Long long time ago, when civilization in Mumbai was still quite naive, there were some standard hangouts of sorts. Junk shopping at Linking Road and Fashion Street, going for movies at Sterling and spending 10 hours at VT, around a 2 and a half hour movie, eating at the McDonalds there and topping up the burger with a coffee from the Barista across the street. Then came the era of Planet M.
I still remember how cool it was to just go there, hang out, listen to the music at the listening stations, go and choose songs you want to hear at the kiosk, picking up all the new albums by the zing things of our time, and then get a coffee and a pastry at the next floor. Many a time, some celebrity or other would be scheduled to make an appearance there, to promote some new album. For me, that place holds some very happy memories. My first CD of Enya, my introduction to Yanni, a whole host of gifts to various people, this place was the ultimate time pass place during my years growing up in Mumbai. This was the place I used to udao a lot of my saved up pocket money, many a time, borrowing a 'never to be returned' loan from my dad to build my movie and music collection.
And then, padhaai and work caught up with me, and almost 5 years later, I decided to go again down memory lane, to Planet M, since my stock of movies was running dry. I stopped outside Times of India building, and walked across to the entrance I so vividly remembered. And... I saw nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. I asked the security guard outside ToI, and he said that PM had moved to Handloom house, near Siddharth college! I went on over there, and I was rather stumped to see that the store was reduced to less than 10% of its original size! The genre-wise, artist-wise labeling and ordering was so scanty. There were no rows and rows of CDs of all possible foreign and desi artists. The number of store attendants were just a handful. And there was no coffee place! And I was honestly let down. I just picked up a few movies I wanted, and quickly moved out, disappointed at the completely antithetical contrast between what I expected and I what I actually saw.
Harried, I quickly exited the store. Just after I stepped out, one chap moved across and thrust a new bunch of DVDs of the most recent Hindi and English flicks and said - 'Madam, 100 rupees 5 movies - ekdum latesht movies - excellent quality. Loge kya madam?'