“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru
I saw these words recently and felt that they rang so true. True, there is a lot to see around the globe, but in all our desire to travel at times we forget to appreciate / open our eyes to the beauty and uniqueness of the city that we actually live in. And as I have recently discovered that I have neglected to explore my own. Whatever I have seen of my city has been long ago as a kid, which now just exists as part of pictures in those childhood albums.
So, who am I? Well, I am a “Mumbaiite”, a term coined for anyone who has been born and brought up in Mumbai / Bombay or simply someone who has grown to appreciate it and call it home.
Once an archipelago of seven islands, Mumbai has today grown into a busting cosmopolitan metropolis, which more than 20 million people now call home. Across centuries, these islands changed numerous hands, starting from the Maurya dynasty, Gujarat Sultanate, Portuguese, English and ultimately India. This has given Mumbai its unique architecture with a mix of colonial heritage and the newer modern skyscrapers and an accommodating spirit to accept anyone. You can read more on it history here.
Today, this city also wears numerous hats – it’s the capital of state of Maharashtra, the financial & commercial capital of India, home to the Hindi movie industry – Bollywood, centre for the Indian television industry, home to Marathi film industry, city with the largest slum, centre for textiles, jewellary, a port etc to just name a few. Mumbai’s culture is also completely cosmopolitan with a blend of the traditional and the modern. It celebrates numerous traditional festivals, offers food from around the country & the globe, offers music, theatre, entertainment and an active nightlife. It has also inspired numerous authors and film makers to explore its many facets and even write books and make movies on it. It is a city with an “aspirational value” and known as the “city of dreams”, where loads of people (from all over the country) arrive everyday thinking their fortunes will change. With this it has also become the melting pot of numerous cultures, communities, languages and nationalities. It is a city of the night and one that never sleeps. But best of all, no matter it’s limitations in size (since it’s a land locked city) Mumbai has space for everyone. I guess I could just go on and on about it.
In a nutshell this city offers an interesting opportunity to explore – its diverse architecture; a variety in terms of places of worship, food, customs traditions etc for various co-existing religions and communities; the colorful & unique local markets; its beautiful monsoons, somethings uniquely Mumbai, but most of all it gives an opportunity to explore its people and it’s never dying spirit. 🙂
So join me, as along with my other travels, I now pull up my socks, carry my camera and GET SET and Go to explore my heart & my home – Mumbai.