Relocation is a common phenomenon in today’s highly competitive corporate world. People relocate to different cities, states or even countries to keep a job or earn a promotion.
In the last quarter of 2015, we had to shift base from Delhi (NCR-Gurgaon) to Mumbai- Maharshtra, due to an organization merger. I will be honest; the thought of leaving my hometown Delhi gave me jitters. I had always heard that Mumbai was an extremely busy place to live, with an immensely challenging fast paced life!
But as they say, new destination creates new destiny and we embarked a new beginning in the Bollywood city–Mumbai.
Being a proud Delhiite, my comparison for Delhi Vs Mumbai began from the first day itself. It’s not strange- Mumbai is a city of haves and have not’s!! From swank condos to dingy slums, from sleek limousines to overcrowded double Decker busses, from sea-facing apartments to pigeon cage window balconies –Mumbai is all this and much more.
It is one of the most populous cosmopolitan city as people from various culture, religions and economic backgrounds co-exist peacefully despite all the differences.
I realized this, when we travelled in a Mumbai local train for the first time. At 7pm, at a peak congested hour, Malad West Local station (a suburb in the northern part of Mumbai) was bustling with people, tired-drained faces after a heavy day at work, old Uncles with their heavy bags filled with veggies bought from the local market, young pretty yet confident girls busy on their mobiles, each one lost in their own thoughts…the whole scene seemed straight out from a Bollywood movie!
Life in Delhi AC metro felt far more easy and smooth then being in a Mumbai local train. It is difficult to imagine how 10 people can go all the way hanging the doors or on someone’s shoulder in a moving train. But then, the fact remains, that this meandering web of locomotives that runs through the city, is actually Mumbai’s Lifeline for a common man. A ticket to Andheri East costs mere Rs 5/- (which is half the price of one Vada PavJ- the most popular fast food snack of Mumbai) and it comes as no surprise that 90% of Mumbai Kars, still prefers for this public and most crowded transport system.
However, the one thing that made me smile, in spite of all the rush in the local train was that no one bothered to give me a second look even in the general compartment, unlike in Delhi. I couldn’t stop myself comparing men in Delhi Vs Mumbai. This was definitely a positive …A big Thumbs Up for Mumbai!!
Delhiites are deprived of beaches and Mumbai has its own ‘Sea’ , therefore, my urge to visit Marine Drive in South Mumbai didn’t come as a surprise. They say, if you are a Mumbaikar, you would cherish nothing more than walking there with your loved one! From our first time till now, it has been our favorite hangout in Mumbai. For those who still haven’t been here, Marine Drive is a 4.3km long boulevard in South Mumbai. It’s a C-shaped six lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. It is also known as the ‘Queen’s necklace’ because, if viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive, the street lights resemble a string of pearls in a necklace. Marine Drive attracts one and all – families, lovers, group of friends etc. One gets mesmerized by just sitting on the side pavement next to the sea witnessing the skyrised buildings, huge bungalows across the road and a vast ocean in front of your eyes. The place is like a dream!!
One of the oldest public beaches is Girgaum Chowpati, noted for its Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and visarjan. This ten day festival celebration is yet another striking feature of Mumbai. It begins with artists creating sculptures of the Hindu god, Ganpati, from miniature hand-held effigies to larger versions that are immersed in the ocean on the final day of Puja. One gets to see huge groups of people singing, dancing and playing drums on the roads. It is nothing short of a Multi-million people street party!!!
The Delhi vs Mumbai fashion is also another well worn debate.Mumbai’s fashion is carefree and fun than Delhi’s ‘Bling’. Although, personally, I have enjoyed equally going to Sarojini or Lajpat Nagar Market in Delhi or Linking Road or Colaba Causeway ( Shor Bazaar which means noisy market) in Mumbai. Each market or area can quench your shopping thirst for any modern to traditional objects ranging from jewellery, handicrafts to clothes etc.
I still keep shuffling between Delhi and Mumbai and get touchy each time, when I have to move base. Delhi is my first love and I am very proud of ‘Dilwalon ki Dilli’ with its rich culture and heritage but nothing beats the ‘People of Mumbai’ – warm, helpful and supremely energetic. Strangely, Mumbai has taken a special place in my heart. Despite all the imperfections, this city gives hope to be on our toes and to keep chasing our dreams.
Someone has rightly said, For every India Gate- there is Gateway of India –and Mumbai is one of the places- that ‘Happens’ to you!!!