Mumbai. I stepped into this city without keeping high hopes, I was ready to accept whatever it threw at me. It has been three weeks till now and I must say that the dream city has not disappointed me. If you are ready to adjust a little bit and blend into its ways this city will give you much more than you expect from it. I am absolutely in love with the city and its people.
The below collage is a collection of photographs from the little adventures in this fast-paced city. From the little time I have spent in two different cities, I can tell that how much you like a city is also dependent on the lives that touch you and the experiences you’ve had with strangers. Call me superstitious, but I was skeptical of writing about the city scared that I might jinx my luck. But, it would be unfair if I do not make note of the time I am actually very happy when I have cribbed and ranted during my unhappy times.
Mumbai was magical, but my first day in the city was not so magical. The first day I was ready three hours before time and decided to take the local from Churchgate to Goregaon in the morning to reach my office on time, given that it was the first day of internship. I also had my dad with me with his luggage, he was going to check into a hotel in Goregaon which would be closer to the flat I have taken on rent and also my workplace. We got into the local and it was not so crowded, and we occupied a seat near the window. I thought it’s not so bad as my friends had spoken about peak hour rush in the local. Little did I know I couldn’t be more mistaken. Slowly the compartment started getting more and more crowded. By the time local stopped at Bandra and Andheri stations the local was jam-packed, no space to move no space to breathe. By then my dad and I were both sure there is no way we could get off at Goregaon Station, we better get down at the last stop Borivilli. Somehow after Goregaon station we slowly moved with the luggage to the door. Even now the train is jam-packed. Train stopped at Borivilli station and I somehow got off, some unknown gentleman helped me in finding my lost shoe and helping me get out of the stampede situation. But then what do I realise? The crowd at the Borivilli station did not let my dad to get down and he was still stuck inside the train. I was not even able to get to see him from the window because of the rush and his phone was also not reachable. I stood there for about 15 minuted hoping he will somehow manage to get down, even when I knew that is highly unlikely. I had a huge suitcase in my hand a backpack and I had 45 minutes to reach office on the first day of work. I then decide that there was no use waiting there and I pick up that suitcase and backpack and go out to find an auto while trying to contact my dad on the phone. I call for an auto, just to be told that there was no probability that I get to Goregaon in 45 minutes, it will take me at least two hours to get there because of the huge road-block . I decided that was better than waiting there that I atleast get moving. I informed my colleages about the situation and dropped off my luggage at broker’s place and reached my office sweating and my clothes and hair all ruffled. I rushed to the near-by rest room to make myself look presentable. Yes, I reached my office two hours late on the first day of the work. Thankfully, half the office had not yet reached because of the railway and road-block I was stuck in.
Yes, I was reunited with my dad in the evening when he came to visit me and explained that his luggage was stuck to the door and was not able to get down. He had finally got off at Andheri and had taken a cab from there to get to the Hotel. My dad went home after two days and it puts him to ease that I’ve settled down here. It was a scary experience for me and somehow became a story to tell after that initial tension and helplessness died down.
I was determined to not judge my dream city because of one incident. That proved to be the best decision ever. I found such amazing mentor in office, the colleagues are slowly becoming more of family. The work and work culture is wonderful. I have fallen in love with Marine Drive and Band-Stand. I can go crazy over love the pav-bhaji’s at Sardar and the Biriyani at Cafe Noorani. I get a high cooking my own food and feeling all independent. Chilling with old friends one night and hanging out at BSK connecting with new people has been Amazing. Reconnecting with a cousin and visiting Haji Ali and Mahalakshmi during sunset is another experience that I would never trade. Meeting Amish, the man who made Shiva believable and made me wonder about the scientific knowledge that existed in the olden Indian civilizations which is now long lost, was such a fulfilling experience. I have found more people I can connect to, at work my colleagues and at home my roommate whom I chat till late in the night. It is wonderful how things fall into place eventually.
Metro train travel at midnight, traveling alone in the locals around the same time, friends checking on you if you reached safe, the transgender who blesses you every day at the signal on your way to work, exploring new places with friends and colleagues, conversations with strangers and smiling to yourself reflecting on something funny that happened during the day, would you not fall in love with the city when you get a dose of these at regular basis? Well I do not know about you, but I have.
PS: Goa trip is due this week, next post with details. Off to Bandstand for now 🙂