I have a few more Mumbai moments to share before moving on to Delhi. The first is one that all of my athletic friends will appreciate. My hotel in Mumbai was very nice – it even had a workout room. I was a bit hesitant to check it out, but I did, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was no WAC, but it had some modern treadmills positioned to look out a window facing Juhu Beach and a decent set of machines and weights (by the way, it turns out that looking at the beach through the window is more enjoyable than walking on the beach and being asked to “take photo” with every other person you pass by). I later returned in my workout clothes to sweat out a little curry and a little jet lag.
For starters, men and women are not allowed to use the gym at the same time. Luckily, I made it before the women’s time was up, which conveniently falls during the day’s work hours. I entered to find 6 men working the counter of a gym that maybe has the capacity of 20 people, is currently open for “women only” and is completely empty. One of the men looks up and welcomes me by saying, “Mam, you are very fit.” Nice.
I proceed to jog on the treadmill, sweating like crazy as it’s about 95 degrees in the room with the setting sun piercing through the windows and feeling the eyes of all six men who are “working” at this hotel gym. Being watched so close that at one point my towel fell off my treadmill and someone had picked it back up for me before I even noticed it was gone. Just another experience where I was thinking, if only someone from my world could see me now!
On a more serious note, during my final day in Mumbai I was fortunate enough to visit another SeeYourImpact partner, Aseema. This was a great opportunity because, while focused on education, they differ greatly from Sahaara. Aseema takes over poorly run government schools and brings in it’s own teachers, materials and methodologies which are proven to greatly improve the quality of education the children are receiving. The school we visited was very impressive, and the children were beautiful, bright eyed and hopeful.
After this site visit, I enjoyed an extremely spicy Thai lunch and lovely conversation with my colleague with Natasha, a walk up to the stunningly beautiful Mount Mary cathedral near the Bandra beach and then headed to the domestic airport to catch my flight to Delhi.