MUMBAI – a metro city, home for dreamers, city to become self reliant, it is for rich, it is for poor, and so the list of adjectives goes on for this incredible city.
With immense exposure to the Arabian Sea, Economic Capital of India, a Natural Harbor, one of the most important cities from Ancient Times, Strategically Located. All these things describe Mumbai in geographical content but there are much more in this city that one can peep into it.
I came to Mumbai in 2008 for pursuing Engineering and now it’s been seven years in this city. Being away from home at tender age of seventeen and this city of dreams welcomed me with a big hug. Initially this city stunned me by its busy crowded trains, heavy rains, water logged streets. But with the time it helped me to become an independent confident girl with a hope to touch the skies freely. I got wonderful friends over here which has now become an indispensable part of my life. And the list goes on.
What does Mumbai made of? It’s not about crowd, local trains, busy life, malls, parties but much more than that..!! Just a tilt in your outlook and you will see a totally different picture. A picture of intense blends of culture, sundry lifestyles & so on. So, here’s a stance from my kaleidoscope exploring diverse shades of Mumbai.
Other ways to describe Mumbai –
“Unity in Diversity”
You can see “Unity in Diversity” in real sense in Mumbai. And the best example is Local trains especially during peak hours. Helping each other irrespective of any strings attached. Ready to guide you if you are new to this place. During peak hours and especially at stations like Dadar, Bandra, Thane, Kalyan the best thing is that you don’t need to worry about getting down from the train – Just stand; other commuters will take the efforts to get you down and will take you to the middle of the bridge as well. This is Mumbai Local train – the life line of Mumbai.
It is incredible city where one can amaze by the number of religions do live together humbly. It is the place where we celebrate all festivals with great enthusiasm whether it can be a Diwali, Eid, Holi or Christmas or anything. A perfect blend of human race which one can witness here. People do come here from all over India to turn their dreams into the reality and ultimately becomes a part of this magnificent city. And consequently leaves the impression of unity in spite of diversities.
“Places known by Communities”
Though there are many places in Mumbai where people have confined themselves in their own communities. And however there you can see many such places which are generally famous by their communities. Some of them as follows – Matunga -> South Indian community, Dadar – Marathi, Borivali – Gujarati, Malabar hills – Zoroastrians, Mumbra – Muslims and many more….!
“Places known by their working culture”
Also Mumbai can be described like this well – Ulhasnagar – Wholesale cloth market, Dadar – Flower Market, Navi Mumbai – IT parks , Andheri/Goregaon – Bollywood Industry, Parel/Worli – Mills turned into gigantic corporate parks, Dharavi – Biggest slum, South Mumbai – Rich people.
In short, you can see all sorts of varieties in Mumbai
I would like to share some amazing things which one should enjoy over here –
Calm, serene seashores –
Beaches are here to enjoy the puffs of air. People living in landlocked cities may come here and can enjoy the soothing breeze of Mumbai.
A sunset at Marine Drive appeases you and takes away all your tiredness by the peaceful breeze. It feels like an oasis in the middle of the overcrowded ever running busy city.
Though beaches in Mumbai have not been maintained well and one of the dirtiest beaches in India – still it gives you a place to enjoy air. Juhu beach – the dirtiest and overcrowded, but an evening walk can give immense pleasure and seize your weariness away. It is so not because of the beach itself but because a lot of celebrities stay in this area. Celebrity watching is a craze in itself. You can actually find crazy fans from all over India who keep standing right in front of the house of these celebrities so that they can get their autograph or simply see them for real just once.
Bandstand, Carter’s Rd, Worli Seaface, Bandra Reclamation, Versova beach and many more..
“Nothing is as mesmerizing as a sunset caught at the right time, from the right spot.”
The High scrappers and Slums –
You can experience the smelly dirty unhygienic slums on one side in this city while big classy high-class beautiful high scrappers on the other. Mumbai has its own identity. It is the place for businesses and corporate minds and also a place for laborers. All kind of social genotype can be witnessed here. Here one live in a posh 2000 sq ft luxurious apartment while some 15 people adjusting themselves in a 100 sq ft room.
Parel is the best place to witness the same, high rise corporate parks, mills converted to big buildings while chawls, non working mills on the other.
Mumbai has good transportation – a good connectivity with local trains and roads.
Local train – the lifeline of Mumbai, connecting wide range of areas and making this place more active to work. Many people traveling from outskirts to this metro city within few hours.
Roads – Mumbai has good connectivity with the roads. People do follow traffic rules more honestly than any other place in India. Because if they don’t, they are only the sufferers of long traffic jams. It is very common here to see luxurious cars on the Mumbai streets. Similarly very common to see poor children begging on streets or earning a little on traffic signals by selling flowers and other stuffs on traffic signals – A typical metropolitan city.
The bustling, busy crowded roads are the day-to-day affair of Mumbai’s road transport. If you really want to see; the unruffled beauty of Mumbai – travel late night or early morning – no crowd, big giant highways, huge buildings, airy and the tranquility of the beautiful city which mesmerizes you completely. A city surrounded by some of the most stunning architecture in the world.
Bandra Worli sea link, Eastern Freeway, SCLR, Vashi Bridge – shows the engineering above par.
BEST/NMMT/TMT/KDT Bus Services – At reasonable prices, one can travel throughout the stretch of city. A good frequency, gentle helpful and kind conductor, clean buses – these are some of the specialties of bus services which one can witness here. Also they have taught motivational Marathi sentence “Pudhe chala” to many non Marathi speakers.
Rickshaws/ Taxis – Easy to get rickshaw / taxi in this city except the peak morning and evening hours only because they want long distance commuters.
This city has all kind of food for all – the cheapest as well as the most expensive one. One of the most famous is the street food where one can enjoy all sorts of delicacies. The relishing street food one can have at Juhu Beach. Chowpathy’s pavbhaji, bhel puri is awesome.Mesmerizing five star hotels is the essence of Mumbai. It is also a place for night roamers – ‘n’ of night clubs which make your feet dance. It is the city which never sleeps.
Mumbai is big enough to assimilate everyone – the rich and the poor, the new born and the old aged, the youngsters and their ideas and many more. It is the place for gangster and mafias, stray people, street beggars, Artists, businessmen, students and many more. Strings indirectly attached among themselves. A sip of coffee in a five star coffee shop or a typical Mumbaiya’s cutting chai along the roadside tapri is more enough to let ideas flourish. This is what Mumbai means.
However this city has its own enigma which makes it unique from other cities. The more you try to know, the more this city puzzles you.
To be Continued….