Two Nostalgic Weekends….Mahabaleshwar & then K Lal’s Magic Show ‘Mayajaal’ in Mumbai

 

It’s been a fairly Hot summer in Mumbai,although evenings bring in a nice breeze….and the last two weekends have been quite impulsive and nostalgic…and not really planned

Mahabaleshwar one weekend and Magic Show in Mumbai this weekend

Mahabaleshwar…a summer hill station getaway from the sweltering heat of Mumbai….six hours drive from Mumbai…..friends were threatening and so we just jumped into their car and drove off last Saturday for a weekend break….was quite welcome really as we had worked day and night for over a month to complete a prestigious assignment…The Hill Station brought back a whole lot of memories……began the Saturday afternoon with  a splendid Thali at Hotel Dreamland were we had managed to get  a Regency Suite..seven of us packed into a nice rowhouse villa….good privacy within the premises but away from the hundreds of others in the packed hotel…our neighbour was the BCCI President and his family….no pretensions here…Hotel Dreamland caters to the Gujjus wholesale….Only Vegetarian…No a la carte…all fixed meals and included in the package whether you eat or not….Breakfast for Rs 150…we had fresh Litchi Juice,Idlis,Corn Toast,Cornflakes…… Lunch for Rs 300….a lavish Gujju Thali with the seasonal Aaam Rus…..Heaven followed by Deep Slumber…Double Heaven….. and Dinner for Rs 200…a bit of Fast Food Frolic here..Pao Bhaji and Tawa Biryani…..but the Dessert was  simply Divine…the ubiquitious and sinful Fresh Strawberries and Cream……unique to Mahabaleshwar…..then a Juggler entertained us by the poolside……and at 10.30 pm we roamed around the market,just around the corner, and that remains open till Midnight….playing air hockey and had hot corn in butter…at 11.30 pm glimpsed the Enam Head in his chauffeur driven Merc in the bustling market ….but you got to get off and walk to breathe in the Mahabaleshwar market place…..I’ve been retreating to Mahabaleshwar every few years since I was a child…that’s not to far back and I yet am !….lovely memories of The Indian Oil Guest House with it’s spectacular gardens and views of the Valley,right next to the Mahabaleshwar Club…Rs 10 a day for the rooms ! and lovely customised food….Magicians and Puppeteers came to the Guest House to entertain us…Horse Rides….Sunset and Sydney Point….Boating at Venna Lake….Fresh Strawberries and Cream by the Lake…..trying hopelessly to play Nine Tins and throw the ring around that Biscuit packet  or Drinks Bottles….these games now cost Rs 20 each….and the odds are simply stacked against you….but it’s great fun !….won a Monaco Biscuit packet !  for breaking the Tins Structure in three Ball Throws….Yippee ! have not lost my touch  !  

…and the two photos you see up there….that’s at the Mapro Halt near Panchgani…( 21 kms away from Mahabaleshwar)…..Wife’s on Balanced Diet  with the Hill Station Specialities….Fresh Strawberries and Cream and Fresh Carrots…..and as you can see I’m not on any Diet ! 

And this weekend was the the famous K Lal’s ‘Mayajaal’ Magic Show at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan near Chowpatty Beach in South Mumbai……brought back another whole load of memories…when I was really a child…under ten years old….not too far back,may I remind you……my parents got us brother and sisters to view the famous P C Sorcar and K Lal Magic Shows at the same venues ….so I wanted my daughter to relive this with me……nothing has changed…Senior K Lal is now 87 years and has performed over 22000 shows all over the world till date !…remarkable !….his son K Lal Junior is now the main performer…..must have changed scores of magician costumes during the show……some of the tricks were really good…..as was expected senior K  Lal turned emotional and patriotic several times in the show…recalled how he refused to rename his ‘Water of India’ Magic Trick as ‘Water of Bahrain’ despite being offered Rs 25 lakhs more to do so…..flew back instead !…….the Show normally hits Mumbai every four years but this time has returned to Mumbai after 11 long years and has been going on for a month now…into it’s last week now……nothing much has changed…..but I daresay it must if Junior K  Lal wants to retain and regain the glory of K  Lal…contemporary audience expects more finesse and international standards of presentation,choreography,novelty of tricks and anchoring….if you continue to live in the past and bask in past glories your survival as a top class entertainer and performer will be under the sword  

Those interested in knowing more about K laL the Magician can vist his site  http://www.klal.com

Back to work in Mumbai this week….some meetings I’m looking forward too…..and the gauravblog hampers are being readied finally for despatch…will go out by tomorrow

Cheers !….have a great week…and if you spot some Magic in the Markets do let me know ! 

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