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Mumbai. The financial capital of India, the home of Bollywood and the city of dreams.

But every time you go to there, all you see are crowded trains, crowded streets and the surrounding filled smoke and the sound of horns due to the regular traffic snarls. At times I wonder if human beings can actually live here. Talk to the locals, they really are not complaining. Instead, they just love the way it is and I wonder why? This blog is about the city and the people that make the city that it is…

They say, you have to get trained to walk fast, do your work fast and get on with life in the fast lane if you have to survive Mumbai. Honestly, I don’t think you have to run to survive Mumbai. Why?

Surviving the train ride:

Take a train ride on the central or the western line during the peak hours. To get on the train, all you have to is wait near the entrance, and you will be automatically pushed inside. To get off it, again get close to the exit as much as possible and you will be automatically deboarded.

“Then you wouldn’t find a seat.” Not real. Everytime I went on the train, I always got a seat to sit. Most of the time people prefer standing close to the exit as there is a good chance that you could not get down, because there is a heavy rush of people who want to get on! Now if you don’t let everybody get down before you get on, it’s stupid! Go inside and I’m pretty sure you’ll have a seat in the next two stops.

Why would you stand close to the door from the first station, and block the entry way and exit if you were to get down at the last station? Now what do I call this?

Come to think of it, “Rushing to work” is the only reason why people push each other. Seriously, if some common sense is applied, the trains would seem lot less crowded and a little less scary to first timers.

Rush on road is acceptable, Mumbai faces a huge traffic problem in most part of the city for most part of the day, and that mainly is again because of the huge population that Mumbai houses. Honking is almost common in all major cities of India!

Vada Pav: If you have been to Mumbai and not had a Vada pav, you have to go back! It’s one of the most simple and satisfying dish you’ll ever have in terms of taste. A piece of Vada (or Batata Vada a.k.a potato vada) sandwiched in a bun just like the burger, costs starting from Rs. 7 up to Rs. 50 is the best breakfast you can have.

An item like vada pav could have only been discovered in Mumbai, because all you have to do is grab it and eat it while walking. Perfect for a Mumbaikar.

Live the life of a Mumbaikar and you’d also notice that they really do not participate in any social functions. They are rarely interested in visiting people during festivals or holidays, and are really not interested in having guests in their homes. The reason: They are tired of their daily life and need to rest or the places are too far apart. What I felt is that, to be a part of the social group, you really have to find time. People across the world work, everyone has a stressful life, yet in most parts of the country people have time to visit people and then also feel happy about having them over at their house.

As I’ve matured with age, I’ve found this fascination and joy in meeting people and learning about their lives, the way they live it and the happiness they get from it. The people of Mumbai are warm and welcoming with everyone coming in from different parts of India bringing in the joy and culture with them. I completely fell in love with the trains of Mumbai because it brought me close to the lives of people everyone having the time to share a story or two. Oh it was wonderful!

It’s sad that a city of such diverse culture was hit by terrorist forces more than one time, yet people forgive and forget, because this is Mumbai.

Think hard about it and you’d notice that Mumbai is just like any other city; except that it is crowded beyond it can take. I have major disappointments about the city, and some major highs too, but Mumbai isn’t a city that I can live in. I don’t think I can.


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