Friday, February 27, 2009

Magic of Mumbai

Mumbai is under much talks since the 26/11 terrorist attacks but a place known for its versatility. I am 2 months old to this place only but i feel so connected to this place already. I stay in Navi Mumbai but i rather love to call it Bombai or Mumbay. Its a mix of old and the new with people from old mumbai and new bees like us. People are moving to Navi Mumbai because, the reason i think is beauty of it lends a scenic aura to home. When my friends call me to ask how do you find Mumbai. i could say Navi Mumbai is just like my home in Delhi.

Mumbai Slums have actually attracted my attention after my visit to Old Bombay and possibly more because of the Oscar Winning Movie 'Slumdog Millionaire' I stay in Harbor Line but as you start to cross Vashi, it brings a sigh in my heart to leave Navi Mumbai but join with the real life of Mumbai. I have people say Dilli dilwalo ka, Mumbai paisewalo ka (translated as : Delhi is of people with a heart and Mumbai with cash). Taking a train was a rare moment for me while i was in Delhi until the Delhi Metro came ( Delhi Metro is the best thing that Delhites ever got..thanks to Sheila Dikhshit) but when i came to Mumbai it was really hard for me to gulp down the fact of traveling in Mumbai trains which is jam packed all through the year, in all seasons. But i got the opportunity to rub shoulders with the local Mumbaikars several times in the local train but i remember the experience i had traveling all alone from Nerul to Andheri. But i made sure i had the following in my purse:

1) Cash - to survive if i am not able to get back home that day
2) My Husband Visiting Card- fear of getting lost in the crowd was haunting me and by any chance if my purse gets lost or stolen and if in case it gets into the hands of angelic person and returns my purse after seeing the address
3) Deodorant- The strongest one
4) Tissues and foundation- Having an oily skin is a curse and on top of that crushed train travel means its the most essential of the lot( i think i should list this first)
5) One dozen of confidence ( to catch the train if its moving) and a Kilo of hope to reach back home safe- I must appreciate the system of having ladies compartment. I feel so proud being a girl. I always take the first class ticket but hella so expensive. I will make my plea to Lalu yadav to reduce the prices of 1st class ticket. I was charged Rs 228 for my travel from Nerul to Andheri. Gosh ..just imagine how many zinger burgers can you have with that ...4 or 5???!!!

Another thing that initially surprised me, and is a common practice in the 1st class ladies compartment is when the ladies they come in the train, they will in an order ask " Excuse me, Where will you get Down?" and i tell my station but i wonder why did they ask which i later came to know is that these girls make a booking for their seat with the person who gets down move...but then i started thinking if that passenger gets down then what is the proof you have that you booked that place??? As i was feeling so proud of my question, i got the answer to it, when suddenly at the next station another Girl gets in and started asking the same question. Boiiiiiiii...what crap i thought..will i have to answer these girls till i reach home?? Then this new girl ( we will call her girl A and girl who already booked as Girl B), Girl A stopped at the lady who gets down next and makes a booking with her. Girl B suddenly crashes in between Girl A and the Lady and says i have already booked this place. That made me clear about the system. Lalu Yadav should take note of this..he can have counters in the compartment for a meager amount for the booking. This gives an equal chance for all the girls to get the seat than some females dominating...haha. And then you must see her face, looks as if a bee bit her face...round as a pani and both the girls gave that stare into each others eyes for long 5 secs.

But after everything i love Mumbai. A city where anything and everything is possible specially the impossible. I see people have the mindset to help you at any time. They provide you with more info than what you require.

Here are some facts that i have noticed of a Mumbaikar

1) You speak in a dialect of Hindi..which is believed to be the clear hindi but named as mumbaiya hindi which only the mumbaikars understand
2) Train Timings will be 7.09, 3.12 etc and you treat as an important part of your life
3) You will need only one paper bag to fit in groceries worth Rs 500
4) You are happy to stay in a one room apartment worth Rs 10,000 and still call it heaven
5) You have a set of people whom you call 'train friends' apart from your college friends, school friends, neighborhood friends
6) Being alone makes you feel nervous
7) You will never find a vada pao stall empty late night also
8) You will find 2 beds, 2 almirah, 1 sofa set, 1 study table, steel suitcases touching the roof, 1 sewing machine, TV in an 8'x 10' room and still manage to sweep the floor easily
9) Your meaning of private space is 'Please dont stand on my toes' and that too has to be requested
10) Your door will surely have more than 3 locks
11) You are a fashion freak.
12) You like calling CST as VT and Sahara or Santacruz airport than Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport
13) You spend more on traveling than at home.
14) You first read the supplement of a newspaper than the main newspaper
15) Since you know mumbai is the 5th most expensive city in the world so you proudly compare it with New York's Manhattan

I am sure there is much more to add but this is out of my experience.

All this reminded me of the famous song;

Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan,
zara hat ke, zara bach ke,
Ye hai Mumbai meri Jaan!!


Journal of Gods Grace…. said...

Firstly, I’m proud of u that u understood Mumbai to a great extend so fast 

But I feel jealous also, when I read the entire thing coz I miss my Mumbai sooooooooo much especially my train travel and my train frns. I wish that u soon avoid going in 1st Class spending those 200+ rs. And start using the most thrilling 2nd class with just 20 bugs for a ticket. Have Fun

To add –

• While traveling a crowded train and if you are near to the door, do not put your dupatta towards the back but do tie it around the neck or else your dupatta would be with one of the men standing in the platform.
• Enjoy the night life of Mumbai especially after 10pm

Rency Mathew said...

Thanks praisy...i feel nice that this post made you nostalgic. Mumbai is a versatile place. i got to notice many diff things abt this place. Ur point1 is very funny. i will surely have my dupatta around my neck. and abt night life suggest me some good places to hang out at night..