WHY DO I LOVE BOMBAY? PART II

mumbai-love

There is an intangible charm about Bombay. Everybody who lives in and loves the city, has their reasons but if you ask them what is so great about their city, their first answer would be “Everything!” followed by their list of city-loves. 

This is my list of those reasons. For Part I click here

4. For Your Convenience

 

_R6H1954

Mumbai Dabbawallahs

Most people in this city are on the run. It’s very fast paced and it’s easy to fall short of time. This is why the services that help people save time and more hardship, have thrived here. I say conveniences but I mean door step delivery. After living here, getting things delivered to my workplace and home had become such a regular thing that when I went to visit my parents for a couple of days, I found the lack of convenience difficult and annoying. Here you can get home-cooked meals, restaurant food, groceries, fresh baked bread, potted plants, alcohol, fish and meats, vegetables, makeup, jewellery and even medicines delivered home, and not just by popular websites that take 3-5 working days but also local shops and stores that take less than an hour. How do others do without it?

5. For the Foodies

 

kebabs-at-mohammad-ali-road

Mohammad Ali Road serves Iftari food till 4am

 

If you’re a foodie like me, you will love this city. There is no street in Bombay where you wont find a restaurant or food stall! That’s no exaggeration. People here love to eat. A foodie knows that hunger can strike anywhere and at any time of the day. Which is why this city is your stomach’s best friend. You don’t even have to take a taxi, rickshaw or your car out- there will always be some place at walking distance to calm satisfy your munchies, a chips stand, vada-pav seller or a pani-puri walla, if nothing else. There are dabbawalas who will deliver meals to your office every day and home every evening. There are also ‘Maushis’ who sell their home-cooked food by the street, a full plate of healthy, home-y food, and they feed you with love. But my absolute favourite thing about the Bombay food scene is that, even if hunger strikes at 3am and you go food hunting, you will always find a place or two, that serves delectable food, you will never be disappointed.

P.s. Food is one of my favourite things in the world and I can talk about it endlessly, but maybe I’ll save that for another post!

6. This is where I found my soul mate.

30love-in-bombay1

A 1974 Bollywood Movie title that says it for me

 

There’s a lot to love about this city. A lot of people who judge it by it’s superficiality, don’t understand it. And that’s okay. As for me, every time I return to Bombay after a break, it feels like I’m home again.

 

Why do I Love Bombay? Part I

image1

Mumbai (or Bombay, as many of us like to call it) is known by its many names. It’s the city that never sleeps, the city of dreams.

Even though I wasn’t born or brought up here, Bombay has been home to me and over 11 million people, for a long time. I am what they would call an “outsider”, but Bombay is made of “outsiders”, it’s a city that accepts anybody brave enough to survive it- no questions asked, no prerogatives.

No place is perfect, they all have their flaws. This city does too, maybe too many, but I, and millions of people from around the world who live here, love it despite those shortcomings.

Here’s why I do-

  1. The People
_b742bba2-c0f5-11e5-b65a-c4d36a19bd7a

CST at anytime of the day

If you’ve ever been to this city, you know how over-crowded it is. From local trains to restaurants, there are one too many people occupying every little space and corner. I’m not saying that I love the number of people here but the kind. Mumbaikars will smile back at you. Even a rickshaw-walla will lend you his phone to call somebody if you’ve lost yours (like I once did). Very few people will cheat you here and even if they do, there will be 10 others on the street to help you. It doesn’t matter here how much money you have, what cars you drive or who your “connections” are. People of Bombay have heart. There are no judgments here. And if you’re lonely, you can be sure of making friends in this city, no matter who you are or what you like or where you come from.

  1. You’re Safe Here
mumbai-by-night-013

Girgaon Chowpatty at night

If you’re and Indian and have ever been told that it’s not safe to stay out after dark, there are only two possibilities- one, you’re a girl/woman and two, you don’t live in Bombay. I have lived in quite a few cities, and I can say that Bombay is the only city that doesn’t scare me if I’m out at 2am. There might be a guy or two who annoys you by being a little too friendly but nothing happens that makes you worry about your safety. This is one of the positives about there being too many people around, you’re never alone, nobody could dare to do anything wrong to you in sight of 50 other people and get away with it. You could be out at midnight and see college kids goofing about, young couples taking a stroll by the sea, dog owners and new parents spending some alone time outside, joggers and old and new lovers, all out, just like you, enjoying some calm before their day ends.

  1. You’ll Never be Bored
khanna-2_072812053836

One of the many graffiti walls in Bandra

Bombay is brimming with creativity and life. No matter what part of the city you’re in, there’s always something to do, see, take part in, and experience. We have sea-views, lakes, hills if you’re a nature lover; epic street shopping hubs if you’re indulgent; famous street food selling opposite five star restaurants; museums and heritage buildings for history buffs; art galleries and tasteful graffiti for art lovers; stand up comedy and low-budget plays for those who love theatre; from celebrity spotting to being a movie extra. The list is endless and the choice is yours. You’ll never be bored here. All you have to do is step out and explore!

