Mumbai- You have heard about it in Bollywood movies, read about it in a novel, seen it on Television but I can assure you that you will still not be able to stop yourself from being overwhelmed when you visit this amazing city. I don’t exactly live in Mumbai though technically I’m a Mumbaikar. We are those people of India that feed on Pav Vadas ( A street delicacy found only in Mumbai made with deep frying potato in a batter ,served in between bread ‘pav’), have our own slang- which is a rude or a most informal version of Hindi and we are proud of it. Mumbai is also surprisingly the most friendly and the most helpful city you’ll ever visit. Mumbaikars may always be in a hurry but they will take a moment and help you out if you ask them for the directions. I recently decided to visit Mumbai all on my own. I packed a bag, put in my digital camera, a bottle of water and a packet of biscuits and set along with a 1000 rupees (16.329 USD) in my pocket. It was the first ever trip that I had ever taken on my own and admittedly I was a little scared. Mumbai didn’t scare me , it was just the thought of travelling alone , in a big undiscovered city, all in my own that really made me nervous. But as it turns out, I really didn’t need to be. Walking on the streets of Mumbai, armed with my GPS enabled phone , I made wonderful discoveries.
I strongly believe that the best way to travel Mumbai is through it’s well coordinated public transport. If you are planning to visit Mumbai, please ensure you have a few apps installed that can help you navigate through the city easily via public transport which includes buses, local trains, subways etc. I took many buses to my destinations and happily discovered the beautiful city of Mumbai. The bus conductors in Mumbai are really helpful too, if you ask them to inform you when your stop comes, they will gladly do so.
The first destination on my Mumbai ‘To-Do’ list was Leopold Cafe. Not many know, that Leopold Cafe was one of the places in which the unfortunate terror attacks of 26/11 had taken place. This spot is heavily populated with tourists, from India and abroad, and maybe that’s why it was an attractive spot for the terrorists. Nonetheless, I’m amazed to say that the Cafe has not lost any of it’s charm. It has a wonderful Mumbai aura all around, that makes you want to visit it place after an afternoon siesta. And of course, the food is just so enticingly amazing.
The Colaba Causeway is another attraction of Mumbai. You can get so many amazing things at bargain able prices. I bought three things under 600 rupees (9.797 USD) that includes a Lee Cooper T-shirt, a trendy lipstick red handbag and a really cute accessory. Colaba Causeway is a long footpath type market that houses various stalls selling all the things that you can name. Right from a cool trendy shirt to bath soaps , you can get anything! However, one must remember that the stocks of these markets tend to be seasonal in nature. You may not find that cute wallet you saw a month ago the next time you visit!
All in all , Mumbai does not disappoint. If you adore solitude and are planning to make a journey to a city- all by yourself , Mumbai is your destination. As I kept walking on the streets of Mumbai, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic and weirdly, I still can’t explain why. Mumbai’s architecture resembles a city stuck in Victorian era with it’s roads named as Elphinstone Road, Colaba Causeway, Backbay Depot but the people of this city are more modern,forward and open minded than any other city of India. You can’t help but remember the good old days, when you visit Mumbai. The ambiance is just that powerful. Mumbai is known as the City of Dreams. It’s where one comes, when he wishes to make it big in life. And all along the roads of this city you will find inspiration; a sense of encouragement flows through Mumbai. It’s as if Mumbai is telling you to work hard and then come back to it and become someone famous ,to do something big. Mumbai has had it’s ups and down and thousands have tried to destroy it’s charm but once you visit Mumbai, you’ll know, that nothing can ever really take or deprive the city of it’s charm.
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