Date : 07.05.2009
Time : 3.30 AM
Place : A road leading to Khar subway, mumbai
Event: A traffic jam..
Yes you read that right. At 3.30 am in the morning you find traffic jams in Mumbai. The city is still awake. As I was leaving today for home (office guest house..where I went each day to sleep and then rise again to leave for office) I was thinking it would hardly take me 10-15 mins( 35-40 mins on other days) to reach the guest house. But near the Khar subway I could hardly believe my eyes : there we were in the auto stuck in a traffic jam. And it wasn’t even a weekend. That is Mumbai. Awake and alive at all hours. There were people on the road returning from work. There were auto walas chatting away, some busy washing their vehicles. At crossroads some people were gathered around a pan shop engaged in some casual discussion. Sure you say that Mumbai doesn’t sleep and they truly do not lie. I am witness to that.
I kinda like Mumbai. I mean for work I have been to Bangalore fairly often. This was my first time at Mumbai for work and I liked it immensely here. A lot better than I found Bangalore, irrespective of the fact that I have friends at Bangalore with whom I regularly hang around and there is practically no one I know in Mumbai. But still Mumbai seems a lot more my own. Its got this peculiar ambience that makes you feel welcome and a part of it instantly. I was just thinking the other day – what is it that makes me feel more comfortable in Mumbai, even though I have been here a lot less time than I have been in Bangalore. Maybe the language, hindi is widely spoken in Mumbai, even more than the native marathi.. It being a language I can comprehend, I can actually understand what is going on around me here more than in Bangalore where anything spoken in Kannada remains unknown to me. Probably yes. But that cant be such a big factor..can it?? The city itself has its own charm. There is the sea for instance. The beaches make for quite a good place to just hang around. In Bangalore the only place you can go out with friends is either the movies or a restaurant to eat. Mumbai also has quite interesting contrasts. You find slums flanked by highrises. You have roadside cheap dhabas faced by posh restaurants. You sit in a cab : on one side you find a corolla and on the other an age old fiat (the local taxi) with sunken seats chugging out black smoke. And not to mention some of the amazing places at south Mumbai. I happened to visit Leopold Cafe. It still has the bullet scars on the walls, reminder of the ugly terror attacks a few months back. But then you still find it jam packed so much so that it is difficult to find a table. And we have to settle for one on the first floor, at the extreme corner. But that of course that does not make the Long Island iced tea any less intoxicating 😉
All in all a good place with even better people