Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mumbai Ahoy!

Dated : March 2010

Kasakai Dilli!

That just happens to be my hangover from a recent trip to Mumbai. After few fortnights of philosophy laden articles, it’s time for some masti this time! Brief travelogue from Mumbai follows.

I reach Mumbai. Hire a taxi. Act smart. In trying to not let the driver con me, I make myself look like a Mumbaikar and start giving directions. Time passes, some more time passes and then I realize we are not going in the right direction! With much apprehension I tell the driver how I don’t think this is where I want to go to. We discuss the address I have on a visiting card and realize we have a come a long way further from where I was supposed to go to. We take a u turn and go back many kilometers. Whosover said being smart is an asset! Learning number  1 – Don’t act too smart when you go to a new city.

Mumbai and Delhi despite being metro cities are starkly different in the way they operate. The transportation, people, eating habits and places to visit, they are just all different. Cycle Rikshaws are nowhere to be seen in the city. The basic mode of movement is not taxis or buses or autos but walking. People walk like there is a marathon they are preparing for. They walk like there is an unseen race they are participating in and you happen to be obstructing their way standing in the way. They walk with a certain determination which is only to be seen in the eyes of a student when he is writing an exam he is well prepared for. The walk is by all means a super walk. If we all follow the trend, we could well stay very fit and save all the money spent on slimming centers.  Learning number 2 – Walk, walk more.

Local Train, the lifeline of Mumbai is a fascinating object which attracts everybody’s attention. Young and old, upper class and the middle man, jeweller and cobbler, they all use it. The egos and the pride come crashing down, man feels at ease with fellow men, irrespective of their social backgrounds. Something which can only happen in a well controlled mode of public transport. Not only does it help save time, but helps one get back to roots and humanity, something we all tend to forget travelling in swanky cars and eating out at fancy restaurants.  Learning number 3 – Use public transport (at times if not all the time).

Taxis operating by the meter, traffic policemen across the city, subways that are heavily used, sea, beaches, vada pav and many more big and small things separate Mumbai and Delhi, but the one strong binding factor is Gujaratis! Its hard analyzing if you are in Gujarat or Maharashtra. Good to see them there J

So ensure you get the real feel of Mumbai when you next go there. If you haven’t been there, then you must plan your next trip to the Indian city that never sleeps. Get back in touch with some long lost relatives, make stay accommodation and enjoy!

Prateek Shah(Raja)
Youth Ki Goonj

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