Meri Jaan

I woke up with a shudder. It was time, it was here. Chills crept down my spine as I made a wrap of me in my now seemingly wafer-thin blanket. I wished to get down to my porch and get soaked but instead, my head did what it does best… it began to fret! “Where the heck did I keep my umbrella last year?”. ‘Tis the third day I’m late to the office, my pay’s going to get cut, and that’s just ridiculous, innit?! Although, something’s special about today and the coming days. Millions of us shall treasure but a million others will have to make the bravest preparations. Today, I write on this city I have understood so well, yet sometimes never shall.

Aamchi Mumbai, previously known as Bombay is one of the most populous cities in the world. Offering limitless opportunities for people all across the globe, Mumbai is the pride of millions of Mumbaikars. Thinking of a place that blankets pretty much anything and everything that you could expect? A financial and an entertainment hub, Mumbai is the complete blend of history and the present, with tourist attractions for all! A true metropolitan city, Bombay also relishes a spectacular and lively nightlife. Fondly called “the city that never sleeps”, Mumbai becomes increasingly enthusiastic and entertaining, as the evening goes by. The alluring grandeur of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus lights up across the evening sky, making it a picturesque view. The gateway of India takes you away from the furore of the city, with the contrasting, soothing Arabian sea on the other side. The marine drive at night, you mustn’t lose out on! In the center of the long drive of a semi-circular road, these lights give the appearance of a gleaming necklace- therefore the name, Queen’s Necklace. At one end of the drive, lies the famous Chowpatty beach; an equator of diversely-aged people, some catching the sunset or savouring lip-smacking street food that can be found along the beach.

You already know by now… the ‘baarish’ here is like nowhere else. Unforeseeable, but equally congenial, this is the calling for bhajiyas at all our homes! The very bitter truth is that whilst some of us have the privilege of taking a leave from work and waiting back with our loved ones, many others are compelled to go earn the wage that’ll fill the tummy of their loved ones. Also the truth? Mumbaikars are hella hard-working and even more tough to crack. We know we got this. These rains, infact, bring out the out-of-the-box thinking within us. We find well-sewn excuses, critical solutions and well, ofcourse, our umbrellas! (this is sabse zyada taxing btw). Baarish, ofcourse brings us to that which is dear to people all over the world… Bollywood, formerly known as Bombay cinema, has reserved its space in all our hearts! Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho … toh puri kainaat usse tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.. In this “City of Dreams”, each day of a layman with the cut-throat competition is frantically manic. Luckily (for some of us,) we can complete multiple tasks while traveling, all thanks to the inexplicable traffic. One of these tasks is also to finish a meal within our travel time. (Am I the only one who counts travel as eating time?) We all call ourselves foodies but none of us are lying, really! There isn’t one item you won’t be able to procure amongst the markets here. Although, the best-preferred item here is the Vada Pav. As you walk each lane, you’ll find one vada pav even more delectable than the previous. And if you ever want to know if you’re really good at driving, try (a manual car) in this city. If you can drive well here, you can do so, quite anywhere!

Find yourself discovering quite the amalgamation here; the most renowned one being that the biggest leather manufacturer that is also one of the biggest slums in Asia- Dharavi, lies in this very city. Let’s make no bone about the shopping bedlam that Mumbai hosts. If you love street shopping, this city’s for you! Well, where else would you really think you’re going to get Dolce and Gabbana products for 500 rupees?! A city that can make you love and abhor a season at par, that gets over-populous and indelibly lonesome at the same time, where you can witness a highly electrifying night-life and experience a fairly thrilling day- time, where exists the most traditional food but which also assembles a myriad variety of edibles from every corner of the world, where you can procure unbelievably cheap but equally exorbitant items, where you’ll discern are coins hosting individuals from both- extremely moneyed but equally needy walks of life, where the truth is as sweet as it is bitter. To sum it up, Mumbai meri jaan has got nothing, except, it all! In all honesty, though, I realize that the city has come a 360; I am working from home and can’t wait for things to get back to normalcy (: