‘Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan,
Zara hat ke zara bach key eh hai Mumbai meri jaan’
Maybe I didn’t get the lyrics right, and maybe the song speaks the truth about Mumbai but ask a true Mumbaikar (read me) and you would know - Mumbai is a city you would never forget and more often than not for good reasons. Tata Motors and Indiblogger recently came up with a contest which was more of an opportunity for people to show love for their favourite city in India. And trust me, with no research and no doubts in my head my city choice list just had one name – Mumbai! So here I am, all ready to show you the Mumbai I like in a very abstract way.
Mayanagri caters to dreams of many cause after all it is the city of dreams, the city of Bollywood. But there is so much more to this metropolitan, so much to do with the common man. Given the fact that Mumbai is the financial capital of the country and sees maximum influx of population as compared to any other metropolitan of India, the cultural diversity is evident in every corner of the city and people from all age groups and of different societies can connect to this spirit of Mumbai. And not just the intangible chi but Mumbai has enough proofs for the same in very tangible forms.
Mumbai is a place that shows one diverse architecture from Portuguese to Gothic to Victorian to very funky modern art, each contributing significantly to build the panorama of the city which is a blend of concrete and greens. The city has no dearth of nature’s touch. Forests, hills, hot springs, lakes – Mumbai is as close to nature as it is to the modern concrete jungles. The man-made design of the city sure is haphazard and crazy because that is how it was built. Seven islands, a lot of reclaimed area and unprecedented growth of suburbs, but that kind of gives the structural and cultural essence to the place. From traditional artsy displays to interesting frescos and graffiti – Mumbai has it all. And there is no better way to explore the hidden wonders of the city than to walk around some specific areas like:
1. Town – Churchgate and Colaba
2. Bandra – Pali Hill, Carter Road, and Old Bandra stretch (especially to see the graffiti)
3. Hiranandani – Powai and Thane
Guess I dived too deep into the design of the place, didn’t I? Walking is the best option in those areas sure. But what if you love speed? What if you want to drive and just enjoy? Name one city in India where driving is fun. Forget the fun part, there is just no respite from traffic anywhere but wish people would just follow traffic rules! No I am not cribbing here. Mumbai is kind enough to let you enjoy driving to some extent. If you are a car person and enjoy empty road these are some drives you should put in your Mumbai Drive Bucket List:
1. Late night drive to Marine Drive area on a cold winter night.
2. Long drive along the thane creak on Godbunder Road during rainy season.
3. Drive on the Bandra Worli Sea Link at night or early morning.
4. Drive on the Kharghar highway and visit the Kharghar Golf course and Pandavkhada waterfalls.
5. Drive on Madh Island and on Gorai Beach (Yes! Get your cars to the beach!)
But what is the point to coming to Mumbai and not using the local train or the double dickered bus! Mumbai is well connected via public transport and the best way to get around the city is public transport.
Did I miss something? I did mention places, people, transport but what about food! Mumbai has a galore of cafes and restaurants, apart from the small eateries that mark the whole city literally. You can get any cuisine you want over here – including the very authentic Maharashtrian food. But the most famous eatable here is undoubtedly Vada Pav! So buy a vada pav, take the Mumbai local, reach any place and explore – Mumbai is such that it will make you a part of it. If what I said didn’t make you like the place maybe a visit would.
P.S. - This post has been written for the #Madeofgreat Zonal War contest hosted by Indiblogger and Tata Motors.
P.P.S. - All pics are personal.