Wednesday, 2 April 2014

B for Bombay

This city had been my home for a year besides the regular summer vacations. When my sister and I were kids, every year without fail, summers used to be spent in Bombay (now Mumbai). It is as hot and humid as Madras but our aunt and cousins lived there and mom and dad desperately needed to get us out of their hair for a few weeks; so these trips became inevitable. As we moved through college, we didn't travel much. And then, as fate would have it, I had to spend one year in Bombay and how.

Circa 2004, I moved to Bombay, the city of dreams (that my dreams shattered is beside the point). I lived in a small apartment in the western suburbs and used to commute to work by train - the lifeline of the city. There are times I have traveled by the local trains around midnight and have reached home safely. I don't know if I can say the same today. I would be worried.

Sometime in 2005, a crazy thing happened. It rained. Non Stop. For 24 hours. 99 cm. I was stuck at home, alone; no power, no water for 2 days. I couldn't step out of the house, nor could I stay in. After 3 days, when I stepped out, the city looked ravaged and destroyed. Milk sold at Rs 60 a litre. And after 3 more days, the city was back to normal. As if nothing happened. As if things were the same.The city is quite resilient that way.

Towards the end of 2005, I moved back to Madras. A few months down the road, there was a train blast near Mahim junction. And that was the same train I used to travel by. *Shudders* And years later, there was a terrorist attack at the Taj Hotels. Many lost their lives. And the city moved on.

While I talk about Bombay, there are 2 things that definitely need a mention. a. The local trains - the lifeline and backbone of this city. It's a carnival everyday. It's an art to navigate through the mob to either board or get off a train. b. Road side chaat - There's nothing to beat the vada pavs (fried potato balls, served with rolls) with the lasun (garlic) chutney and a couple of green chillies thrown in. And not to forget the yummy pani puris in the Jains Vada Pav shop near Kandivali East station.

Movies, malls, trains, food, night life, Festivals - the city has it all.

There are many more things about this super city. Bombay is not complete without mentioning Colaba causeway, Marine Drive, Siddhi Vinayak, Fashion street, Bandstand, Haji Ali, Crawford Market, Lokhandwala and much much more but one blog post will not do justice.

Want to know more about Bombay? Read http://mumbai-magic.blogspot.in/

Have you been to Bombay or do you live here? What's your most memorable experience? Feel free to leave a comment.

And just like this city, I have also withstood, sustained and bounced back in ways I couldn't have imagined. I don't know if I was ever this happy before. May be there is a little bit of Bombay in me?

Wishlist: Bahamas, Bali, Brazil


Vada pav #FTW Photo courtesy: Archana Seetharaman. 

28 comments:

  1. WOW! Loved it! You do have 'Bombay' in you! Somehow, I can never say Mumbai even today! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes girl. :) It's always Bombay and Madras for me :)

      Delete
  2. Paints a picture of the place :) - Jenz

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wowowo....very nice Blog Deeps!........expecting P for Pune from you....our city for a few years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet. :) Can't be anything else :D

      Delete
  4. I have always wanted to visit Mumbai but apart from a vacation when I was in school, I have never been there. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure if it's the same now, too much traffic and crowd but for what it's worth, the life is always good there.

      Delete
  5. Super :) Ganesh Chathurthi festivities, Navrathiri Dandiya Nights, Holi :) the dabbawallahs going about their duty :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have never been to Bombay or India, but I think it would be amazing to visit. Thanks for sharing a bit of your world with the letter B.

    Sweetbearies Art Projects

    Sweetbearies Art Photography

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved the post! Bombay is a world of its own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet Kaushik. It is. It's sort of old world plus cosmopolitan and modern all the at the same time.

      Delete
  8. My childhood was in Bombay and somehow, I relate to that city better (atleast I think I do). But when I visited the city last month, I didn't feel a thing. I guess I have moved on, much like the city after a huge emotional upheaval. Bombay is like the memory which will never fade and is best retained that way. This post brought fond memories of my growing up years.

    Lovely post that made my insides warm with love.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susannn... thank you :) I sort of relate to moving-on-after-emotional-trauma with Bombay only, for various reasons :) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. Bombay - Shopping, Vada Pav, Local Train, gateway of india, beaches <3 Lovely place.

    Dropping through AToZ challenge.
    Check mine: http://iamstri.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/achilles-heel-day1-atoz-challenge-2014/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks and I did check yours too. Good luck for the rest of the challenge.

      Delete
  10. For some reason I could never imagine living in Mumbai, it was a good place for a holiday as I have quite a few friends, I took to the trains like fish to water but can never live long term.. I somehow feel the city lacks the "feel", it is very mechanical[the ppl as well] !!

    Here's to many more awesomeness in your life di!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaroo - I don't know - the place somewhat captivated me, yet at the same time made me feel distant. I quite didn't blend in then, and may be not ever, but I love what the city has to offer. And thanks diiii huggs :)

      Delete
  11. I have great memories of Bombay just like you. I have visited it 3 times and I have always had a blast. My memories of Bombay mostly revolve around food.
    Bali is a great place to be on the wishlist. I loved Bali.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I never thought I would be able to live and adjust to the mad life in Bombay. But I did! I can't say I'm in love with the city as yet. But it is a one of a kind experience to live there. Especially with the local trains!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep definitely. Aarthi - do share your blog link too.

      Delete
  13. Bombay will always be a city of wonderful memories for me... almost every school vacation was spent with the cousins in Bombay. Now we manage to meet only during weddings and and it's something we all wait for...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mumbai is wonderful city..
    Get full information about luxury hotels in mumbai

    ReplyDelete

Travel along and let me know what you think :)