More reasons why I love Bombay in my next post ( :

(Disclaimer: The last three images aren’t mine)

 

 

Confusion and Prejudice

Confusions

I quit my job last week. I left the city. I moved to another city this week. Took up another job. Everything happened so quickly that I haven’t had time to come to terms with the big change that I have undertaken. All changes feel like big changes when they seem to alter the course of our lives.

Now, I’m living with my cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents in a big joint family. Never since I left this city as a kid, did I think that I’ll come back here. Now, I’m supposed to stay here for atleast a couple of months. As a career move, I know it is the smart decision; on other levels, not so much. As an innocent teenager, I’d found that people of this city were small-minded and full of pride. This may not be the real scenario but I never denied my prejudice. And now, I find myself socially stuck. My aunt warned me yesterday that people of our society here haven’t changed still, that they’re all show and no substance. But, isn’t that true of a lot of people everywhere else too?

Maybe my prejudice is getting the better of me. Maybe I’ll grow to like the place. Maybe these months will pass by easy, with a little help from my friends (internet, for the win!).

The World I Want

runaway

Very recently I quit my job. Yesterday when somebody asked me what I was going to do next, my reply was “I want to get away!” “What from?” he asked. “Everything,” I said. Of course that answer isn’t sufficient when somebody is genuinely looking for a way to help you. I knew that. Although, I’m very sure that my inability to explain myself, made me look like an idiot. I couldn’t help it. I have always felt distressed when a conversation gets private and personal about me.

My sad attempt at making my thoughts clear to this person prompted me to write about it. I have always been clearer on paper (or e-paper for that matter).

I don’t want to live a life that the world expects us to live. I’ve tried, but realized that my priorities are very different. Work, for me, is not my life. It is a part of life, but nobody sees it like that anymore. If you’re not killing yourself over your job while hating it, you’re going nowhere professionally.

I’m tired of all the selfishness and the greed that constitutes the world. People function on the default setting of being mean to each other. Today, even a smile is not always reciprocated. How have we come to be consumed with so much indifference? Why is everyone a lying, hypocrite? Why are we so quick to pass judgement and hate each other? Why are we proud of the things that we should be ashamed of? Why have we become so jaded that apathetic behaviour seems normal to us? Why do we have to put “Learn to say ‘Thank You’” on a list of things to do? Where did we lose all the goodness in us?

So, when I say that I want to run away from everything, this above, is what I mean by ‘everything’.

I want to build healthy relationships with people who can help me grow as a person and vice versa. I want to be a part of a simple society wherein people truly care about each other, without any ulterior motives. I want my life to not be driven by money and popularity and public image, but measure it by the lives I have touched. I don’t want a list of random acts of kindness to do once a week or over a month, I want my everyday life to be a series of acts of kindness. I want as much truth in what I get, as in what I give. I want to live a valuable life. In the end, I want to be able to look back at my life and be proud of myself. And make my Creator proud.

Maybe I might find this. Maybe I wont. But I will keep searching. And I am.   

Are You Angry?

Anger

We walk through our lives trying to be the prefect, refined versions of ourselves. We live our lives trying to emulate the best qualities of the people we are inspired by. We are taught right from the beginning that apathy, selfishness, disrespect, unkindness and hatred, among other things are not the traits of a virtuous person. Most of our conscious life, we discipline ourselves into being an honourable person. We all strive to be good.
But I have seen (and experienced) this one thing that, without a moment’s notice, vaporizes all the goodness in us and brings out our worst. Anger. I hate anger maybe even more than I hate lying. Anger in any and every form is hurtful. I live in close proximity of a very hot-headed person. That person and their anger is the sole reason I’ve learnt to keep my temper in check, to the point of now coming across as passive. This person’s anger has become so palpable over the years that I now dread staying in the same room as them when I sense their foul mood. This temper has caused a lot of pain. And this pain has scarred not just me but others too, emotionally and (unfortunately) permanently. There was a time when I think I cared about this person. But, that was many disrupted years ago.
Everybody gets angry. But acting on it, letting it guide your tongue and holding on to it, is what makes it bring out our lowest, ugliest and most uncivilized, self- introducing us to a person inside we didn’t even know existed. We’ve all either been there or seen that. Some of us even know how horrible it is to live with the trepidation of encountering it, every day. So, here’s my message to all the angry people- you’ll lose the love, trust and respect, of the people you care about, if you don’t consciously make an effort to keep your anger under control. It’s one of those habits that only get worse with time and age. Don’t let the day come when you have to wake up to the realization that you’ve driven everybody away and you’re all alone.