Thursday, September 17, 2009

Date with Mumbai

Day 3

So, this section of the blog titled "Date with Mumbai" shall begin with Day 3 simply because I have just about started comprehending where I am right now. Though most of you know it well, just as I thought I did, I am talking about Mumbai.

The movies give you this idea about the place and when you get here, its almost magical. You try to see things just as they show them in those bollywood masala flicks, the slums, the people, the trains, the rush etc. etc. Though all of it doesn't seem to be true, some of it might have some truth in it. I can't say for sure, as the Demystification of Mumbai continues.

Now, one would wonder, what's the big deal...why is this girl writing about Mumbai and all so enthusiastically, considering half the world stays in that city. While that is almost true, for me this is a huge change. I have never been away from home, except my 3 months in Chinmaya Vibhooti in Kolwan, which was still very protected and after all it was an ashram. And here I am, almost thrown into this whirlpool of a place, with its own rules, its own ways, its own culture.

The other reason for all the excitement around Mumbai is that it's Mumbai you know! The place where Shahrukh lives! The place where the Underworld rules...Bollywood many experiences are undergone by so many in this very city! There is this hysteria, this legend around this place, and however dumb it sounds, I find it pretty magical.

So lessons learnt on Day 3:

Distance: Mumbai is all about the distance. But to aid us there is the BRILLIANT public transport system. Love it! In Mumbai, travelling in cars is totally uncool. Trains are coolio.

Time: Here the evening begins at night and night doesn't really come at all, I think. People are in a hurry. There is movement everywhere, in the ladies compartment in a train, on the platform, in the auto, on the roads. Everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. I just hope they know where they are heading. And for what.

Culture: This place has reinforced my understanding that a strong sense of culture is the foundation to a disciplined and balanced society. For, the people here are so considerate, I mean, considering the pace of the city, One would think people would be ready to walk all over each other, trying to win in the rat race. But it is not so. Atleast till now, my experiences here have shown a side of people I didn't think Big cities were capable of producing (rather preserving). The safety of women, is an effect of this one cause, which is a strong sense of culture.

That's all for now folks!

And this chapter of Date with Mumbai can be called:

"There is never nothing happening."

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