Monday, January 18, 2010

Mumbai Musings

As I packed my bags and moved to Mumbai, I didn’t know what to expect from this place…the crowds, the local trains, the crazy schedules, the unbelievable shopping, the pigeon holes pretending to be houses, the fantastic food, the slums, the high rises, the MNS, Bollywood. The city is a sensory overload. After careful consideration, I have picked out some of my favourite first impressions of Mumbai.

1) In Mumbai, no matter how fast I walk, someone always walks past me.

2) In this city, where people are supposed to be completely oblivious to others, 8 out of 10 people (these are real numbers from a test conducted by me) smile back at you when you smile at them.

3) I catch the 8:37 local train every morning…odd times like 8:37, 5:12 didn’t mean anything to me till I came to Mumbai.

4) Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus..the throbbing epicentre of all activity in Mumbai.. I see it every day..and everyday it takes my breath away.

5) I love the black n yellow taxis; they add a certain old world charm to the streets of this bustling city.

6) Mumbai is so super chaotic that I appear like a patient, peaceful person here ;) (Its all relative, huh?)

7) Naturals Icecream!! Thank you Mumbai for bringing it to us!

8) People from slums call WSD (a super awesome NGO) saying a dog that lives with them needs first aid, and when we go and do it, buy us a cold drink.( n then there are the rich idiots who abandon their Dalmatians on the street)

9) The most awesome food is available on the streets.

10) I can eat alone…..and enjoy it..

11) The local trains are a study in human nature..the people who read newspapers, standing, the ladies who chop their vegetables, the people who push n shove for seats,those who hang out by the door listening to music.. I can hardly get myself to read my book, there is so much to observe.

12) Fruit cream at Haji Ali!! Its ‘Christmas in my mouth’!!

13) Walking on Marine drive, watching the sunset over the horizon, works wonders after a bad day at work

14) The Gateway of India and the Taj hotel, facing each other, watching over the city.. they represent for me the acceptance that no matter what, life will go on.

15) I have been in what is perhaps the most crowded city in the country and no one has ‘accidentally’ touched me or called me ‘sexy’ or ‘item’ or some other such obscene thing. I feel liberated and I am loving it!!