India’s largest New Year Bash!!! and we were most happy to be a part of it 🙂
Essel World, the ginormous amusement park that’s been regaling us Mumbai-ites for more than 2 decades. It is in fact our very own little Disneyland of sorts and we take great pride in talking about it.
Built on an island called Gorai and away from the pandemonium of the city, Essel World promises an entire night (an entire day on rest of the days) of nonstop fun, food and adventure. After driving through the torturous city traffic, its a twenty-five minutes of undisturbed breezy drive that later squeezes through the quaint little village where life still seems to waddle with an wafting aroma of burnt firewood.
We wanted to reach before the countdown began.That’s one thing we love about celebrating the New Years. Every count backwards means one closer to stepping into the new year.
Oniel drove at a supersonic speed and made the impossible possible.
We were on the dance floor…when it was just 2 minutes to 12. A million thanks to him 🙂
Essel World has the biggest open air dance floor and four other smaller ones. Singer and DJ Ramji Gulati started the countdown.The clock struck 12 and we welcomed 2015 in just the way we wanted. Amidst an extravaganza of spectacular fireworks, electrifying lights, foot-tapping music and wonderful happy people, it was a great welcome to a brand new year.
The DJ was at his entertaining best, belting out melodies that got us audience into our groove. He sang, danced and made us dance to the hits from the 80s of Amitabh Bachhan to the 2014s of Alia Bhatt. It was a good two hours of letting my hair lose, burning away the extra flab I had gathered during Christmas 🙂
The Magical Parade: The thing I love the most here is the Magical Parade of Essel World’s very own Fab 5 characters.
Thunder: is one such adrenaline pumping ride. Once you are in, be ready for the heart-throbbing out-of-the-world experience. And, this aint the one for the faint-hearted. We’d been in this before. But this time, we decided to be on the other side…be spectators…and it was no less fun 🙂
Top Spin: Its such a mean ride, true to its name! It literally spins you out and about… like a top. I’m sure the guys dint have a slightest clue what they were in for.
Crazy Cups: It was super fun. We loved it so much, we did it twice 🙂
Monsters In The Mist: Cling on to your loved one tightly. You can be attacked…any time… Again, not for the faint-hearted.
Prabal, The Killer: the most feared and now revered war-ship was in operation for 22 years in the Indian Navy. This mark of history is now converted into a life science museum for the visitors.
Mirror Maze, Dodgem, Go-Kart, Carousel are few other kids and family rides.
Santa’s Town: Breathtakingly beautiful! It was like we were in Santa’s very own snowy paradise. There were these four gorgeous Santas who danced to our claps. Amazing!
Santa’s larger-than-life train carrying humongous boxes of gifts…
Ice Skating: Wanna try your skills on ice?
There were Clowns, Jugglers, Fire Eaters, Face Painters, Mehendi Artists and more taking the entertainment up a notch.
And if you ain’t doing anything at all, just loiter around on one of those benches under the festooned trees sipping a cuppa, whispering sweet-nothings 🙂
Food: And when your muscles protest from the dance workout and the rides have had your guts screeching, head straight to the shops serving scrumptious food and beverages. Food options had South Indian, Mughlai, Punjabi, Chinese, Gujarati, Pizzas and Burgers. Lip-smacking snacks included Chaat, Sweet Corn, Popcorn, Ice Creams, Candy floss, Ice-Golas and lots more.
We devoured the soft buttery Chicken Tikka Kebabs straight out-of-the-grill and served with mint chutney. The Chole Bature and Paav Bhaji were delectable too.
After four hours of pure non-stop fun and indulgence, it was 4 am when we finally decided to head home.
“Essel World Mein Rahoonga Mai. Ghar Nahi Jaoonga Mai”…
This transliterates to “I will stay in Essel World. I will not go home”… the jingle that used to play on the television since the time I was a little kid.
Its true…. once you are in here, there’s no way you wanna leave 🙂
Warm welcome to BitesandPlaces!
My humble little blog has its own story to tell… my story… I’m gregarious being, vagabond at heart and have a monstrous appetite for food. I used to be a Human Resource professional until few years ago. To be among, with and for people was the reason I’d chosen this field.
Being in HR, I could only accomplish the ‘people’ part. I still yearned to be in those places I saw on TV and travel magazines and craved to eat all kinds of food that lulls you into coma. I didn’t want to be just a spectator anymore. I wanted to be in those pictures.
Luck smiled at me and I fell sick with an awful heart, lungs and liver disorder. Family said stay home. Rest.
Rest? Were they crazy? I grabbed this opportunity and quit my job; to pursue my passion – people, places and food.
Being on my own gave me lot of spare time for all the three.
I’m not a professional cook, but I’m mighty passionate about cooking. Although Indian, BitesandPlaces does not restrict itself to just the dishes of my country, which are toothsome beyond doubt. I’ve also tried to put together a bunch of mouth-watering and eye-pleasing recipes scattered from all parts the world. A lot of them are a tribute to my mum’s kitchen, the ones I grew up with. Few of them are a result of my experimentation and few others, borrowed from my generous friends 🙂
I religiously follow Andrew Zimmern’s favorite quote – what looks good to your eyes, EAT IT!! After all food is something that follows no boundaries, isn’t it.
Travel, I believe, is about exploring new places, meeting new people, building new relations, soaking in their culture, gorging on their cuisines, discovering their stories and of course, capturing all of these in my teeny-tiny camera.
After having been there and done that, I was inspired to share my travelogues with you, encourage you to travel and in some way find a bit of your happiness through me.
Thus BitesandPlaces was born!
Life’s a journey and people, places and food are all a part of it. So, come along with me and eat your way through this journey called Life…
I like staying connected. And it’ll be a frosting on my cake if you drop a line or two at firstname.lastname@example.org.