With summer in full blast, the king of fruits is all-pervasive. The season, which got off to a start with the arrival of the Alphonso mangoes will go on almost till July end. The Alphonso freaks who find the price (Rs 400 to Rs 800 per dozen) prohibitive, can seek refuge in packaged mango pulp (Rs 25 for a packet) for shakes and juices.
The adventurous ones can take the mango trail in Maharashtra.. drive through the Konkan region covering Ratnagiri and Devgarh, for the real mango experience. Pune-based Agri Tourism Development Corp (020–2553 5599, 25539600) conducts farm trips for Rs 600 per person for a day in the Konkan region.
For many, downing glasses of cocktails or mocktails, and guzzling pitchers of beer is the perfect after-work summer ritual. Make this a group activity and join www.bestofbombay.com’s Bar Crawl scheduled for the first and third Saturdays every month. The trail costs Rs 500 per person. (9619207356).
Over the top
In the evening, when the sun lets down its guard, it’s time for some masti. Just hop onto the Nilambari, the open-air bus for a ride through the city. Maharashtra Tourism conducts hour-long tours on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year (except monsoon) from 7 pm and 8.15 pm. The ride costs Rs 90 per head. You can even book the bus for a private moving rooftop party. ( 2202 6713/ 22027762 / 22024627)
Be a water baby
A sure-shot way to keep your cool is yoga and meditation. The season is also perfect to lose accumulated inches. Deepali Jain conducts an aqua aerobics programme at Body Rhythm Club, Churchgate. (9820094323). Age no bar, 10 sessions per month cost Rs 2500.
Say goodbye to dehydrating aerated drinks this summer. Opt instead for traditional summer coolers. The pink-purple petals of the sour fruit, kokum, are natural coolers. Jai Hind (24902213), Gajalee (26166470) and Sindhdurg (24301610) serve a spicy, cooling solkadi. Or simply soak the fruit in warm water for three to four hours, add sugar, black salt and roasted cumin powder and voila, your sharbat is ready!. Other traditional drinks worth a try are kairi ka panna, aamras, phalsa, khus, jamun and bel sharbat. If you find it difficult to make these, just try the new Nimbooz.
Paani paani everywhere
Make optimum use of the city’s water-front with water sports. A speedboat ride costs just Rs 175 per person in a boat for four people at H2O (23677584/ 46). Other activities include fly-fishing (Rs 580 for five to seven minutes) wherein a tug with a couple is pulled by a speedboat or water ski (Rs 1600), jet ski (Rs 250 (with an instructor)/ 975). To keep it simple yet romantic, just watch the sunset together at the highest point on Bandstand.
Heat and humidity equals active sweat glands this season. To ensure that people don’t stay at an arm’s distance, arm yourself with cans of deos and bottles of perfume. Or go the desi way and opt for traditional fragrances like khus, kevra, chandan and rose. The Ittarwali gali, near Minara Masjid on Mohammed Ali Road is the perfect place to go ittar shopping. Just ask for it.
We scream for ice cream
The desire for popsicles and ice creams heralds summer for many. While Naturals Ice Cream remains a city favourite, global ice cream brands like New Zealand Naturals (Atria Mall and Markiv’s, Churchgate) and Häagen-Dazs (Gourmet Store, Grand Hyatt-6676 1234) are also making way to the market serving a range of creamy, rich ice creams in different flavours. the calorie-conscious can have 96 per cent fat free gelatos by Amore (65208300, 9821059939).
Gol, gol golas
Come summer and carts laden with a myriad colour of bottles dot the cityscape. Poured over mounds of crushed ice (golas) these sugary syrups have many fans with so much to choose from. While the Chowpatty gola remains an all-time favourite, also worth a try are those at Kala Khatta House, CST station, Pooja Malai Gola at Borivali, Dhiraj Kala Khatta next to NM college and the golawalla in Mulund, outside VG Vaze college.
Summer camps are not just for kids, Adventure companies are also conducting camps for adults to beat the city heat. Rivertrail Eco Camp by Ecomantra Nature Adventures offers kayaking and canoeing (6524 8646) and Outbound Adventures is conducting camps for river rafting and other water sports at Kolad in Maharashtra (2631 5019).