It is said of Mumbai that it is the city that never sleeps. True. Mumbai is the city of dreams. True. Mumbai is the city of heartbreak. True. Mumbai is the city of survival, true. Dreams break, hopes crash, faith dwindles and then a ray of light shines… a stranger lends a helping hand, a small gesture by someone near, a glimmer of light and then we’re up again - hope and faith rekindled, we’re back on our feet, ready to face the battle again… to swim into the sea of people and cling on to the handle of a train and make it to work in one piece.
Life is too fast paced and time is measured in terms of amount or revenue generated per minute- there’s simply no time to waste. And that’s the price we pay - time. We’re all so swept up in work and spending most of our time commuting that there’s no “ME” time. I think this phenomenon is fast spreading to other metros as well… people just don’t have time for themselves, their families or their bodies.
That said, Mumbai is a city that reverberates with the heartbeat of the millions of Mumbaikars, with their undying spirit and enthusiasm. Festivals and Religious beliefs are celebrated with aggressive enthusiasm, fasts are observed in spite of hectic schedules, Ganesh and Diwali are observed with fervent prayers and unshakable faith.
Lovers must love Mumbai I'm sure! PDA’s are a strict no-no, yet they find some isolated Nana Nani park or rock on Bandstand or behind an umbrella on Marine Drive to spend those precious moments together… where beggars, policemen and hawkers are considered but a small obstacle.
You don’t need lots of money or financial backing to succeed in Mumbai. This of course is limited to your definition of success, but all you need is steadfast dedication, ambition, relentless determination and ability to use the resources available to you. Mucchad Paanwala is a small corner street Paanwala who is now world famous. K Rustoms is a decrepit looking store next to Churchgate station selling ice creams for decades. Some of the best Bhel Puri and Vada Pav wala’s in Mumbai are small little stands, who people visit from all over Mumbai.
Noisy, dirty, cramped and overpopulated it may be, Mumbai is my city and I LOVE it. For the people who hold your hand whilst your running to get into a train, for the beggar who stops and helps you stand up when you trip, for the little kid in the train selling you rubber bands, for the thousands of people who took unknown people in their homes on 9/11, for all of us who weather heavy rain and horrid sun to make it to work everyday, for the B.E.S.T. bus conductors who inform you in advance when your stop is expected, for the Mamu’s you pay when you get caught breaking a signal, for the never-say-die attitude, for marine drive and sea walks and the rain and Jumbo king Pav and Esselworld and blink-and-you’ll-miss-em winters and for never ending BMC squabbles and what not. I love Mumbai.