‘Mumbai-the city of dreams’, is it?!?! Of having stayed in almost 6 odd cities so far, the constant thought and urge of exploring the new possibilities and places within the city has driven me to write something that any newbies can relate to and imagine of. (Note: Incidents mentioned here in the form of a story, may or may not be real one)
A girl from not that big a city as Mumbai stood right there with her luggage full of clothes and dreams-dreams of making an impression, of making her own identity amidst the crowd of a million-clueless of as to where they were heading to. First encountered by an auto-rickshaw driver, ‘promising’ her to take to those places which she had not even heard of. Lucky as she was and all thanks to smart phones, she reached her destination in a pretty safe manner. Having seen, a swarm of new faces, that night was ‘the’ one where she couldn’t find sleep. Lost in her own world of thoughts, with the slow tune on the radio playing ‘zara hat ke, zara bach ke, yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan’, she laid all expressionless on the bean bag trying to figure out what exactly the city is like and how would it treat her in the days and months to come.
All set to write the new chapters of her life the journey started. Very soon the days and months passed by. As she very well knew that, ‘Change is the way of life’- she gracefully accepted every possible change so far. Having spent almost 3 months or so, she sat on the desk penning down her feelings ‘for’ and experiences ‘with’ the New city which didn’t categorize into ‘NEW’ anymore. An excerpt from her article read somewhat like this-
“After having spent so much time here, I still don’t understand where people are heading to everyday. Be it local trains, the Mumbai metro or the ST buses, be it a weekday or a weekend-doesn’t matter!! All that matters is the calculation-30,000 people per sq km!! Too too much indeed. Having made a few good friends to hang out with on weekends, still there lies a void of being with people you know better. What is important is, no matter how many friends you make, sometimes it is essential to make a plan and execute it all by yourself and more importantly FOR yourself. The city has indeed taught me to be bold enough to conquer the fear of being alone and go to places with no one but myself. At times, who needs a company if you have your own? Am I not Right? Of course I am!!
Observing all kinds of people here, it seems that the city has incorporated all religions and all states very well. But the irony lies in the fact that, on one side of the road you can see high rise buildings and on the other side of the same road one can find slums of all ‘categories’. Being new to the city, seeing this I always wondered the way different classes of the society amalgamated in such a simple yet complicated manner. Having people around from all states doesn’t meant they are any different, they seem so similar in their lifestyles, as if the city has moulded them in a particular pre-defined, pre-owned fashion which possibly no one cross questions.
Be it the rejuvenating fresh air by the marine drive at 11pm, hustle bustle of the local compartments, spicy vada-pav by the street side, the sand+food mixture and barf-ka-gola facing the Arabian sea, the never ending traffic, amazingly wild rains, the festivities or be it any other thing under the sun, no matter what- this city has to showcase all of it. This New city has already made an impression on me, now its my chance to do the same. It has charged me and I can definitely say that, ‘no matter how many places I explore, no matter how many kinds of people I encounter on daily basis and no matter how many kinds of delicacies it makes me taste, that craving to reach out to more and more unexplored spots will remain forever’.”
Coming back from the world of her thoughts and not realizing the ticking clock which showed almost past 3:00 am, she stood by the window gazing at the empty roads, all set to be flooded again by a variety of stuff soon. After having spent so much time with all the thoughts, she was back to the real world where sleeping was indeed the best option she could think of. Not because she was actually sleepy, but because that was the only option she had. Gazing at the moon and the star less sky from the small window, here she was almost asleep thinking about the fact that this city doesn’t stop for anyone-not even for its own sake then why should I?
It is rightly said that, “Courage is found in unlikely places. So, explore as much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s certainly not meant to be lived in one place!!! Wherever you go, go with your full heart.”