I have traveled all my life, shifting my heart from city to city, collecting spares of my life from one place and trying to build something out of them at another, but never have I fallen so head over heels with a phenomena they call Mumbai city. I never thought I would ever call a city home, but if home is where the heart is, then Bombay, I wish I can live with you all my life.
When I first set foot in Bombay, it was raining, and just like that I was in love. Bombay is different in rains. The luscious waves flirt with the beautiful marine drive and the sky pours its heart out on the rocky shore of bandstand. The streets may get flooded but you feel lighter. We have faced disasters in rain, yet we have welcomed our dear friend monsoon, with the same zest every year. We Mumbaikars are obsessed with “pudchya varshi lavkar ya”. From Ganpati bappa to Monsoon, we value our traditions a little too much.
Culture is deeply embedded in the people of Bombay. We may be called cosmopolitan, a melting pot, but Bombay is not a destroyer, it’s a preserver. It preserves the authenticity of one’s own culture and then takes a little salt from its sandy beaches and transforms it into something unique, something beautiful. Have a bun maska and chai at an Irani café and you would know what I am talking about. From art festivals to music concerts, from Wankhade to Maratha Mandir, we adore art and aspirations equally. Whether you are an Ambani or an Amitabh Bachchan, Bombay is everyone’s hearts true calling.
Then there are some who complain about the fast life of Bombay, the crowd of local trains, the scarcity of space, they should know Bombay is a mix of great paradoxes and little joys. From the narrow lanes of Dharavi to T2, it’s the city which balances itself. Ever wondered, how it would be to be born at a different time, perhaps when life was simpler, take a stroll through the expansive lanes of Colaba for that Victorian age feeling. Had a bad day, need to clear your head, head to the end of the road and talk it out with the sea. Need help, shout out.
Bombay has a way of pulling you into its heady vortex of life, cajoling some, forcing others to match tunes with its own song. You can't live here and not get struck by the seeming chaos on display which truth be told, symbolises the heartbeat of the city. Always beating fast, ever bustling with energy. That's Bombay, the city which never sleeps, never stops and takes all of us along on this intoxicating ride.
Written for Gomowgli #BestTravelJob