Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Girl in the City

"The thing about Mumbai is you go five yards and all of human existence is revealed. It's an incredible cavalcade of life, and I love that."- Julia Sands

People it's Mumbai for me now! I, however, do not claim to have known all of human existence already (just in case you were misled by the way this post starts). Having spent three amazing years in the city of my dreams, Delhi, now finally I'm in the city I had dared not fall in love with during my first visit lest I should encounter a massive heartbreak if I didn't make it through the entrance. For those who know about TISS, I need not say anything about it's selection procedure. For those who don't, suffice it to say that you can never be sure that you will get admission here, even if, as in my case, you are DU topper and were the highest scorer in the first stage. Anyways, this post is about Mumbai and not TISS as the latter will keep featuring in several of my posts in the coming two years. I'm a TISSian in and out already and you will tire of me singing its praises in anything remotely related to it that I write on :D

Sweltering heat and humidity welcomed me here but in less than a week I have tasted it's monsoon- buckets poured on you even before you have got your raincoat out of the bag and put it over yourself. I have had several misconceptions shattered and horrible myths busted about Mumbai in general and Mumbaikars in particular. From having heard that Mumbaikars don't give a shit about each other, I have had umpteen instances of people ever so willing to help that I seldom came across in Delhi. The simplicity in dress largely is something I had totally not anticipated. Yes, there must be sections of milieu I haven't come across till yet but in 4 days of roaming in several parts of Mumbai and interacting with quite a few in the three days of orientation in college, I have had some experience from which I can safely draw my first impressions. I'm in love with the weather and I'm not complaining about the rain. I only don't like it when I'm wet before my raincoat is out due to which I'm carrying an umbrella as well now :D And yes, the breeze! I have got huge windows in my room and the breeze keeps me cool minded amidst my grumbles about how most of those I have met in TISS sofar are not really so much into social service as a true TISSian would be.

I have traveled in local train already and unlike I had expected, it's now my preferred mode of travel when I need to go somewhere outside this area. There is somethingly outstandingly exciting about a train halting for just 20 seconds in which people need to get aboard as well as get out!
My college is just 15-20 minutes' walk away from my flat which means I walk to college. The best part about Mumbai so far is that I can walk home after dinner in college dining hall at 9:30 in the night alone and without fear. Whereas in Delhi this would have been an hour of dread for a woman without a male companion, it's nothing out of the ordinary here. Whereas in-time there was 7:30 or maximum 8 p.m. (and 10 p.m. in the lenient hostels), here one can walk home at 12 in the night without a thumping heart or go for chai with friends at 3 in the night.

Alright I can see that I have been comparing Delhi and Mumbai, which isn't fair as it's been just a week here. There are many things here that I can appreciate without necessarily comparing those to Delhi, say, the street food. I have tasted almost everything that is common in Mumbai and have loved every single bite except for the fact that there is bread in almost every item :D The pav bhaji I had in Juhu Chaupatti was out of the world totally and I am still in awe of how surprisingly inexpensive street food here is. The one necessity of life that is however unfortunately pretty expensive is parlour charges. To get threading done, I have to shell out double what I have so far in life over and above the fact that the beauty parlour right opposite our main campus offers special discount to TISS students! Getting to hear Hindi generously sprinkled with Marathi words in the morning, thanks to our always smiling maid aunty, is another thing that amuses me. The tapori way of speaking (say, humko jane ka hai) always reminds me of Bollywood movies and it feels a little uncomfortable that I can make out absolutely nothing when I hear Marathi.

The beaches are not as enticing for me as would be for most others, as I originally belong to Odisha and have had my flings with beaches. The sea, yes, remains one of the things that inspire the sleeping poet in me and fill me with a sense of awe and amazement and I mean to visit it quite frequently in the winter. The Nariman Point in the night is indeed what it is famed to be and sometime in the near future I'm gonna visit it at night to partake in the feel I couldn't have enough of, this time.

Another good thing for me here is inexpensive public transport. The autowallahs here have already impressed me with their honesty  as every one works according to meter (not to be expected in Delhi) and here I go in comparison mode again, which I guess I can't help. By the way, they call you back to return a rupee if you paid Rs. 20 and the meter shows a rupee less. They rarely refuse to take you to some place though I confess that I had to roam around for 15-20 minutes in rain, in vain, asking autowallahs to take me to my place three days back (turned out that I was in the wrong direction and due to the rain and traffic nobody could perhaps wait to tell me that). I maybe a little biased towards Mumbai, thanks to my first visit here two months back and thanks to TISS, but my instinct tells me this love affair is going to be as good, if not better, as the one I had with Delhi :)


  1. People here are really good. I am in Mumbai too right now :)And whenever I come here... I get very connected to go back

  2. That's your nice tryst with catching up the ambiance of a new place.Please don't seek your roots in a place where you stumbled upon out of necessity. Beautiful write.

    1. Thanks! My roots are strongly rooted where they generated...only the branches get all absorbed by anywhich breeze that passes by and kisses them :)

  3. Welcome to Mumbai :D .. all the best!

  4. Welcome to Mumbai... Very nice place and safe too... Enjoy, amchi Mumbai...

  5. I can also sense those ecstasies after reading this Mumbai-Tale. :)
    humko bhi mumbai aane ka hai..:D


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