Before reaching Mumbai, I had heard many things about it, such as,“Life is a time machine there”, “You have no time to stand and stare”, “you do not know who your neighbor is”, etc. But then the city is much more than a dream destination, for many who want to succeed in life. The city always fascinated me but only till, I had not stepped onto its soil. Within three days stay in Mumbai- erstwhile Bombay, I was madly in love with the place.
I got an opportunity to visit this land of dreams in December last, with my family and I bet that, nothing could have been as pleasant a New Year gift to me as, a holiday in Mumbai. I remember my teacher telling me to mark Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, on the curve of the physical map of the Indian subcontinent. Sitting at the Nariman Point, I could clearly visualize that huge curve which left me mesmerized. Yes, among numerous places to visit in this land of fantasy, Nariman Point located on the Marine Drive was the first place I visited. The place is a depiction of modern India being immensely attracted by the natural marvel- The Arabian Sea.
The soothing and cool breeze along with the blue waters of the sea, substitutes the anxiety, fatigue and tension with passion, zeal and enthusiasm. The sunset and the lights that embrace the city like a garland later, are perhaps amazing and scintillating moments that should not escape the camera.
The place became an inspiration to me, as the very sight of it taught me the balance of thoughts. The sea taught me to maintain my patience as I struggle to reach my goal, while the constant moving traffic on the roads opposite to the ocean, drove home to me that no matter what the struggle, you have to keep striving and one day, kiss the sky as the buildings on that road do.
Juhu Beach, situated in Santa Cruz, is a place brewing with activities. The Arabian Sea wave’s invitation to play never goes unattended. It is a place where all sections of the society cluster to enjoy. Right from the people living in the ‘Chawls’ of Mumbai, to those living in the palatial bungalows, from the mumbaikars to the foreigners, all can be seen enjoying the water and the sand. The balloon sellers, the gamblers, the fortune tellers, the magicians, the drug dealers, the nut vendors and the shooting galleries, all make huge business at this place. The bhelpuri, panipuri and roasted corns are a must try at this place. It is also an amazing place to witness the annual ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ festival.
Gateway of India, in Colaba, built in 1911, to commemorate the visit of George V to India, serves as a principle landmark of Mumbai. The gorgeous Hotel Taj, opposite to the Gateway is an aesthetic beauty.
Mumbai is indeed a land where people of all caste, creed, and community live in mutual harmony and trust. The presence of famous temples like the Siddhivinayak Temple, the churches, Mosques like the Haji Ali, rising from the Arabian Sea and the Gurudwaras exemplify the secular nature of our motherland.
What I found amazing about Mumbai was its food. The ‘vadapav’ from the side stalls for those hungry, the coconut water waiting to be sipped by those thirsty, colorful ‘chuski’ for the children and sugarcane juice along with the roasted corn for those waiting for an auto or bus, this land has something to offer everyone.
The city is renowned world over for its thriving film industry. Film City is indeed another location which makes it to the list of ‘must visits’ in Mumbai. The ‘Chor Bazaar’ and the Fashion Street are places where a buyer can easily empty his pockets, due to the irresistible stuff available to buy.
Mumbai being a major port cum Metropolitan city is well connected by road and air. A variety of hotels and inns are available according to an individual’s budget. The city has an equable climate throughout the year and one can visit it anytime.
Mumbai relieved me of my stress on one hand and infused in me, grit and determination to chase my dreams on the other hand. It taught me the art of balance. It was a remarkable experience, a flight from boredom to passion, from fatigue to strength and from lull to life. I returned back rejuvenated to start my work again and recommended all my friends to visit Mumbai, not only for work but also for living life in all its shades and hues.