I left my office at Okhla, which is a dry, dusty, hot industrial area, filled with nothing but office goers and dull, brooding dabbas (small-time eating places). An auto dropped me at the airport, which was so different from what I remembered of it! A monstrously huge building stood, ready to swallow one into its cold, comfy confines. I stepped in rather gingerly wondering if I’d be hauled up for looking lost. Anyway, suppressing my urge to look disgusted, I walked in, got my boarding pass and decided to take a tour of the airport.
It was clearly modeled on the Singapore airport with lots of space to move around and, very importantly, for shops! Different types of shops littered the airport; from books to bags to clothes! I wonder what brands like Satya Paul and Fab India are doing in the airport. As if this wasn’t enough, the monster’s belly contained a full-blown food court that had glass walls overlooking the runway.
It was a lifestyle-building place, it seemed. I couldn’t help, but sneer and smirk. But, don’t ask me why! But, no, I am obliged to state why I felt disgusted at all this. I felt disgusted because the people who built this monster will never be able to enjoy it, leave alone see it as their creation; they will be given just enough money for a square meal so that the next day they are available to give their labor. The ones who enjoy the fruits of such labor will have no clue of what went into moving a single brick, and also how it’s become easy for them to fly and ‘enjoy’ these at the expense of the laboring class. The ruling classes will never realize that they got blood on their hands.
Now, coming to the people of Mumbai. I must say, as a woman, I was absolutely comfortable with Mumbai, thanks to its people. There was also a sense of purpose on each face, which was unmistakable, which perhaps made it impossible for people to stare or tease women. And, yes, they are fast, man! You could see that in the way people would rush into and out of the electric train like a lightning bolt. And, yes, the trains were full of women even at 12! Now, isn’t that one reason to live in Mumbai?
Now, this is a bit shaky, depending on the type of weather you are used to. And, yes, your habits too. If you hate bathing, please keep out of Mumbai! You may have to bathe at least twice a day to keep yourself from going insane! The worst time is usually between 10 and 5 when you could sweat profusely and maybe even lose some weight! By 6 of course, the sea breeze starts and it’s awesome; you must be there to believe it. Swarms and swarms of people are out to enjoy it! Now, that’s another thing about Mumbai; the number of people and the anonymity you will enjoy in their presence.
Yes, if you are a foodie, Mumbai is the place to be. Especially if you like fish! I always thought Bengali fish is the best, but it’s all changed now after tasting the divinity called Malvani fish curry! And, yes Bombay duck, which is actually a fish. And, the prices are unbelievably cheap! For something like 50 bucks you can be satiated with great fish curry and fish fry and rice! And, if you like ice creams, definitely try natural ice cream, which is a brand or type of ice cream in which you will taste fruits like water melon, tender coconut, chikku, and even jack fruit! And, of course, what to say about the delightful chats, dahi puri, pani puri, bhel puri, pav bhaji, etc. Overall, it’s the place to be if you want to take a short, happy, fulfilling break!