A warm, balmy, Sunday night, I am recovering from my rendez-vous with some of the expats of this city; people who have made or are making Mumbai their home – some since the last few years and others since the last few weeks. I am discovering that there are tons of expats in Mumbai, a lot more than I had seen in the 4 years that I studied in Mumbai, from 1998 – 2001. In fact, just last month, I took a double turn when I saw two Caucasian women get on a local train from Churchgate to Bandra and it seemed like it was a normal affair. I know that when I was living on Mumbai 10 years ago, I had never seen such a sight.
I am on the expat listserve in Mumbai where, but of course, all expats, from all walks of life, exchange ideas, share experiences, and commiserate on their experiences of living in the city by the bay. This is a great listserve to meet other expats as well and to connect with like minded people who may be going through similar experiences, or for that matter, very different experiences from you.
This weekend was filled with a host of many such connections. On Friday night, my husband and I had dinner with a couple who lived in the US for about 10 years and have moved to India about 10 months ago. The woman is originally from Iran, and if she can find a way to settle amongst the storm(s) around her, I shouldn’t be complaining and whining about being in India! It was great meeting this couple and sharing stories about life on the other side of the world. What started off as just dinner over a couple of hours, lasted into a longer evening ending at around 1 am.
Saturday was another fun evening as well. My husband and I attended a “French Cooking class” at Chez Vous, a French bistro at Churchgate. There were about 13 people who showed up for this class that was hosted by the owner, who is French, and it was essentially a bunch of expats who came together to learn a few recipes. We all had a choice of 4 recipies to work with, and for whatever reason, I was the only one interested in experimenting with the Apple Tart Tatin recipe. Of course, my husband had to join me, by default, and there were all of 2 (of us) in this team. However, we were all told that in addition to cooking, we would also be judged on our finished products. The 4 teams were making Aubergine Caviar, Chocolat Fondant, Madeleines, and Apple Tart Tatin. And, drum roll please………..the winner for today’s competition is Rochelle & Bharat Suri!!! No jokes! For us being the only members on the team, I guess we did not have too many cooks who spoiled the broth and had just enough creative juices to create a winner! Here is a picture of our very own creation in the kitchen of Chez Vous, Mumbai:
This event was followed by drinks with another couple in Bandra. The man (who works at the American Consulate) and the woman, originally from Croatia, were a lot of fun as well. They were a hoot and a half and it was fun and heart warming listening to the American accent again. Felt so nice and felt like I was back home. That night was also a long night and we closed shop when the bar closed down, around 1 am.
It feels good to make such connections and to meet people who are walking on similar paths and carrying similar crosses and developing similar connections with similar people. I am looking forward to many more such connections and meetings, hoping that it will make living in Mumbai a little easier…. at least for now.