Tasting Life Mumbai Style – A New Beginning

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This article is submitted anonymously.

And the wait was over. Moving to a new city had its own feel. With the freedom of living alone came the fear of getting lost in your own thoughts. Days turned into months but everything is still afresh in my mind. The first time I sat in the locals, the night I came in after my curfew time, the day I cried a lot because home was faraway and the day I made new friends.
Mumbai has a charm if its own. It doesn’t let you down. Be it the cheap vada pavs or the expensive Pizza by the Bay, the Novotel or Juhu Chowpatty. It has a place for one and all. This wasn’t the first time I had visited this city, but it was the first time I could call this place a second home. The city gives you the chance to be yourself. It is intimidating to talk to the Mumbaikars, they are all very talented and different. They are straight-forward, impersonal people, who believe in “hard work is the only thing that pays off”, who are non-judgmental and have a smile on their face, no matter how bad their day has been. But, they make you feel like you are one of them. They won’t let you feel any less talented. Acceptance is their best quality.
This place will never let you feel lonely. Life is fast, sure, but only if you do something productive and not sleep all day long ( I don’t know why am I saying this). The sound of waves at the beach or the Marines, the sound of the locals at every few kilometres, the honking of cars at every signal or the sound of people running around to reach their offices on time. Everyone here is chasing their dreams and in the chaos, they find order and that is why life is fast here. Everyone is here with goals, goals that they want to fulfill. That is how you survive in this city.
What do I miss about my hometown? Well, there isn’t a lot of things, as Kolkata is a big city and the lifestyle is similar to that of Mumbai. The Ganpati festival in Mumbai reminds me of the Durga Pujo of Bengal. The street shops of Bandra and Colaba are close competitors to the New Market in Kolkata. The sunrise and sunsets at the Juhu flood my mind with the memory of the River Ganga and the scenic beauty of the city. What Bom-Bae can’t compensate for is the people back at my place, the food my mom cooks, the mouth watering Bangali sweets and Samosas and the independence I had living there for the last 18 years of my life.
It has just been few months, many more are yet to come. There are going to be days when I will miss home more than the freedom I have in Mumbai. There are going to be days when I will forget to talk to my mother because I was too busy exploring the city. But in the end of it all, no matter where I end up 5 years down the line, I have and am learning new ways to live with different people in an all new city. Everyday is a lesson in itself and every morning I wake up with a desire to learn something new. Mumbai has made me a confident, brave and an emotional person and there is much more to this journey.
I guess I’ll just hold on and see what is in store for me.

A review of ZooBar (As if you haven’t been there already)

 

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This article is written by Nidhi Parekh (BA.LL.B. Class of 2019)

I am writing this after being pestered by a certain man who has taken me to probably the shadiest place I will ever go to and who got my hopes high about going to Nirma together for a moot and then breaking my heart by going with other people. I had already written a 300 word shitty article that I wrote in 15 minutes but apparently it wasn’t good enough so I am writing this.

If it wasn’t for how much I love Jaidhara, who has been my travel buddy, my breakfast buddy and is also my second favourite person in this college after Amrita (who is more like a mother), I wouldn’t even be writing this. I’m only doing this for all the wonderful (and sometimes disgusting) memories she and I share together at ZooBar and otherwise. JD and I have sat near the driver of a sleeper bus for 12 hours, waiting for the sunrise (which we never saw) and have even seen a lady squat right in front of us and start peeing, so basically we’ve seen it all.

So this is the real deal. If you read this and don’t feel like going to ZooBar, then read Teesta Sen’s review of Quench because that is truly your only other option. I’ve been there only once, maybe because I have a clear bias towards ZooBar and also mostly because Quench is more expensive, so I can’t really compare these two places. Teesta has done an excellent job so go read that and choose for yourself.

Why should you go to ZooBar? Like a good ISCE student I’m going to tell you in points with underlined headings:

  1. Cheap alcohol and no ID issues (Do you even need more reasons?)

ZooBar is arguably the closest bar to NMIMS. It’s about a 3 min walk, on the way to the station. They open at 12pm which is perfect for those of us who want to go right after college and we have several times, perpetually on Tuesdays. They have happy hours till 8pm which means one plus one free on Fosters. A pint of Fosters on tap costs Rs.83 inclusive of everything during happy hours. This place tests your capacity and most of us have learnt that there is such a thing as too much beer. The sangria too, is also relatively inexpensive but the beer on tap is just better and cheaper option if you want to get hammered. They have a lot of options in terms of cocktails and there is some offer during happy hours for everyone, no matter what you drink.

Best part? No ID issues whatsoever. If you go before 8pm, you can just walk in and they will serve you, even if you look like an infant in Chota Bheem t-shirt. If only we knew of this place when we were 14 so we didn’t have to go around sneaking our parents alcohol.

  1. Good Food (At ZooBar and around)

If it is the first week of the month and your pocket is heavy with all the money you’re carrying around, ZooBar is a great place to lose all of it. The food is great but way too overpriced. The soups, pastas or pizzas are worth trying. They have quite a selection of desserts for a bar and they all sound yum. If you’re anything like me then you know you need a lot food with alcohol (or pretty much anything) and if ZooBar is too expensive then don’t worry. McDonald’s is right under ZooBar. You can pre-eat and go up to drink or even leave in between and pick up something to eat. If you’re a regular then they even allow you to eat outside food. It is a good idea if you want to slip away for a bit once the alcohol starts kicking in and everyone starts getting too existential for you to handle. Fries are always the answer. There are a lot of other places to eat such as Fat Kong, Khasiyat, and Juno’s Pizza that are all a minute away.

