Family history anyone?
Here we are. A ripe 2 decades after we left our home at Nana Chowk, standing in front of it. For some reason "Elim" seems to have shrunk from the huge size it was when I was a lad. Maybe the 20 successive monsoons had something to do with it...
Maybe it had to do with the 45 story appartment building that was built on the other side of the road. What will happen when the under construction 65 story building (so we are told) comes us we don't know. The little fire station next to it still has its training tower and single fire truck though.
Stefan, Neeru and the delightful little Ashish gave us so much joy over the 2 months they were in Mumbai from late May to mid July!
On the last weekend our 'Delhi Eichers' were with us we borrowed a car from bro Jolly - our house church elder - and headed into town. Up and down and all around!
After seeing the 'Ancestral Home' at Nana Chowk, we walked over the Mani Bhavan, the house where Mahatma Gandhi lived in when he was in Bombay. It still has the recreation of his room and the room full of doll-sized dioramas picturing his life - the same as we saw when we used to trot over as boys in our short-pants.
Then on to the top of Malabar hill. We parked the car next to our first school and the charming little CNI church - and had to include a visit to the 'boot house' at Kamala Nehru park (Asha and Kim - the lady helping Stefan and Neeru - are on the balcony while Enoch mans the ground floor) - before downing a picnic lunch at the 'Hanging Gardens' (a large municipal park built on a water tank that supplies much of down-town Mumbai.
Next stop for us 'out-of-towners' was Marine Drive and a quick peek at the Taroparvala Aquarium. As we were piling back into the car we saw some foreigners coming towards us. Among the 16 million people plus in Mumbai - we run into Neeru's colleagues from the International Justice Mission who were in town for a conference Neeru and Stefan had just participated in.
Final stop was the Gateway of India. Couldn't help but get in the motor launches for a 30 min harbour cruise. Except this time we were doing it in the monsoon. No rain, no white-caps, but the sea was just the tiniest bit choppy. As a result, our huge boat went up and down like a cork. Good way to image what it must have been like for the hardened fishermen to wake up the sleeping Jesus and plead with him to save them.
A sampling of Mumbai evening traffic and a short stop at the famous Samosa wallah in Sion and we were back at Stefan and Neeru's appartment by 8 PM.