Mumbai: The City of Lights!

Hello dear readers! 🙂

There was a time when I had completely stopped posting on my blog. That was last year when I was trying to make sense of my world and take control of my life. Then in June 2014, Mumbai happened to me! No, it’s not an illness, but rather a fever! 😉

Mumbai is the finance and entertainment capital of India. I had been accepted at one of most prestigious institutions in the country, Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC). I was going to study mass communication!

But I come from New Delhi and the idea of moving to Mumbai was ridiculous to me! But after eight months of being here, I’m quite the convert!

More than anything, I love how a large chunk of the population prefers using the public transport, despite owning personal vehicles. That definitely helps reduce the traffic that clogs the city, and also keeps pollution in check! It really amazes me that this city even has a mobile app guide! This app, M-indicator (Check it out here on Google Play!) gives you all possible information about the city – from local train timings to metro, ferry fares and schedules to movie show timings and even job offers! It now has a safety feature for emergencies also! The local trains are the lifelines of this city!

I never thought I could manage travelling in these dangerously overcrowded trains till I HAD to step into one, simply cuz there was no other option. If you want to be on schedule, trains are the best! You may have to stand throughout your journey in sweltering, overcrowded conditions but you beat the traffic by a huge margin! I soon learned that the happiness of being able to rest even half your butt on the ‘fourth seat’ (little space created by three people squeezing in, for a fourth person on a three-seater) in a crowded local is unmatched! I was so surprised to see trinkets being sold in these trains – from earrings and makeup, to magazines, to snacks and even vegetables!

I have found Mumbaikars to be very helpful and down-to-earth. I have witnessed and received generosity on many occasions, and I’ll share one incident. Now, it is fairly common to see people clamouring for seats and make deals with anyone getting off before you do. In one such crowded local, I stood silently, wearing my heavy backpack and a young woman offered me her seat as she prepared to deboard. Such unexpected kindness was really heart warming!

Mumbai is the city that never sleeps! I will vouch that it is alive at all times, and autos (ricks) and cabs are easily available till late into the night. The drivers don’t fuss much and take you to your destination. Here, I also found that people interact more. People do own smartphones and such gadgets but human interaction is still very alive!

There is so much culture to explore and soak up. The British architecture, Parsi bakeries and quirky cafes have won me over! And most of these restaurants have very humble servers. They are polite and often go out of their way to ensure that you have a good dining experience. Street food is also pretty amazing here and it’s quite hygienic and reasonably priced. The go-to option is vada pav (a burger with a flavoursome potato patty) of which I’m a big fan!

Last but surely not the least, the Arabian Sea is a vital part of Mumbai. What came as a pleasant surprise to me was the fact that the well-known Marine Drive is just a walking distance from college!

More than eight months ago, while confirming my admission to XIC, I didn’t tell my parents that I would have class till 8.30pm or so. It was obvious that my parents would freak out and dissuade me from joining XIC, seeing that Delhi is not very safe at night. I didn’t tell them until two months into the course – but my regular reports of how safe and friendly the city is, helped me ease them into it 🙂

Eight months ago, I had landed in Mumbai, having promised myself that I would go back to Delhi as soon as these ten months ended. I was just not prepared to fall for this city. I was stubborn. But now, I’m reasonably unsure if I want to leave Mumbai.