Mumbaikars call it the city of dreams, the city that never sleeps, the city of much more. Believe me, the city has answers. Here’s a day worth remembering.
The sheer beauty of Mumbai is unexplainable. To write something about it which hasn’t been written before is a tough task. In the short span of two weeks, I had developed an unconditional love for the city.
Often, I used to wonder why Mumbai was called ‘the city of dreams’? The answer came to me at the end of a particularly interesting day. Here’s how it began.
I had taken a bus from Santacruz and had to reach Navi Mumbai ( Nerul ). The fun part was the short but eloquent journey (short because I think of bus journeys as a 15-hour affair).
Sapno ki Nagri
As the journey progressed, I asked a fellow traveler what makes Mumbai the city of dreams. He gave me an interesting answer. He told me it’s the unpredictable nature of this city which makes living here quite adventurous. There are so many opportunities lurking in each corner of the city that one skill can turn you into a master. ‘Mumbai mein kuch bhi ho sakta hai, you never know!‘ he said.
The people here actually believe in this city. It was evident from his answer. Later, our bus went past Bandra and my fellow traveler pointed his finger at a palace. It took me a while to stop gazing and I ended up saying ‘heaven’. ‘Yes, that’s what they call it (Mannat)’ he said.
Inspiration is a fuel for the people living here. They dream big as they see living legends who made their life larger and turned each shortcoming into an opportunity.
Dazzling Streets and Coastline
I got on another bus. What was that? Manhattan ? Brooklyn Bridge? Nah, it was every Bombay wala’s happy place – the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The lights made it look dazzling and exquisite. Just when I was getting over that vision, I got to see another.
It was half past eight when the bus reached Mahim Bay and I closed my eyes to feel the tranquil sea breeze and opened them to see the city shaped like a necklace. The bewitching streets of Mumbai just don’t sleep. They go on.
Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai, Dadar Ke Aage Seat Hai
Finally, I got down at Dadar to catch a train and stopped to eat the evergreen Vada Pav near Dadar’s Kirti College. I have no words to describe its taste.
Later I managed to catch the 9.15 train which was as crowded as one could imagine. I wasn’t shocked to see that crowd, after all, the local train is the lifeline of Mumbai. If you’re in Mumbai and happen to travel via the local, don’t be worried or shocked to see people hanging from the train doors. That’s just how a Bambai-wala rolls. You can’t even dream of finishing your to-do list in Mumbai without using the local.
Mumbai Has Answers
Finally, I managed to reach my place at around 11. As I placed my bag on the desk, I looked at the mirror to see an unintended smile on my face.
Remember my quest to discover why Mumbai was the city of dreams?
This is when I got my answer. I remember Julian Sands quoting this during his interview-‘The thing about Mumbai is you go five yards and all of human existence is revealed. It’s an incredible cavalcade of life’. I couldn’t agree more. It’s not about the city or the people, it’s about that two-hour journey which I’ll cherish for a lifetime. A fair deal of happiness that I shared with the people and this city.
For A Filmy Connection
Later, while having dinner, I switched on the television. It was the famous conversation between two characters from a 2013-Bollywood flick. An argument between a vagabond and a Bambay Wali. One said Johannesburg World Cup- Andres Iniesta’s winning goal and the other said Wankhade – M.S Dhoni’s winning six. Later came California ki Dhoop (Summer in California) and Bambai ki baarish (Mumbai monsoon’s), Blueberry cheesecake and Gajar ka halwa, Broadway’s Phantom of Opera and Maratha Mandir’s DDLJ, and I kept smiling.
It was too much to ask for a day.