Mumbai, The Heart of India
Peeping inside a kaleidoscope, you see tiny mirrors and beads falling into distinct patterns and forming distinguishable shapes. Mumbai, as a city represents one such huge kaleidoscope. When explored in its entirety, it reveals itself as a conglomerate of people, ideologies, religions and professions. It is the heart of India which embraces everyone and everything.
City of Dreams – Bollwood & Theatre
Mumbai is the ‘city of dreams’ which draws people from all walks of life and from all age groups to try their luck in the flourishing film industry. Luck is not limited to Bollywood; lottery ticket sellers encroach upon the sidewalks of almost all the roads. They ignite a hope among the people who are struggling for money, specifically the migrants who remain unemployed. These people come to Mumbai to flaunt their acting skills and get a major break in a movie. Most of them however, end up as side actors or work in college productions.
Theatre is another area which opens itself to people chasing a dream. The city has a running theatre industry with some Bollywood actors contributing in the production of plays and garnering audience. The Prithvi theatre or the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) holds festivals to celebrate art, music, and dance and to debate on social issues.
Maratha Mandir is an important attraction in Mumbai, specifically for Shahrukh Khan (SRK) fans. It created a record of screening his movie, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, for 1009 weeks until February 2015. It has been bought by SRK and continues running the same movie. SRK is almost a demigod for thousands of Indians. The road outside his house is always cramped with fans. The entire area brims with the house of celebrities and people can be seen swooning outside. There are people who come to Mumbai only to get a glance of their favorite actor or actress.
City of Opportunities – Mural Painters & Artists
Mumbai is a city of opportunities for those willing to dedicate to their talent and strive hard for success. The already colorful city is made more vibrant by such people like the mural painting artists. The Hill Road, Bandra and The Ghetto are the most famous places which have been transformed into a vivid version of themselves through such paintings. They even attract celebrities to come and sign their portraits. Ranjeet Dahiya is a famous mural maker, settled in Mumbai, who started ‘The Bollywood Art Project’ to paint his favorite actors in walls. He is an internationally known artist now.
The jugglers who perform on every pavement and entertain people serve as a garnish. They set up temporary acrobatic systems and earn money through their acts.
Vibrancy in festivals
The festivals of Mumbai, specifically Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmashtmi are as lively as the murals. Janmashtmi is celebrated at every street and crevice here with people smearing each other with dry colors. They move about in groups and form human pyramids to compete with each other to break the jar of curd. However, Ganesh Chaturthi is the biggest festival of Mumbai. Tents and pandals are set up everywhere with idols of Lord Ganesh for people to come and pray. This continues for ten days till the idols are immersed in the water following a procession of jovial people who sing and dance. Thousands of people turn up at Chowpatty on the final day of Ganesh Chaturthi to bid goodbye to Lord Ganesh.
Beaches and the “Marine Drive”
The proximity of the beaches on every side of the city not only makes the immersion process easier but keeps the temperature humid most of the year. The beaches make it a popular tourist destination. They add to the beauty of the city. The entire stretch along the Marine Drive, known as Queen’s Island, is lit up at night and emanates a feeling of serene beauty. Some people flock to Marine Drive for a calm atmosphere while others go there to pass time.
Pride of Mumbai – serving every household
Dabbawallas are appreciated and respected by everyone in Mumbai. These are the
people who carry food from a person’s home to his workplace. This is a service unique to this city. The dabbawallas have a huge and intricate network throughout Mumbai and adds to its pride.
Essentially – a reflection of the fabric of India: Mumbai
Mumbai knits together a number of communities and their ideas. Be it the Gujaratis, the Parsis or the Maharashtrians, everyone lives in harmony with almost little conflict. Restaurants which are as old as 100 years, like Kyani and Britannia and Company, are still thriving. It is one of the cities which still retains its heritage structure. Most of the buildings in Mumbai are old but stand strong. Some areas of Mumbai remain underdeveloped and the juxtaposition of the rich and the poor is conspicuous but adds to the vibrancy of this beautiful city . All these aspects cumulatively make the city special. It knits these features together into the fabric of the country.
See Also: Top 5 Weekend Getaways from Mumbai