‘The world is so small that it can fit into your palm’. This seems very true to me because the world has literally shrunk to the size of my I- phone that fits perfectly into my palm. Any time I look at Instagram or Snapchat stories, I find myself gazing at the azure waters of Mykonos, the elegant Oxford Street in London, the old wordly beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the steep, verdant hills of Bhutan. Almost every friend, acquaintance or lifestyle blogger that I follow on social media is escaping the Mumbai heat by heading out to cooler climes like Europe, US or the thawing mountains in North India.
By God’s grace I have been blessed with a splendid imagination and for a few seconds I can actually imagine myself at all of these places, and can almost feel the invigorating nippy air, but there is only so much vicarious thrill that I can partake in. Inevitably after a few minutes of scrolling down Insta feeds or tap- tapping away on snapchat stories, I get bogged down by a malady that I have come to name as the ‘Summer Blues’ which according to me is the frustration of not being able to escape the sweltering summer heat of Mumbai in month of May.
Due to personal commitments, vacationing outside of Mumbai during this May is not possible for me but then, the perennial optimist that I am; I came up with a plan to beat the summer blues and finally came up with ways to drum up some excitement about spending the long white-hot days in Mumbai.
1. Wave goodbye to traffic
Since many Mumbaikars are out of town, it means less traffic! Of course peak hour traffic is never obliterated from fast- paced Mumbai, but you can count on it being less savage in the sunny month of May. So if the sultry sun lulls me to stay home, the traffic-jam free roads definitely beckon me to step out and explore new restaurants, cafes and attend events even though they might be far from home. After all we have air -conditioned Ola and Uber cabs to our rescue 😛
2. Say hello to hobbies
If you are a student like me and are lucky enough to still enjoy a ‘summer break’ then this is the perfect time to pursue that one hobby that you want to, but couldn’t make the time for it due to demanding schedules. For me, this summer is the time to unwind and relax by downing copious amounts of ‘Aam Panna’ (raw mango sorbet) and reading new books. I also wanted to learn how to cook my favourite breakfast dishes and it is only during my summer vacay that I have found the time to learn how to cook bread Poha, Nachni-Bajra-Oats Dosa, Rice Pancakes and my all -time favourite Dhoklas! (I take the maxim of breakfast like a King seriously :P)
3. Pamper yourself silly at salons, spas and shopping malls
These places should be your go to places because they are all air-conditioned! (LOL :P) These are great options to unwind and relax. Get a nice manicure and pedicure or opt for a hair spa. Take advantage of this slack time to groom yourself. It’s also a fab opportunity to wear your aviators and strut out in stylish breezy whites and soft cotton outfits.
The summer season also means ‘discount season’. Online shopping is another great option if I don’t feel like getting out of the house for retail therapy. Just yesterday I came across eye popping discounts on Myntra about the flowy flirty new summer’s silhouettes from the brand ‘W’ which are already ‘added to my cart’. So this summer, you can ‘shop till you drop’ due to the abundant discounts but please don’t drop down because of the dehydration! Keep yourself hydrated at all times :p
Also don’t discount the fun of shopping with your friends at The Palladium Mall. End the day with dining at some of the finest restaurants at the Palladium Mall or at the St. Regis.
4. Cool yourself with ‘Keventers’ Milk shakes and ice cream sundaes.
‘Keventers- The original milkshake’ is an iconic 100 year old Dairy brand resurrected in 2015. (Read their amazing brand story here) With several outlets in Mumbai and with the home delivery option (for lazy piggies like me!) via Swiggy, you can chug some chilled and unbelievably delicious flavoured milk which ranges from mint-oreo crumble, Caramello popcorn, Snicker superior, Banofee, paantastic to even bubble gum flavour!
Other than Keventers, another absolute favourite of mine is the classic chocolate milk shake and the soft -serve ice cream sundaes available at Right Place, Breach Candy. Indulging in these cold yummy delights is another fabulous way to battle the blistering Bombay summers.
5. Satiate the culture vulture in you
Summer Workshops galore are organised all over Mumbai. The last page of Mumbai Mirror is filled with a plethora of exciting events and summer workshops that range from book launches, buying artworks supported by NGOs, nature trails, stand-up comedy at canvas club, attending classical music shows, learning basics of different dance genres to even summer adoption camps for animal lovers.
My sister and I attended a panel discussion on ‘The importance of promotion of Culture in the present times and contributing to its development; at the NCPA (National Centre for Performing Arts). We also attended the 2018 Korean Film Festival organised by the Consulate general of the Republic of Korea. 4 Korean films were screened at the cozy 100 seater ‘Little Theatre’ at NCPA. NCPA is located at Nariman Point and is India’s premier cultural institute situated at the panoramic ‘tail end’ of Mumbai. It organises several free events and innovative workshops during the summers that culture vultures would most definitely love and appreciate. (Click here for NCPA Events Calendar)
6. Enjoy the snazzy sunsets
Summers can boast of some of the best sunsets and the picturesque promenade of Marine drive guarantees one of the best views of the Mumbai skyline and sunset. Another favourite of mine is Priyadarshini Park at Nepean sea road. Here you can indulge the romantic in you and sigh when the sun kisses the waters of the Arabian Sea while the salubrious breeze gently brushes your tresses!
Rather than letting out a stream of invective at the sweltering sun, I make it a point to admire the sun in its stunning hues of crimson, golden and tangerine. I imagine the sun as a temperamental drama queen, slaying the role of a sultry beauty while it dons several characters like a coquettish miss winking from behind sky scrapers or an enchantress, all glorious and glittering over the Arabian Sea or sometimes playing the role of a shy maiden playing peek-a -boo from behind translucent clouds!
A sure shot way to beat the blues is to simply shift focus and for a change admire the beauty of the sun while it blazes over Mumbai while sitting indoors.
I fervently hope that my perspective can infuse a little bit of happiness for my dear readers out there who are also spending the summers in Mumbai or in any part of the world where the temperatures are soaring. If you find this ‘beat the blues’ blueprint useful, feel free to like it and share it!