Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan!

Welcome to Mumbai. A little tongue-in-cheek humour always does good for your soul. Or so I believe. Born and brought up in this city, I have never had reasons good enough to leave this place. With all the nuisance that surrounds it, I keep falling more in love. Come savour the city as I take you through it in a true local style.

absolutmumbai1

The glitz and the glamour built safely around the ever mushrooming tin homes. A city where magic coincides with the horror of survival each day. The dreams and the struggles makes it feel like so many parallel worlds subsist within just one world. Almost like a story of tragedy laced with humble victories. Mumbai is all of that.

It’s hard to get over a city you once called home if you’ve stayed here and moved on. But what’s more difficult is making it big in a city that demands Rs. 2 crore for a 1 BHK home in the heart of downtown… beat that! Call it the irony of a Mumbaikar that remains imprinted on their faces from the time they break dance their way to work over a dozen pits the first thing in the morning. The race begins for them as they stuff themselves up in claustrophobic boxes, too small to accommodate half of the city, till they board it again the same way, back home. Sounds crazy?… Try it and you’ll discover it’s the most convenient way to get around the city and skip the madness on the roads. You can sure add a dose of adventure to your journey if you wish, by travelling ticket-less. Though it will hardly sound adventurous if on that blessed day you walk into our very enterprising TC. And let me warn you, the fine is quite heavy… enough to feed Mamta Banerjee for a good two days. And that’s apart from the fact that you need to travel with your heart in your mouth, eyeing every commuter with suspect. Suspicion is the first step to self defense I guess… amidst a rough figure of 2.2 lakh people using the same mode of transport as you, yeah right!

Chaotic, filthy, demanding, stressful, restless. A plethora of words to just describe this simple unfailing spirit. So, why would hundreds of people want to migrate to this city each day?
There are a few good reasons I can think of right now. Free entertainment for instance. One rickshaw guy overtakes a guy in a huge car and that’s it. Within minutes, you have full blown action, drama, music and the audience. Now, I wonder why our directors go all the way abroad to shoot our masala flicks?… I watch Dostana every day on my way to work. The faces keep changing, their tendencies don’t. Talk about being a citizen of free India?… Little wonder why Mr. Thakrey thinks U.P. and Mumbai are not part of the same country. But again those are thoughts from the man who has been instrumental in renaming ‘Bomb’ay as Mumbai, which hasn’t really made it blastproof, you know!

Now, there’s one thing every tourist looks forward to on their trip to Mumbai. The night life here. Few cities in a country ruled my moral ethos can really match up to this insomnia land. But I say, you should also check out another unique feature of this city as the sun goes down. Women decide to do a bit of their normal fitness regime by taking a stroll down the lanes. What’s interesting is their choice of attire here. Nighties! Find it funny?… They don’t? and they don’t seem to care if you do. That’s Mumbai for you. In your face, bindaas, addictive, toxic. A city you can’t do with and can’t seem to get enough of either.

Picture courtesy: Google

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13 comments

  1. Deepti D

    Let’s face it. Mumbai rocks n so does your blog..!

    While I so enjoyed reading it, I’d love it better if you wouldn’t miss out the perfect synchronization of a blitzy, glamourous side of this city to its rozi roti regime.

  2. withinaninchoflife

    Thanks honey… I was living the aam life through this blog. The glamour et al is evident to the world, but details like this is what makes a city special… 🙂 And of course, to fit the spirit of a city like this into one single post was tough… I think I will need to do a sequel soon!

  3. Souvik

    I thing i can add, is that mumbai’c clock moves by train timings, people might not know wat time it is, but they’ll definately know, at wat time which train to catch, locals r life lines of mumbai.

  4. withinaninchoflife

    Yes true! I take the same mode of transport everyday to work and back… 😉

  5. Nimit

    Hey Suchitra.. That made an excellent read.. Consider Freelancing in travel writing 😉

    “A city you can’t do with and can’t seem to get enough of either” … DEAD ON! .. just packed the punch in your blog! …

    Looking forward to more on your blog 🙂

    btw.. The fine is 250 rupees. Is 250 enuf to feed Mamata for 2 days? … I don’t think so… Luks like you were robbed by the TC when caught ticketless.. 😛

  6. withinaninchoflife

    Hi Nimit!… Thank you for appreciating… I will take your advice seriously about travel writing… Imagine combining two of your passions… ‘travelling’ and ‘writing’… Wow! I could live my life doing that… But to get details like this about a city you got to live a little longer in that place and explore the local side.
    And about the fine, adding all the extra fare, trust me you will never be fined anything less than Rs. 300… I know because I’ve been fined twice! 😉 That’s enough to buy food in Kolkata for 2 days!… 😉

  7. Crafty Shines

    suchi!!! ROFL!!!!
    hahaahahah

    what a post, i totally loved it! tee hee!!!

    that auto overtaking drama is too much. u remember how auto drivers decide to take their own turns when we don’t even ask them too???!!! wha’s with that? that’s another drama!!

    LAMO on dostana everydy!!! i know what ur talking of!!! tee hee!!!!

    “the man who has been instrumental in renaming ‘Bomb’ay as Mumbai, which hasn’t really made it blastproof, you know!”
    loved it suchi! loved it!!!

    now the nightie bit! u know our pact! we gotta venture out n try the experience! am waiting to shop for the perfect printed nightie n matching accesories!!! LOL!!!! 😛 😛

  8. withinaninchoflife

    Hehe! Thx Shines… 🙂
    I totally have our pact in mind… will shop for nighties together!! ;)… I thought of you so much while writing that bit! :)… The beach awaits us Shines… 😉

  9. Dipti Shettigar

    Tua, how could you let yourself be fined & pay 300 & that too twice….. I have even lost count of the no. of times i have travelled without a ticket ….. No records of being caught ever ….. & its not coz i wanted to save some money, but simply to save myself from the pain of queing up…… lolzzz … it used to be so funny , if ever i see a TC on the platform just an about turn and a little bit of strolling here & there wud help …. u wont believe even this time wen i came down, i travelled without a ticket twice ….. Just remember the rules : Dont try these stunts at Andheri, Bandra & Dadar stations …… [although fortunately i got to escape scot free from here too]

  10. withinaninchoflife

    Hahaha!!… I was zoning man!…Engrossed in my book, I missed my station, got off looked at him and walked into him straight… can’t get worse ya… Second time, it jus slipped off my mind that my pass had expired… God! I tell u I just call it upon myself like this everytime…

  11. Souvik

    I was once caught at bandra going from east to west.. thats the irony, never caught ticketless (same reason as being lazy for the q) but caught when just crossing. thankfully TT was stupid or lenient; he let me go to ATM to get cash, and i never came back.

  12. withinaninchoflife

    Are u serious, they let u go!… Wow!… how come all u guys have always had the luck, and the law abiding me gets caught like this?? 😦

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