(Travelling and writing seem to be inextricable parts of each other, Whenever I travel, my writing extincts come back bouncing and thrusting and this time so pepped up as it was a trip to the place called MUMBAI.)
Who the hell in India doesn’t want to visit Mumbai once in a life time. Everyone wants to taste the ‘mayanagri’ in Mumbai, the Bollywood of Bombay, and if given a chance one would not shirk to say Yes at once. If you do not agree with this, I am totally with you because I have many a places in my destination list but Mumbai,I seriously had never given thought to it. But it happened all of a sudden and it happened all so well that Mumbai secured itself a place instantly in my heart.
I was deep in sleep after a tiring day at office in my flight flying from MAA (Chennai) to BOM (Mumbai) when suddenly the announcement of us …”landing at Mumbai airport shortly….” by the Pilot woke me up. And half asleep, I was trying to sneak though the window of my always preferred window seat. And my eyes widened eventually. Square blocks, piled over one another, stretching far and far, I was not able to make what it was. And I got to know this is what we call Asia’s largest slum –Dharaavi. I was puzzled by the fact that how the people staying over there actually bear the so heavy decibel sound of planes every now and then. But then to myself I said, humans adapt themselves well and the same phenomenon has worked here. Overshadowed by the sheen of Mumbai, the things might vanish in Mumbai but Dhaaraavi has not, in fact it has become a key feature when you describe Mumbai. So such is the place Mumbai- “ Mumbai sab ka hai aur sab Mumbai ke hain” [ Mumbai belongs to all and all belong to Mumbai].
And then I reached my hotel where I was welcomed whole heartedly. Not to miss, on my way from airport to my hotel at Juhu, I saw Jalsa (need I tell you what it is). Trust me had it been the people inside this house Jalsa were not so famous, the house looked like just another but big house in the crowd of residences. Well, I had lunch in the hotel, the buffet that had all from Italian, Indian, Sea food. There was lot on the table, difficult to decide what to eat and what not to. But again something that touched me was the hospitality and instant connection people made with each other. In no time I made friends, we laughed, we giggled. We had formed a group by now. And while talking to them I realised that people have become so used to the traffic and bollywood overshadowing the rest of Mumbai that people have left paying so much attention to both and are just moving on.
We lay back for some time and before we would enter the pool for relaxation, we-‘the instant friends’ decided to go to Juhu beach just behind the hotel. Arabian sea had the same touch and feel as Mumbai had. I have been to Bay of Bengal beaches, they seem rebellious but the Arabian sea seemed welcoming and its water had caress and affection which I feel difficult to explain. How can you assess the caress in water’s touch!! But I could.
And now was the time to see the Mumbai, we all know of. The Celebrity buzz, the stardom, etc, etc. We went upstairs to our room. Took a nap, got ready for the party. We were assisted by the stylists and designer. And it was the time to Bang On!! A little sceptical about the party and stuff, the party finally began. People started pouring in but celebrities didn’t yet. We were shaking our legs to the DJ. And time was passing by like anything. And then the buzz started when celebrities started pitching in. Wow, we are all so tired of the hectic schedule and planned to pack up, they came all glisten n shine at the midnight. Every second person in the party was a celebrity now. And we felt elated about it. But marred by our sleeping habits we could not stretch too far and came back to our rooms and slept nicely.
Altogether, it was a fun filled day and Mumbai adapted us so well in no time that it becomes worth saying …”aamchi Mumbai”….