Thankfully, my India visa was approved (one year, multiple entry) and I heard from my friend in Mumbai with an invite to consider his home my home~base while in India.
A very generous offer and one I am quite grateful for, although it has sparked a bit of confusion and reconsideration of travel plans...not a bad thing, by any means, but I am quite a "planner" & often unexpected changes in plans leave me shaken, unsure, confused.
So I am now doing deeper research on Mumbai & vicinity & finding a lot of fascinating places to explore in the region of Malabar Hill and South Mumbai (more details to come in weeks ahead as new plans form).
I have not yet bought my flight tickets, which I had hoped (and planned) to do by this past Wednesday. I had to ask for a cash advance, sent by PayPal, to clear, and am now in the midst of 3-5 business days hold while that is transferred from PayPal to my bank!
My new "plan" is to purchase the ticket by Thursday of this week (which also happens to be my 41st birthday!)
Perhaps there will also be a fortuitous airfare sale waiting for me.