Sunday, May 17, 2009

The madness that is Mumbai

I last went to India 15 years ago - Chennai or Madras then to be precise.

At that time, as an engineer working for an oil organization, I was required to help out interviewing many instrument engineers that they were then lacking.

But I guess we never left our hotel, and though we did venture out buying mango and saree cloth, I never really get to see India. Sure a couple of kids did manage to hang on to the car while it was moving, but left after we threw out a couple of rupees out of the windows!

And that was my image of India then.

This time around, arriving at Mumbai by 11 pm, we were taken on a 4 hour journey by road on a Saturday night.

By right, the road should be empty. It was Satuday night, and it was way past midnight. But we forgot that this is India, and the Indian hiway between Mumbai and Pune is actually a demolition derby.

If there is anywhere I thought my life would end, I had never thought that it could be on an Indian hiway. Cars, trucks, busses were all doing everything they could to crash into each other and yet were able to avoid just that. I don't know how they managed that to be honest. They were zig-zagging the hiway, going from the fast lane to the slow lane at hiway speed, missing each other by inches. Serious, I am not exaggerating. I was hanging onto my dear life.

You swerve to the left, you swerve to the right; you do everything you could to pass the vehicle in front of you. Trucks on the right lane? No porblem - they seems to have the right to be there, so you go to the left, in and out of traffic.

My oh my, I thought Indonesia (or Malaysia) is bad, but I had never seen such mayhem any where else.

But to their credit - no accident and no death was recorded!

But I was rewarded this morning - having my morning breakfast at an Indian garden. It was the most romantic breakfast I had ever had.

Alone that is.

No lah, don't worry. No Sushmita Sen or Aishwarya Rai. Or Katrina Kaif for that matter.

Just me and my newspaper that reported that Manchester United are the champs of England! Yay!!!!!! I missed the game flying to Mumbai, but I guess it was a news worth waiting.


  1. fromjawitonewcastleMay 18, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    What are you doing there? Are you recruiting engineers from sub-continent?
    Hope you enjoying your visit and cangratulation to No 18. Wait for No 19 next season.

  2. Well, sort of I guess. We were looking at tying up with a team in India, should this be required so that we would have a buffer.

    I have enjoyed them, but I didn't really see much. It is like me being there and not seeing anything at all. But I have enjoyed all my curries!

    Yes, I cant wait for No 19, though unlike Sir Alex, I would want to enjoy no 18 first. At two stages, I though we would not see the day, but I am thrilled to be proven wrong.