend has it that the name Bandra comes from the Marathi word Bandar meaning port.
In 1543, the Portuguese took possession of the island of Bombay by force. The Portuguese gave the Jesuit priests the sole ownership of Bandra, Parel, Wadala and Sion.
In 1570 the Jesuits built a college and a church in Bandra which was called St Anne's College.
In the mid-18th century, the traveller John Fryer records that the Jesuit church, which stood near the sea shore, was still in use. The Portuguese built several churches in Bandra, including the famous St. Andrew's Church, which has the distinctive Portuguese-style facade. Bandra has the unique distinction of having the most Roman Catholic churches anywhere in the world - 6 Churches within a 4 sq km area and also the world famous Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount.
In 1733 when the Kunbi farmers migrated to this island from Bombay, because the fish manure they used was banned, they found St. Andrew's church (still intact), St. Stanislaus's Orphanage (now a High School where Ash studied) and a monastery of St. Anne. After this was destroyed in a Maratha raid in the year 1737, when the Portuguese troops were aided by the English, a slaughter house was built on the same spot.
Bandra remained a village with plantations of rice and vegetables in the low-lying areas of the island until it was connected to Mahim by a causeway in 1845. Although many bungalows were built here in the boom years of the 1860's and 70's, the fashionable Pali Hill area, now full of film stars, saw the first constructions only in the 1880's.
Bandra (West) became one of the most fashionable suburbs already by the middle of the century. Bandra (East) is regarded as a commercial area, consisting of the Bandra-Kurla Commercial Complex.
There was an episode where we were just messing about in the train station jumping in an out of trains while it was stationed of course. My mate and I went in this womens-only compartment without realising we weren't allowed in. It was on one of those really broken down trains to the suburbs. Anyway, it was terribly embarassing because we didn't get what all the fuss was about with everyone staring at us, we simply thought it was because we were tourist and you know people like staring at foreigners there. Until I saw a huge sign at the door saying womens-only carriage. Think we must have scared the hell out of the girlies in there. LOL!
This is just something I have personally took notice of. The upper class Indians converse in English among themselves. They speak in English when they are ordering food or simply just asking a question. The upper class Indians do not drink from the bottle, they drink only canned drinks. This has happened on numerous occasions I just wonder if they are trying to prove something?
This one should help visitors/tourist alike.
when in mumbai or for that matter most cities in India, if you happen to know a bit of Hindi (local language) it will definately make you comfortable and help you get your way.
hello: Namaste (na-masst-tae)
how much is it (asking for cost) - Kitne hue (keet-nae Hu-ae)
Thank you - Dhanyavad (dhan-nya-waad)
ok - teek hai
gentleman (Mr) - bhaisaab (bbhai-saab)
lady (mrs/ms) - behenji (bahen-jee)
these few local words should workwell for anyone in india. few states where hindi is not so popular, you need to know the local language. but this basic should help too.
India is a very conservative society where interaction between male and female is very limited in public settings. When you meet someone make sure you do the "namaste" greeting instead of shaking hands. The men will expect a handshake from another man but men should not have body contact with women. Therefore do not shake hands with women you meet but instead show repect by doing namaste !
Although the swastika has come to be associated with Hitler and the Nazi regime, it was in use long before that in India.
Svastika, is Sanskrit for "good luck" or well-being." It's a bit disconcerting, at first, to see the symbol on signs or buildings (although the orientation varies slightly from the one Hitler used), but that feeling fades, as the symbol begins to blend into its surroundings.
Quite a few foreign visitors have a dread of Indian toilets. The squat-type toilets that are common in cheaper hotels are actually much more hygienic and healthier for the system than sit-down toilets. They just take a little getting used too. HOWEVER, ALMOST ALL TOILETS IN BOMBAY ARE THE SIT-DOWN TYPE. But I find the other type of toilets an experience in itself, so I will throw in my two cents on it.
HOW TO USE IT?
The first thing to do, before you use the toilet, is to pour a bit of water down it. Stand on the two footpads at the edge of the keyhole shaped bowl with the large opening at the back of you. Hold on to something and squat over the bowl. You'll find this squat position aids in the defecation process. Once done, pour a bucket of water down the bowl to flush. Historically, all humans defecated this way, and still the bulk of the world's people prefers this method. Once they get used to it, many Westerners prefer it.
A tissueless existence:
Once you have mastered the squat toilet, you may want to try to give up that wasteful, environmentally damaging practice of using toilet paper.
