Posted by: Googie | January 24, 2010


Prit & I reached the train station just in time to board our train to Mumbai. We were totally tired by our trip to Tirupati, immediately followed by the all-night farewell party, and were fast asleep almost as soon as our heads hit the pillows.

The rest of the journey was comfortable, and we got to Mumbai early on the morning of 21st Jan. VMK came to the railway station to pick us up, and brought us to his place. We had a good breakfast with his folks, after which we decided to go to the Vietnamese consulate to try my luck with the visa there.

Not only did the Vietnamese make it extremely difficult for us to find their consulate, but also said that they would issue me a visa that would expire way before I even got anywhere close to Vietnam… duh! So I thought it would be better for me to stop wasting my time with these guys, and just try to get the visa in the Vietnamese embassy in New Delhi.

We spent the rest of the day just hanging around Mumbai (read as hanging on for dear life at the doors of the local trains). In the evening, I persuaded Prit to take me to Leopold’s for a beer – just to be where Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram) used to have beer once upon a time. I thought that we might even get to meet him if we got lucky, as he still comes there whenever he’s in Mumbai. My old flatmate Vinay actually did meet him there, and got a snap clicked with him.

Anyway, we were not so lucky; and decided to head to Cafe Mondegar (Mondy’s) just a few blocks away. Before leaving, I walked up to a woman sitting on one of the tables and told her that she’s looking really pretty, and that I would be very happy if she joined us at Mondy’s. No, I wasn’t drunk. I just thought about it, and I just did it. Sometimes, I just surprise myself 🙂

Halfway to Mondy’s, I said hello to one of the foreigners on the street who was reading Shantaram. He turned out to be a nice enough chap called Daniel from Canada, who was sad that today was his last evening in India. We invited him to join us for a beer, and he agreed. I went to pick up Kini who was somewhere close by, and by the time Kini & I entered Mondy’s, Prit & Daniel were already at a table with 2 other women – one from the UK and the other from the USA! VMK joined us in a bit, and we were a large group. The ladies left after a while, and the 5 of us had a good time at Mondy’s and a sumptuous dinner at ______ later. Daniel told us about some of his bad experiences during his travels, the worst of which was when he had his right eardrum torn in a fist fight with some thugs. Despite that, he said he would never hesitate to get out and travel some more because his good experiences far outnumbered the bad ones. Sometime after midnight, we bade farewell to Daniel, and got back to VMK’s and crashed.

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  1. Nice post bro !!!

    I’m sure if u try hard enuf u’ll will end up meeting shantaram 😉

  2. I don’t know if I want to go there everyday just to meet him. You got really lucky the first time!
    I guess its just about being at the right place at the right time…

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