The Mumbai Diary

The Daal Khichdi

Khichdi I have known all my life. The various variants of Khichdi too. Those, which my mother offered as standard fare during bouts of illness leading to diarrhea to the tastier ones, which one enjoys with chutney or achaar. In Mumbai, this time I have discovered Daal Khichdi.

Alok, a colleague at work ordered Daal Khichdi and Palak Khichdi for lunch a couple of days ago. This is a strange gruel having a lot of dal and a little rice. Palak Khichdi was olive green thanks to the spinach. This is served piping hot and I loved it so much that I had it for the next two days for lunch as well!

Airtel-Shame on You

A few months ago Airtel, the leading GSM mobile company in India had a wonderful ad running on the TV. It showed a young couple crashing their small plane in a dense jungle. Worried about survival, they try finding their way out of the mess. Soon their difficulties are solved, when the mobile phone rings and they discover that the signal in their Airtel phone was as strong as ever.

The ad was terrific underscoring the reach of Airtel. Sadly it seems that Airtel has never heard of Mumbai. While the Airtel signals are fine in remote jungles they often disappear in the concrete jungle called Mumbai. I have been virtually incommunicado, thanks to them. There is no signal in my office in Andheri East, it kept coming and going as I traveled from Andheri to Hinduja Hospital in Mahim and it completely went missing in the hospital.  

Goa Portuguesa

Vijay Gupta, my former colleague at Max Healthcare and presently the Deputy Director of Marketing at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai had invited me over for lunch. We went to Goa Portuguesa a nice restaurant near the hospital. As we were finishing our excellent meal, the ‘sole properitor’ Dr. Suhas Awchat, walked up to introduce himself. Dr. Awchat gave us his card, single fold and with a picture of his on the cover. The card reads ‘Dr. Suhas Awchat, MD, FRSH (UK), Udyogshri, Maharashtra Ratna, SEM, SPO, (Govt of Maharashtra), President’s Medallist’. Apparently Dr. Awchat has had many avtars, which includes a physician at the Hinduja Hospital as well as a police officer (a picture of his of yore in the police uniform right as one enters) and now a successful restaurant ownwer. Dr. Awchat also invited us to sample authentic Marathi cuisine for dinner in the adjacent restaurant. Maybe the next time in Mumbai we will give it a shot.

The Ganesh Utsav in Mumbai

I am privileged to be in Mumbai these days, when the festival of Lord Ganesha is being celebrated all across the city. Colourful Ganesh Utsav pandals are everywhere. Some of the pandals are huge with music blaring out and children young and old hanging out near them. In the evenings the religious throng the pandals for prayers and I guess for socialising. The festive spirit is all across the city, with filmstars making a beeline for the ‘Sidhi Vinayak’ temple in Prabhadevi seeking devine blessings for their upcoming films. The city seems so alive and happening.


PS: I have been in Mumbai for the last few days and will be back in Delhi tomorrow evening. Pic from


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