Mumbai is often cited as the city of dreams, and however clichéd that might be, it is also true. I have spent my entire life in Mumbai, and although I’ve travelled and lived in numerous cities in India, my heart resides here and for good reason.
If there’s one word I’d used to describe Mumbai, it’ll be contrast. It is a melting pot of cultures, of aspirations, of thoughts, of lifestyles. This city is unpredictable, colourful, vibrant, and there’s rarely a dull moment.
The contrast is visible wherever you look- from the posh apartments at Cuffe Parade to one of the world’s largest slums in Dharavi. From the populated local trains to the Bentleys that stroll down Churchgate. Here you’ll find the most liberal people who party in clubs till 4 am in the morning to the conservatves who visit temples on Saturday night and watch saas-bahu soaps on the television. From the businessmen to the servicemen to the artists. From all the varied religions to the people from varied regions following them differently.
Mumbai has it all.
The essence of Mumbai is in its people, and as an extension, in their eccentricities. It doesn’t matter whether you want to be a filmmaker, or a yarn trader, or an engineer; It doesn’t matter if you earn a lot or too less; Doesn’t matter if you’re Hindu or Muslim; It doesn’t matter if you’re from North India or South India; It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, a woman or both- you’ll travel in the same local train together that connects the entire city, you’ll eat the same vada pav, you’ll drink chai at the same local tapri and talk about how bad the roads are.
This is why I love this city: It has something for everybody. It is like that one modern art painting with a mix of shapes and colours which shouldn’t make sense, but when you stare long enough, it does. And then you’re hooked.