01.08 santa cruz sandwich-walla

some people think "mumbai" is the reclaimed name of the city that was once dubbed "bombay" by the brits. they are wrong.

"mumbai" apparently, is the hindi word for "shopping".

while i am very interested to spend my first day here sight seeing, the folks kidnap me to spend the day dressing me up like a desi doll.

santa cruz: shopping capital of mumbai-burbia. every form of life is bustling down the narrow road, flanked on either side by street vendors selling saris, dresses, dress material, salwar-khameez, kurtas, purses, shoes and yes, suitcases. just in case you can't help yourself buy up the whole 'hood.

i dart out of a sari shop where bright saris are being tossed at my folks from every direction. i am hungry. shopping is serious sport - you work up an appetite.

there is one lonely street stall - and it's swarmed. it's the famed sandwich-walla. radhika told me about this legendary place but i never thought i'd find it in a city of 25 million people. yet, fate brought me here. at the counter, i order three hot masala sandwiches, two juices and a soda. the kid butters the bread, puts masala and aloo inside and puts everything to toast in a sandwich maker. i don't wait. i swallow down my sandwich and contemplate eating the other two in the bag meant for my folks. seeing as my plan of losing a coupla inches in india hasn't worked out, i decide to head back to the shop.

of course, first day we get a bit swindled. but it's ok. my mom got some nice stuff to satisfy her sequin craving. and i got my sandwich from the sandwich-walla.

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