I have lived in Mumbai for most of my life. Throughout my schooling, higher secondary and under-graduate. Post that I lived in Lucknow for my post-graduation and Gurgaon for my job. Living in Mumbai made me love every aspect of it but living out of it made me love the good parts to death and realize there could be things which need to be better if I was to go back and live in Mumbai.
I have always held, you cannot visit Mumbai and make an impression of it. It is a place to live in and experience. There are no major tourist spots, no palaces or waterfalls to visit. At best, you might have friends in Mumbai who could show you around and take you to some delightful eateries. The real value of Mumbai is the day-to-day here. The people are precious. Even the rickshaw drivers are so affable, you will feel at home everywhere. Everyone, everything is welcome here. Even if you are tourist, you will certainly feel the palpable vibes in the streets.
The city is notorious for traffic. That is the bad part I was talking about earlier. The good parts are amazing but the traffic doesn’t leave much time to experience the good parts! No wonder distance is measured in the time taken to get to a place in India! The reason for this the city is shaped like a long strip of land where most offices are on one end and residential areas on another. Alost everyone has to make the same commute together at office hours. To get stuck in traffic for more than two hours for fifteen kilometers is not absurd in Mumbai. Besides, the ever growing population does not give it a chance for the public transport and road capacity to match up to the demand. While we are at the topic of the challenges of living in Mumbai, let’s also talk about the weather. While it is actually a lot more pleasant than extreme climatic conditions, it is close to the sea and it is very humid which mean you will be sweating a lot here. Also, the rains bring the city to a standstill, so much that I have hard Work From Home policy has become common here due to the rains!
Mumbai local is what everyone should experience! In fact, it has become a kind of a tourist spot. Although, the frenzy and the battle that people go through every day is heart wrenching. The most dreaded is the Virar local which goes from Churchgate to Virar and is jam packed with people.
Let us clear out the basic geography of the city. Longitudinally, it is divided into three part- western, central and harbor. South Mumbai or the actual city is the one closest to the Arabian Sea. It is where the poshest of the posh, including Mr. Mukesh Ambani, live. On the western line, then there are elite suburbs covering Bandra to Andheri. And the remaining suburbs till Dahisar. You will find all types of people but there is a simplicity and co-operation ingrained in people here. Everyone seems to want to live and let live.
You cannot talk about Mumbai and not talk about food! There is a fare of steer food or chaats available here ranging from Paani puri to Daabeli to Pav Bhaji and of course, Vada pav! These are must haves here!
It is the city of dreams for almost everyone in India. There is everything- brands, colleges, culture and corporates. The life is fast paced and competitive, it is much like the NYC of India! Also, adding the snazz to Bombay is Bollywood. Mumbai or Bombay is the fashion and financial capital of India. It is in so many ways the heart of India.