Thursday, June 15, 2006

Yeh hai Bombay meri Jaan (life@Mumbai)

If there is one thing which has got the biggest sex appeal in a place is the kind of picture it portrays of its daily life, its awakening and its sleep, or may be no sleep at all and Mumbai is one such place. I have been very fond of places and the life it showcases. Though constrained by some reasons, I have not been able to travel much. But Which ever places I visit, I make sure that I get a grasp of the life line of the city.
I was part of the city started during my summer training in Crisil, Mumbai last year. I have been to this fondly called Maya nagri quite a time before, but these three months helped me in feeling the pulse of the city.
Life in Mumbai starts at 7 am in the morning when people start going for work and the local trains are full of men and women fighting for a place to even stand in the trains. The people prefer local trains than road, as it takes less time than going by bus and also the network is very extensive. The same atmosphere can be observed during the evening when people start returning back to their home.
I remember my first day by local train while traveling from Vashi to Andheri for my summer training. I had taken a first class pass, but during peak hour there is absolutely no difference in the crowd between first class and second class. I had to get down at Vadala, and was almost pushed out of the train. Well, there is a simple trick while traveling in crowded Mumbai locals that you should let people board the train first and then get down at the station. Sounds, strange, but this is how it works and the seasoned travelers know it very well.
Well, apart from an extensive train network, which is literally the life line of Mumbai, the city offers host of places to visit. The place like Juhu Chaupati, marine drive, Gateway of India, Bandra is some of the evening hangouts of people and is vibrant till late in the night. This is what makes a Mumbai aamchee Mumbai and different from any other metro. Where else, you can enjoy such pleasures of safely hanging out in the night in India. My favorite hangouts are Bandra Band stand and Marine Drive. Bandra band stand is an area where most of the celluloid public stays such as Shahrukh Khan in Mannat (name of his house), then Rekha, Salman Khan and many other stars, not to forget the small screen actors who mostly stay in the apartments, as they cant afford a Bungalow in Bandra. One can frequently spot some of these actors jogging at Bandra band stand. I equally like Marine drive, and prefer taking a walk around the queen’s necklace .Queens necklace is the stretch of Marine drive along the sea shore which forms like a necklace full of lights and high rise buildings.
Mumbai, the most populated city of India and one of the expensive cities in India is full of riches and rags. The slums can be spotted just adjacent to the posh localities and multi storied complexes and apartments. But, the city is friendly and I would say, that an average earning person can adjust very easily to the city if he can get used to eating Vada Pav (Desi Burger) and traveling in the locals. I would like to quote a sentence I heard from one of the senior manager of a big FMCG company staying in Dubai and belonging to Mumbai “Dubai is like a clean Mumbai”. I haven’t been to Dubai, so I would leave it to people’s discretion, that whether it’s true or not. But one thing is true, that most of the Bhai logs prefer either Mumbai or Dubai, and you have to agree for it, for whatever reasons.
Well, once stricken by the Underworld and several bomb blasts, Mumbaikars are hardcore workaholic and alcoholic and rise very easily from disasters. Infact , this is the reason that it’s the commercial capital as well as hosts a number of nice pubs , discos , lounges, restaurants and once upon a time famous dance bars which are no longer dancing.
Well, we are discussing Mumbai and we can’t forget the apna Bollywood. Similar to Hollywood, Mumbai consists of many film studios such as most famous R.K studio, Filmcity etc. and almost all the film fraternity stays there. Infact, many young guys and gals who arrive the Maya Nagri (City of beautiful Illusion) everyday have dreams of joining the glittering and glamorous Bollywood.
Mumbai is also strong academically and boasts of IIT, and also some prestigious Business schools. Overall, the city is a great place to stay minus the crumbling infrastructure during the rainy season. Infact, I would say that Mumbai rain is not famous, but notorious. It rains and rains and rains!
A last and final word about Mumbai:
“Mumbai doesn’t treat people based on their lineage, the company they keep, the background they possess; it treats people on their capabilities.” This is why, it is known as the city of dreams.


Keshi said...

well-written dedication to a beautiful city that u love so much :)


Ekta said...

Your post got me nostalgic a hard core mumbaiyte..born and bought up in this magic city!
Even though have been out of mumbai for a few years now, it never fails to attract me!
As they say once a mumbaiyte, always a mumbaiyte!:-)

amitsinha said...

Thax keshi and Ekta!
Ekta , U k I once saw a hoarding of newspaper DNA in mumbai which said"I am a Mumbaikar from Manipur".
I spent 3 months but i felt gr8 , used 2 get food in mid nyt, ppl travelling in locals till 1 am . I mean the charm is just so much appealing. I wish I settle down some tym there.

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iWonder said...

“Mumbai doesn’t treat people based on their lineage, the company they keep, the background they possess; it treats people on their capabilities.”

I doubt that now with all those goons sccaring N Indians off. Its sad to see indians create discrimination like this.

amitsinha said...

True buddy..Mumbai spirit will diminish if events like the new year molestation case outside JW Mariott and the hatred being generated by goons of Thakrey's happen. being a outside and still feeling for Mumbai, I hope that these events will die soon and Mumbai will remain, a city of opportunities,fun and a thrill thats totally unique to Mumbai.