Autorickshaw Meter World Tour Blog – Week 1

Song to read this blog by: Horn OK Please

We had an uneventful direct flight to Mumbai from Toronto, arriving 1 hour later than anticipated due to bad weather (a cyclone that came up from south India).
In related news, here’s our own personal luggage cyclone:

We met Ed’s taxi driver friend Radha, who is part of an all-women’s taxi cab company:
We got in two cabs, but Dylan’s/Suba’s ran out of gas and came to a puttering stop conveniently (and thankfully) after exiting the main highway on a nearby underpass. We all then crammed into the one cab that Ed was in with the remaining luggage from the other cab and made it to our hotel in the Churchgate neighbourhood. At this point, it is 2am, and we’ve been traveling for nearly 24 hours. A tipple to celebrate our safe arrival, we immediately went to sleep.

DAY ONE was our get-one-thing-done day as, generally, one can’t expect any more than one thing to get done due to the huge amounts of bureaucracy around acquiring, say, a new SIM card, or buying train tickets,…but we did them both!
Then there’s the traffic. We’re generally on foot once we settle in, but the large intersections with far too many cars and bikes, the street lights and crosswalks that don’t seem to instruct anyone at any time (or perhaps they instruct everyone all the time), the random wild dogs, cats, cows and occasional horses, and the incessant honking of the car, bus and truck horns leave the body feeling road-weary. Crossing a street can take upwards of 6 minutes here and then the need for a nap is strong! But, we made it through without incident.
So, thanks Ganesha, for removing those pesky bureaucratic and vehicular obstacles! We’re convinced that things are really progressing towards more efficiency and effectiveness here.

DAY TWO Elephanta Island

We don’t tend to do a lot of typical tourist action, but today was a day of sightseeing and general walkabout on Elephanta Island. Northeast of the Gateway of India harbour in Mumbai, Elephanta caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.













DAY THREE Bombay Belly. Ed and Suba are down for the count. Dylan goes out for barbershop adventures, but not the a cappella kind.












Speaking of a cappella though, we ended up meeting with sound engineer Max Hunter who works with UK a cappella stars, the Magnets who also happen to be playing in Mumbai in the same neighbourhood that we are residing! The world continues to get smaller.



DAY FOUR Our first gig!
We received a preview in the Hindustan Times prior to our first show (please CLICK HERE to read the full article).

We performed at Si Bambai, a cool and intimate arts hub in the heart of the art district, Kala Ghoda. Thanks to Rajesh Krishna and all else at Si Bambai for a great kickoff to the tour.



We met some of the audience members, including one Krishna Murthy who is a very well known musician in his own right. He gave us our first review of the tour! Thanks, Krishna Murthy!





We had a lovely post-gig hang with our friend, colleague and de facto booking agent, Virgil. Virgil, thank you once again for all that you do for us every time we come to India.

DEC 10
DAY FIVE Our second gig! This time at Harkat Studios. This is yet another cool space.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we had a long and lovely walk through a vestige of Mumbai’s past, Khotachiwadi, a largely Christian enclave that is a heritage village, nearly 180 years old.











DEC 11
DAY SIX Our last day in Mumbai before an overnight train to New Delhi. Virgil managed to organize a school workshop for us at his school with the darlings of John Connon Junior School. This was a rewarding gig, with a great response from the children who seemed very energetic, responsive and curious.

After the gig, we quickly packed, checked out of the hotel, stored our bags, and walked along the sea wall to a nearby movie theatre where we watched the remake of Murder On The Orient Express. We thought it only fitting to see this before embarking on our overnight train ride from Mumbai to Delhi!







I mean, would YOU trust this band?!?

We then walked around this financial district, then Fort (where Suba found her palace),

then through our old Colaba ‘hood to one of our favourite rooftops for a drink and snack,

(Yep, that’s the tandoor oven getting ready!), then back to Churchgate to have dinner and grab our bags.

We’re on our way to riding the rails to Delhi.









So, challo Mumbai and hello Delhi! We love your city and we’ll be back for two more rounds of gigs soon, Mumbai friends!