If you do feel adventurous, here are some basic tips. You'll need about a litre of water. All Indian bathrooms have a little mug and a tap or a bucket of water. When you have finished, reach behind you and between your legs with your LEFT hand and, holding the full mug of water in your RIGHT hand, pour the water slowly into your left hand. You can pour from the front or the back - which ever feels most comfortable. Use the water in your cupped left hand to wash yourself. Repeat as many times as necessary. Air dry. When you are done, wash your hands well with soap.
Left hand right hand - A very important, yet subtle, factor in India is avoiding the use of your left hand when interacting with others. In India, you use your left hand to clean yourself after using the toilet so it has extremely negative associations. ALWAYS give and receive anything with your right hand, or at least with both hands together. If you give change, accept something, or eat something with your left hand, it will be noticed, though politely not commented on. Using your right hand only is one of the easiest things for Westerners to forget to do, but it makes a difference. A friend who has been coming to India for more than a decade, but only recently made it a point to only use his right hand, said he really noticed how much people appreciated him making an attempt. It may mean a bit of extra effort at first, but it will be appreciated, and will soon become automatic. Even if you are left handed, try and adjust as much as possible.
Tourists quickly realize that the head wobble so common here means "yes" and not "no". Similarly, some Western gestures can be misinterpreted. The Western gesture for come here palm face up and moving as if you are throwing salt over your shoulder would be considered rude in India. The comparable Indian gesture is with the palm facing down and moving like you're doing the 'dog paddle'.
BEING ALONE: (especially in a train)
At times, most travelers in India feel a bit like Greta Garbo and just "want to be alone". It is hard to do, sometimes, especially when you are moving around. Solitude is not a common desire for many except monks. Indians are social, gregarious people, as a rule, and train cars are often buzzing with conversations among passengers who are relative strangers to each other. Inevitably a traveling foreigner gets approached, and it is often the same old questions. "Where are you from?" "How do you like India?" It is hard not to get snippy sometimes. Try and be polite, and, if possible, turn the conversation towards something that does interest you. Often a few questions will satisfy the inquiring party and if not, you may be able to minimize conversation by excusing yourself to read or stare out of the window
Some Western travelers have a tendency to focus on the principle of something. Being overcharged by a vendor even if the amount is small drives some people to fury. "It's the principle of the thing." Its not that the person trying to take advantage of you is unprincipled or lacks a sense of morality, it is just that sometimes things are relative.
Try not to spend your time getting angry when things don't work the way you expected (from your cultural perspective). It would be more constructive to try and understand the motivations acting around you. Try and understand the perspective of those you are dealing with. An auto driver who tries to get a higher fare than the meter is not driving home in a Porche. Most of them are living in some hovel in a part of town you'll never see, struggling to feed, clothe and educate their kids. They are exploited daily by the owners of the autos, the cops and other officials, and have to spend their waking hours driving in hellish traffic and polluted air. Their interest in the "principle" of using the meter is limited.
Don't assume that only foreigners get ripped off occasionally. Indians also have to haggle constantly over prices, and when they are out of their "home turf" they are cheated almost as much as foreign travelers.
Trust is an important "cultural fiction" in the West. For many in India, the default mode in business dealings with others, especially with strangers, is respectful mistrust.
The ideal to strive for in dealings as a traveler here, is a good humored respectful mistrust. For some transactions, you can safely assume that the other person is interested in his or her own advantage, say, the highest price. You, of course, are interested in your own advantage. If you can, at least occasionally, work through the process of reaching an acceptable compromise with humor and mutual respect, you've arrived.
Do not assume each and every transaction is an attempted rip-off. Most people you interact with will be dealing honestly with you.
You may get offended when you walk through the crowded streets. Locals have a nasty habit of staring (don't worry-they only stare) when they see someone with a different skin color.
You may (extremely rare) get a few comments too from the local by-passers if you wear skin-baring clothes like tank tops and skimpy shorts-Don't worry: it won't matter to you unless you understand the local language- Hindi/Marathi - The picture on the side shows Indians not wearing any shorts, sleeveless or tank tops even on a beach
2.Overall, Bombayites are extremely friendly and helpful. But there are always exceptions! Local cab drivers or roadside stall owners may try to fleece you by charging 3 times as much as the normal price for their product or service.
TIP- Ask your hotel staff (if possible), what should be the approximate price?
3. Street urchins tend to swarm around foreigners-don't be scared. They are just trying to be friendly or asking for a penny or two.
BUT overall, BOMBAY IS THE IDEAL BLEND OF BOTH -EASTERN & WESTERN WORLDS
The people in Bombay really likes to make new friends and talk to foreigners. Often they ask you where you come from and what your name is. The Indian people is very nice and I never felt frightened on my trip to India.
The Prince of Wales Musuem stands tall in all it's grandeur and boasts a lovely garden around it. A beautiful piece of architecture and a must see.