Just Chatting with Life

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tryst with the City of Dreams !!

Since my summer job has started, I have experienced the real Mumbai life and I must say that it has left me with mixed feelings. I am surprised with my own feelings. Mumbai is an exasperating city. No other place has made feel hate and love so strongly. At any given moment, one part of me wants to flee and another part of me wants to see more of this city.

I think I hate the crowds in the locals and buses, but I am not so sure about this feeling. The stink of sweat, the dirt, the grime and above all the heat makes me go mad. Yet, there is a strange kind of privacy in crowd which I had never experienced before. No one will bother me. Each of us lost in the tiny space that we can call our own. There is a sense of belonging. I look at the local pass in my wallet and I know that I belong to Mumbai. I am not a stranger anymore. I am sharing what millions of people experience everyday. Words like “fast”, “slow”, “east”, “west”, “425”, “9:03” have a meaning for me. No longer am I the lost stranger asking for help at every stage. And I don’t know why but this make me feel good.

I hate the suburbs even though I live there. It represents the bad face of Mumbai. Yet it is in suburbs that the majority of Mumbaikars live. They will get packed like cattle in locals and buses to reach the workplace. Same fate waits in the evening. They will curse the endless traffic jams, the heat, the still air, the humidity, and the floods in the monsoons and yet they will live there because they have no option. They will long for the high-rises of Lokhandwala where the TV and movie stars live, they will long for the open streets and lovely buildings of South Bombay. They will long for the sea and the money of Bandra, Colaba, and Malabar Hill. And they will save every bit of money they can so they can move just a teeny-weeny bit south.

I love South Bombay. When I see south Bombay it’s as if the suburbs never existed. Everything is suddenly better- the roads, the weather, the buildings, the people, the sea, the traffic. And you wonder if it is the same city. I love the old Victorian buildings, the winding lanes, the bunglows and the high-rises, VT, BMC, Fort, Fountain, Marine drive, Nariman Point. This was the Bombay all of us grew up seeing in the Movies. No movie was based in the suburbs thought there were a few which were based in slums and Chawls. But when it came to showcasing Mumbai it was always South Mumbai which got the nod. It is my dream to own a house in Marine drive or Malabar Hill.

Mumbai is an expensive city. Although it is only in Mumbai that you can have your lunch at a price ranging from 5 rupees to 5000 rupees. It is in Mumbai that a girl can travel in short skirt in a local or a bus. It is in Mumbai that couples kiss in public on Juhu Beach, marine lines, Bandstand and no one bats an eyelid. It is in Mumbai that you can be so rich that people dream to be like you. It is in Mumbai that you can live on the street and yet not hang your head in shame. It is in Mumbai that kissing the air around another person’s face is considered happening. It is in Mumbai that you can see every caste, religion, gender, and color. It is in Mumbai where you can watch a Hollywood movie before its release. It is in Mumbai that normal crowd means you can stand in the bus. It is Mumbai that can convert a boy into a man faster than the Indian army. It is Mumbai which makes and shatters a thousand dreams a day. It is Mumbai which is still the dream of millions of people in all parts of India. It is Mumbai that I am a part of, and I am proud of it.

10 Comments:

  • hey Rahul,
    i use to share the same feelings for Mumbai...and ur article has really reminded me the days which i spent there..
    whether i was in Mumbai for 10 days,bt these 10 days were well enuf for me to brief Mumbai..
    thou i am in Delhi,bt i always aspire to be a part of Mumbai in some way or other way..
    u r getting the hands-on-experience of Mumbai along with ur summers..
    very well written!!
    chill..

    By Blogger Harry, at May 12, 2006 4:07 PM  

  • hey Rahul,
    i use to share the same feelings for Mumbai...and ur article has really reminded me the days which i spent there..
    whether i was in Mumbai for 10 days,bt these 10 days were well enuf for me to brief Mumbai..
    thou i am in Delhi,bt i always aspire to be a part of Mumbai in some way or other way..
    u r getting the hands-on-experience of Mumbai along with ur summers..
    very well written!!
    chill..

    By Blogger Harry, at May 12, 2006 4:07 PM  

  • shit yaar,it has come twice...
    hope u wnt mind for such congestion...
    lol..:)

    By Blogger Harry, at May 12, 2006 4:07 PM  

  • very true !

    By Blogger SUNMAY, at May 17, 2006 9:42 PM  

  • I love Mumbai :)

    By Blogger Phooka, at May 18, 2006 10:23 AM  

  • Damn cool Don..i have been here in mumbai for 21 yrs & i can identify wid each word u have written abt the city!!I believ that this city embraces each one who comes here & showers you with opportunities..Its upto the indivisual whether to pick the gauntlet or not..but the opportunity will be offered,for sure!!What ever it is..U just cant stay away from Mumbai once you are addicted to "Mumbai Life!!" I just luv this place!!I luv Mumbai;-)
    Very well written article mumbaikar!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 22, 2006 2:08 PM  

  • Is this Anup by any chance ?

    By Blogger Phooka, at May 22, 2006 2:23 PM  

  • yo dude!its me!!

    By Anonymous anup, at May 22, 2006 3:40 PM  

  • rahul,,,
    nice stuff on bombay,,,
    i have been there only once,for a week...AND its a wonderfull place...

    By Blogger Ashok's, at May 31, 2006 4:32 PM  

  • hey Rahul! how similar are our articles about Mumbai! I have alos written a blog entry on Mumbai's roads. Our thoughts on Mumbai match a lot. Maybe great minds think alike!

    By Blogger P H Karthik, at June 05, 2006 11:05 PM  

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