Mumbai- City of Dreams

August 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm 12 comments

Delhi, the National Capital of India and Mumbai the Financial. While Fashion & food are like two lifelines for Delhizens, its sensex, film stars and larger than life dreams which gave Bombay its identity. What to talk about those cities which are in news every day? What is that you already don’t know about them and we can tell you? The sole purpose of this two part series ‘ Tale of Two Cities’ is to look at the cities from a perspective of two individuals who found everything here from work, home, friends- in short a new beginning to life!

Mumbai – City of Dreams ( Part I)

Karan Agrawal

For me, Mumbai is a city of dreams. So am I living my dreams, yes you can say that I am living in my dream city. And like me, millions of dream filled eyes come to Mumbai every year to make it big. And it is the place where dream do become true. The city has something for everyone. So many times we have heard Shahrukh Khan saying, “When I came to Mumbai, I didn’t even have a penny in my pocket.”  And he is just one among the many many people who came, saw and conquered. The city is kind to those who believe in themselves.

When you hear a morning 6’oclock alarm ring, you just can’t ignore it and sleep back. A minute extra sleep means you will reach the bus stop late. A minute late and you would be welcome by huge queue waiting for 6:50 AM – 461 BEST bus. A minute late at railway station means you will miss your 6:58 AM Churchgate fast local. The effect will be you would have to wait for the next train/ bus and the whole process makes you delay by 20-40 mins at your work place. So the system makes you disciplined. You start valuing time. You prioritise and plan ahead. Number becomes part of your life.

When you are in the office, you forget all the hassle you managed to reach the office. At the work place, you meet a hundred people, bright, young with one thing in common – all outsiders i.e. non Mumbaites. And if you happen to come across a localite, you can’t resist exclaiming, “Oh, you are a localite. Cool! Where do you stay in Mumbai?!” So you end up meeting people from various parts of the country and share different cultures but similar dreams – to reach at the top of the world!

In the evening, when it is the time to wrap up from the office, you get charged up once again to face the crowd and fight for your square centimetre of space in the local train. And again if you miss your 7:37 PM local from Fort station to Borivali, you get late for the dinner atleast by 50 mins. But you can always munch on a Vada pav. Cheapest and best snacks of Mumbai. There are people who survive only eating Vada pav, so if it is just a snack for you, you are a lot better off!

By the time you are done with your dinner, it is 10:30PM. You talk to your parents over phone and then you realise it’s time to signoff for the day. The next day is 6hrs away from waking and you need to rest before you gear up again! The sleep you get after toiling for the complete day cannot be bought from any shop. You sleep with a faith and wake up with a hope the next day! Are we missing something here? Oh Yes! This is just the starter and the main course and deserts are still waiting.  You have only tasted first dish of the Chappan Bhog food. (Chappan Bhog – 56 variety of dishes served on auspicious events)

The day you feel life is getting monotonous, you need a break – you message your friends “Today evening at Marine drive, dinner at Jazz by the Bay.” So you meet up your college friends at the Queen’s Necklace. You chat with them, share stories, watch the ocean waves moving and stare at sky thinking. You land up at Pahlwan dhaba behind the historic and royal Taj President hotel for dinner. Paratha – curry with Coca cola and friends. You end up running towards station to catch the last local. Not that staying all night awake at the sea shore would not have been fun, but the next day office drags you home. A day well lived.

And the weekends are much awaited time. You sleep out till the noon. Do your pending work and plan for the evening. You hang out with your roommates at Juhu beach, go to Versova beach with office gang, at the ISCON temple with closed ones, Siddhivinayak, Mahalakshmi and Haji Ali with relatives, Hakone Go Carting with your friend’s group and now you are also part of that group, Water Kingdom water park with your project friends, latest flick with your ex project friends, English play with random friends (term I came to know in Mumbai itself), Lonavala on a rainy weekend with old friends. Your cousin visits Mumbai and he is a great fan of Shahrukh Khan so you take him to Mannat (SRK’s bunglow) at Bandra.

The city never sleeps. And not just in the literal sense but also when it is gripped by foreign attacks. 26/11 the biggest terrorist attack in the history of India – yet next day offices was open. Life was at normal, up and running in few days time. The city has its own challenges. The traffic is maddening at times, slums is as much an integral part of the maximum city as the Sensex, Bollywood and politicians, food is cheap but living is expensive, yet “Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, usse perfect banaya jaata hai!

The post would remain incomplete without the mention of vigilant and agile Mumbai Police. They are the once who keep crime under control and ensures fearless mobility. They are the once because of whom people like me can go to Juhu beach at morning 3 o’clock and sip road side ginger tea!

fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: There has been a Harshad Mehta and there is a Ratan Tata. There has been a Dawood Ibrahim and a Hemant Karkare. Monika Bedi or a Priyanka Chopra. Or you can be larger than life, Sachin Tendulkar is an example. This is ‘the’ city where people come to make their career and end up making their life, it depends what dreams you want to realise!

*This series will also be published simultaneously on Karan’s blog.  Part II titled ‘Fashionable Delhi’ will be posted in days to follow!

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Entry filed under: Tale of Two Cities.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charan  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Good collaborative initiative…!!!

    Reply
  • 2. snowleopard  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Nice article on the city, Karan. As a person who has never seen the city, I must say it was a good read.
    And I have tasted Vada Pav, it is good once a while but some people eat it EVERYDAY??

    Reply
    • 3. Karan Agrawal  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      Yeah you got that right… extremes exists… and the city displays it in every walk of life…;)

      Reply
  • 4. ray of light  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    a very well written one thr.. u can feel the love!

    Reply
  • 5. Karan Agrawal  |  August 31, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    The concept is taken well! Kudos…!

    Reply
  • 6. Sapna  |  August 31, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Awesome post!!!

    Amazing way to describe Mumbai. It is indeed a city of dreams, city of paradoxes, city of life….In short a Maya Nagari.

    Miss being there 😦

    Reply
  • 7. Mayur  |  September 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Nicely written. But I feel the post gives a wrong interpretation. Mumbai is not just about a Vada Pav, a 6:58 Churchgate Fast or the life of a 20 some thing youngster. I particularly did not like the usage of ‘you’ in the post. I should have been ‘I’. But then I respect the individual opinions. Every one has a story.

    I have been here almost for last 6 years. The city has taught me many things. Mumbai gives every body a chance and yet deprives every one of it. I’m a person who hates getting lost in the public, and in Mumbai you invariably get lost… no matter who you are. It is only time when people start saying bbye to the city for better liveable conditions

    Reply
    • 8. Karan Agrawal  |  September 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      Hey bhaiyya, really appreacite your comment! Mumbai is very dynamic and it can not be comprehended in few paragraphs. It is different for different people. People staying at Dharavi…for them it is a nightmare and first thing is they want to get of it! And for ppl like Anil Ambani…who runs at marine drive morning 4:30am with his imported SUV running after him carrying water… nothing better than this!

      This is Mumbai through my eyes… my experience and I would love to see mumbai through your eyes too… I would love that! 🙂

      Reply
      • 9. Mayur  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm

        Alright. I will write a post on Mumbai through my eyes. 🙂

  • 10. magiceye  |  September 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    aah karan… i love mumbai!
    enjoyed reading your account!

    Reply
  • 11. Mumbai  |  October 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Great attractive way of writing, Keeps us busy reading and laughing..Keep it up!!

    Reply
  • 12. francis  |  February 21, 2011 at 2:38 am

    v.well written………so true in a city like mumbai where life gushes faster dn water,,,,,,,,,,,enjoyd readng it…………………..

    Reply

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