  1. Quirky ambience

[3.1.] Décor:

It’s called ZooBar for a reason. There are figurines of giraffes, ostriches, zebras and paintings of lions along with a cute wall art that says ‘Be Pawsitive.’ They have an outside sitting area for all you smokers as well as tables inside that have sofa seats on one side, so it is quite a comfortable place. School of Law students have a table designated at the back of the bar so if you’re headed here be sure to see some of us drinking our sorrows away. It’s squeaky clean, and a well-lit bar that is surprisingly big for it’s location so it is perfect to come in large groups. The stairs might be a problem for after you’re drunk so be sure to have a friend or the very friendly waiters help you down before you fall and crack your skull open.

[3.2.] Music:

They mostly play retro and old school music in the afternoons, which is perfect to have a good conversation, but in the night the place becomes a bar cum club with the DJ playing the latest numbers. However, they play Pink Floyd and Radiohead out of the blue in case you weren’t feeling existential enough while drinking on a Tuesday afternoon.

[3.3.] Games:

They offer games to play and even have a fair collection of books. It’s a great place to unwind with a couple of friends after a hard day of college. And no matter how much noise you make, none of the waiters complain unless they find you running around disturbing other customers.

[3.4.] Unisex Bathrooms:

ZooBar has a unisex bathroom. A very progressive move that lets all transsexuals or trans-genders or apache helicopters to feel comfortable while they piss out all the beer they’ve drank. Here I would like to quote the great Himesh Reshamiya who said, “Tere shareer mein itna khoon nahi hoga. jitna Ravi Kumar ek baar mein moot deta hai.” The beauty of a quote by such a great person is that it is applicable in so many different situations, whether to threaten your girlfriend’s kidnapper or talk about how much one pees after beer. My mother actually saw this guy as a prospective suitor the same week she met my father. #truestory. If she would’ve chosen him I might have had a successful singing career. If only!

Now all of you horny kids thinking this is going to be your new make out spot need to think again. We tried once but they had a guard in the toilet, who will relentlessly knock on your bathroom door and will kick you out. However, the guard appears and disappears on random days and his schedule remains a mystery. If you find a way to get past him, then bang away my friend.

  1. Pet Friendly

ZooBar is one of the few places in Mumbai you can bring your pets to. The waiters are very friendly and be sure to have everyone else at the bar swooning over your pet. It is actually a great way to get dates. Bring your pet to ZooBar on Valentine’s Day and be sure that everyone at the bar is going to come up to pet them. Start a conversation with whoever you think is cute and voila! You have a date. And if my brilliant idea doesn’t work or you don’t have a pet because your mother has threatened you with the typical ‘It is either me or the dog in this house’, then go there with your girlfriends/guy friends because nothing is better than a night out of getting shit faced with the people you love.

In conclusion, ZooBar is THE place to go, whether you’re tired of the hectic routine of college or you’re fed up with the projects and presentations or you’re bored or for no reason at all (we barely need an excuse to drink). It’s got cheap booze with no ID problems and you should definitely go to check out the eccentric interiors. Bring your pet or come with your friends and be sure to have a great time with all the games, booze and food ZooBar has to offer. See you there next Tuesday!

Code for what?

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This article is submitted by Jaidhara Shah (BA.LL.B. Class of 2020)

When the rape and subsequent murder of the 24 year old physiotherapist at Vile Parle was brought to light, the ancient idiotic discussion on the “dressing” of women and the apparent “westernization” of women was discussed relentlessly. Forget the fact that the girl was at her own home, sleeping at 3 am, without any alcohol or substance in her system and the crime was committed by someone breaking into her house and that clothing has NOTHING to do with the atrocious stuff, but yet, the nation wants to know.

Now, this isn’t an article ranting about the narrow mindset of the likes of Mulayam Singh who blame the woman and dismiss the acts as just “boys being boys”, this is about the resounding need to change the Mindset. The Mindset has become a personality of its own with everyone advocating for the same, but how exactly we to do so is hardly thought of. All this discussion got me thinking that since when has clothing and dressing assumed such an importance?

While it is socially acceptable to wear boxers in the privacy of your house and trousers to Court, when do these distinctions really creep into the system? What better a place to have a free environment than an educational institution since it is supports to educate us, to mold us into better persons and more responsible versions of ourselves?

The problem with dress codes, aside from the fact of convenience is that by reprimanding me from wearing shorts, it becomes okay for someone to judge person X for wearing shorts otherwise. Why shouldn’t it be okay to judge? If it is too provocative to wear to class and is likely to distract members of the either sex from focusing on academics, I have the inherent right to judge. This very judgment makes it acceptable for eve-teasing which leads to molestation and the chain of heinousness continues.

Secondly, by mandating attire, there is further an emphasis on clothing when the intent of dress codes is argued to not have any focus on clothing. If I am wearing track pants and coming to college, why call me out or punish me by not giving attendance or fining me for something I do not think is inappropriate.

Ahh, appropriate brings me to the third point primarily raised, “So tomorrow, it will be okay to wear a bikini to college, so will you allow that too?” I understand students have an image of being stupid, and rightly so, but our common sensibilities do prevail, of what we should wear and the city and surrounding I am in.

The final argument I encountered is of safety. But, when does this argument or cloak end? What is the limit set for the same? Ripped jeans are banned in some colleges, jeans aren’t allowed in certain medical and other colleges, so when does this end?

Rather, by removing dress codes, and uniforms, there is no importance attached to clothing, and the true importance of learning, of free thinking and of a progressive and a conducive environment can be achieved. We are a nation of prohibition and restriction. Let’s try being one of freedom and it starts from none other than educational institutions, the pioneers of changing us to our best.