‘Prithvi Theatre jayenge?’, I asked.
This was the second time I would take a trip to the Prithvi. I was there the previous evening but I did not reach there on time for the 4 PM show, although the Juhu Church Road was easy to find, and people were informative. Prithvi just like NCPA, Ranga Shankara, and other theaters has a policy of not allowing patrons to enter the hall after the show starts, and the show starts on time.
I sat at their courtyard cafe run by Mocha, and had a coffee, a Maggi before travelling back to Andheri station, and from there to CBD Belapur. By then I knew how much time does it take to reach Prithvi from the Andheri station, and back. I also calculated the time that I should leave from Belapur the next day to reach Juhu on time. The next time I went back to Prithvi I was confident that my experience will be without a hitch.
‘Prithvi theatre hain kidar?’ asked the auto rickshaw driver.
‘Amitabh ke ghar saamne hi hain’, I answered to him with all confidence as if I lived in Mumbai all my life. While saying it, I drew a circle in the air to denote Big B’s Prateeksha, and then I drew a dot next to it to denote Prithvi. It was my fifth day in Mumbai. My experience with auto drivers and taxi drivers in Mumbai has been pleasant. Nobody swindled me like the richshaw drivers in Chennai did. Auto rickshaws and taxis are used as feeder service most of the time, and so there is less chance of being swindled. I did most of my traveling in trains, and buses. I have also used the Monorail.
This time I reached forty minutes before the start of the show. I had enough time to have a maggi and a coffee before entering the hall. The show was called ‘Wolf’ performed by T.Pot.Production. A great show though. That was the first time I watched something at Prithvi, and after that it was time to add Prithvi to my done list. I didn’t get to see Naseeruddin Shah like people said he would show up sometimes. However, I got to see some great talent on stage.
I wanted to visit the Prithvi theater on the sixth day, but I covered it the previous day. On the sixth day I took a trip to the Japanese temple. The journey was an adventure. I took a train to Kurla, got off at Kurla, and then took a train to Dadar. The best part was that I had not heard about the rush in Dadar trains before, but I experienced it first hand before I read jokes about it. But lucky for me, the train terminated at the Dadar station. But the rush at Dadar was unreal. At Dadar station, I took a train to the Mahalaxmi station, took a taxi from there to Worlinaka.
I thought I would not find it easily, but the taxi driver drove on the E.Moses Road and there I saw the temple right beside the road. They closed the temple before 11.30AM. The sign said it would open in the evening. After walking for some time about Worli, I found a Dominos. After an hour of loitering around, I came back to the bus stand in front of the Japanese temple, waited for half an hour for a bus to the CST. The bus journey was nice considering the fact that it offered better view of the city than the trains, and seats are easily available. From the CST I took a train to Wadala to take a ride in the Monorail.
It had been less than a month since the inauguration of the Monorail in Mumbai. People stood in line to take their ride in it. The rush in the train was because of a Saturday, which is a wrong day to pick a ride in any public transport in Mumbai. I became part of the crowd. I had a headache because of the heat. All I wanted to do was get home, but Monorail journey had to happen. Authorities in Bangalore have still not made up their mind about building a Monorail. And it would be years for one to come up if they had decided to build one.
The route runs through an industrial area and few slums before it reaches the busy commercial district of Chembur. A vadapav and a tea later, I boarded the train to Vashi, spent my evening at the Inorbit Mall. A drink later came back to Belapur while making up my mind to take the journey to the Japanese temple again before I would go back to Bangalore.