Thursday, September 06, 2007

Aamchi Mumbai!

Yup! Being born and brought up in “Saddi Dilli”, I was always a die-hard fan of Delhi and was convinced no city could ever match up to it. Until I packed my bags and settled down in Mumbai. “Aamchi Mumbai”. Yes, this is one endearing thing about this city – there are scores of people who step into the city everyday in hopes of fulfilling their many dreams, and whether they make it a part of themselves or not, Mumbai makes very single one of her inhabitants her own.

The lush greenery of the Western Ghats. The feeble sunshine. The balmy sea breeze which makes the face and skin salty in a matter of seconds. The relentless rainfall, sometimes a harmless drizzle, sometimes a dangerous storm. The black water filled clouds forever enveloping the vast skies. The high-rise buildings right next to the sprawling slums. The fast paced lives and slow moving queues. The sheer volumes of people squeezed into a local. The vada pav/pani puri stalls at every nukkad. The huge movie hoardings all over the city. Couples making out at the Band Stand rocks. The charm of the antique buses, buildings and horse carriages in Town, the street shops and cafés full of foreigners in Colaba. The throngs of people and flights of pigeons at Gateway of India. The tetra hedrons at Nariman Point. The Maalish-walas at Chowpatty beach. HUGE malls and hyper marts, bigger and fancier than anything you could find abroad. People selling all and sundry in locals. No balcony space in matchbox-sized houses. Weird and funny names of crossings and roads, like Hornyman Chowk! Freedom to travel even late nights without fear. Strangers going out of their way to help you. Creamy waves splashing around your feet at Juhu beach. Long queues and huge crowds waiting for hours outside celebrity houses at weekends for just one glance. Brightly lit streets filled with people even in the dead of the night. The narrow gullis. The underworld undercurrents: people still reeling form the aftermath of the blasts and riots. Breathing polluted air while traveling by road. Traffic signals every few feet with hours of waiting time. Moral police like Shiv Sena. The fun and fervor during Gokulashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Old ladies chatting with buddies, people sharing foods and doing bhajans on their way back home in the local. ‘Malad’, ‘Bhayandar’, ‘Panvel’, ‘Bandra’, ‘Navi Mumbai’ written at the back of EVERY taxi. The hilly topography of Powai. The din of Bhendi Bazaar. People hanging out from the doors of the locals, enjoying the breeze on their face. Unimaginable levels of honesty in people everywhere around. Respect for women. No matter how close the destination, no travel times less than an hour. Fancy lights and music systems in autos. Fisherwomen and Bai’s dressed in traditional sarees and jewellery. The Page 3 parties and events, frequented by the Who’s who of the social circuit. The Dabbawalas with Six Sigma operational efficiency. The bindaas attitude and awesome slangs of Marathi. More Gujju bhais, Parsis and Sindhis found than their own hometowns. City flooded every time it rains a little too much! The beautiful roads of Aarey colony. Heights of professionalism and bureaucracy at the same time. Lost faces in the crowds of those who come from across the country to become stars. The everyday struggle for one square meal. The unending opportunities to earn money. The unbreakable spirit of the Mumbaikars…

I could just go on and on and on. There is so much to discover and experience in this amazing city. It has been 3 months since I stepped on the SantaCruz Airport, and there has been no looking back ever since. I feel so at home already that I almost don’t miss Delhi! It’s been a few months since I first called this city home, and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life here! Everyday I learn something new about the city, its lifestyle, and its people. Though I will always be a Delhite at heart, Mumbai is my life! Three Cheers to Aamchi Mumbai… It’s Rocking!!

9 comments:

Yashika Totlani said...

You were right... this thing DOES exude aromas of sheer honesty and brutal truthfulness. Direct dil se... waah!!! Okay im not happy to observe that our poor dilli-meri-jaan has never seen any such post dripping with oh-so-much admiration ever on your blog. Very very unfortunate :((

That aside, "Hornyman Chowk" :O ??? ROTLF =)) Imagine how poor Mr.Hornyman is living his life!! Hmmm... showering you with sweet words of praises seems like a sheer waste of time. Its like stating the obvious... it just goes without saying. Excellent job of penning down your bare feelings. I'll say this though... you HAVE to go to Leopold's in Colaba(if u havent already!). And then you also HAVE to click loads of pics n show them to me!!

You know bhai also shifted to MumBHAI this year and he sounds just like you these days! To me its just a magical city that does things to the inhabitants...

I was there some 8 years ago and of the few memories and recollections that I have and can boast of, one includes incessant rains and looooong distances. Also remember the almost stagnant weather and... what was it again... ah, great places to shop :) Being from the very dry Rajasthan, the rains felt really good. I see it again now... the huge raindrops being pushed away from the windshield by the wipers, me sitting snuggled up in the cosy confines of my car and looking at the world outside slowing passing away... the current of energy that runs through the city is simply amazing... Its like bombay generated excitement!!

Anyway, great effort and another nice addition to the huge pile of writings on bombay :P

Emjoy the Maximum City while the euphoria lasts...

P.S. Gregory Roberts will be very happy to read your post :)

Ashen Glow said...

AwmGod!!.. Enough Enough!.. Oh dear Mumbai!.. When will we meet???

Sugar&Spice said...

@Lekha: main to kab se keh rahi hoon.. aa jaa.. ab to post bhi daal diya... aur kitna tempt karu? ask medha... she came last week... she will tell u what a grt place this is, esp my place... :)))

Yashika Totlani said...

oh n nearly forgot, have a friend in iit-b whos as fascinated by the city as you! only his post came after 4 long years of staying there. here... have a look, you might be able to relate to it-

http://fitsoffantasy.blogspot.com/2006/10/salaam-bombay.html

Sugar&Spice said...

@ yashika...
dont worry sweetheart... ill come up with a post on saddi dilli as well!

I swear there is a chowk names Hornyman! And ive seen Loepold's many times, but i never went in... looks too dingy to me... and since im not attracted to white skin, i cd not care less. i hear the food is BAD! so i dont think im in a hurry to go there... there is neither ambience not food which will attract me!

good to kwno ur bro is here... now u also come here quick... atleast for a visit... its been very long since we last met!!

thanks gaian for ur post... keep reading and posting...always look fwd to it! tc!

Electric Shaman said...

Damn!! now i miss bombay even more :(

Electric Shaman said...

btw.. you need to go upstairs at leos, thankfully dirty hippy firangs dont go there

Sameera said...

Wow so many faces of Mumbai!I have been there a few times and didn't really have time to explore it so well.Now feel like going back there after reading this!Good work :)

Sugar&Spice said...

@shaman... will do!!

@sameera... hey thanks!!