Yeah!!! I know there are hundreds of articles and blogs on India's entertainment capital Mumbai! But this blog is all about my experience with Mumbai. So here we go...
Before I came to Mumbai for the first time, of course I heard lot about this great city, about the traffic, rain, local train, marine drive, polluted juhu beach, and lot more... Surely my mind has drawn a picture (actually a terrible picture!) of Mumbai with the brush of my imaginations. So with that terrible picture I reached Mumbai by Train. My friends, with whom I was supposed to share a flat, instructed me to get down at Dadar station.
Actually once I came to Mumbai when I was a kid, and I knew there are lots of local stations in Mumbai. So the moment, train reached at Borivalli at early morning. My anxiety started and I was looking at all the station's name with an eagle eye(I was wearing spectacles, that is my eagle eye!). Finally after half an hour my train reached to Dadar. I was all ready to face the challenges of Mumbai. I hired the famous black and yellow taxi(my company was going to pay so I was not worried about fare! ;) ) of Mumbai. I was supposed to reach at Airoli, Navi Mumbai. I thought that as name suggests Navi Mumbai must be a very good NEWLY developed area, and would have nice locality and tall buildings and so on. Yeah, another picture of NAVI MUMBAI with my imaginations, but the thing was this picture was really good one!!! Anyway, I reached Airoli and saw those old tenements whose color was green due to those dirty green fungus on the wall, and that REAL picture of Airoli, Navi Mumbai broke the UNREAL picture of my imaginative Navi Mumbai!
That house was really horrible, but still I stayed there for two days as I had no other option on hand. I decided after two days that, I am not going to stay here at all! I told my friends that we are an SAP consultants man, we can't stay in this antique house. We'll search a new flat. But as I stayed there for two days, owner was not willing to leave me easily even I was ready to pay for those two days! Anyway my friend Manish came to rescue and had fight with that owner and I finally left that fungus full and stinking house. As there was no other option on hand, I stayed to my one of the oldest and best friend Parth's flat. From the other day, me and my friends Manish and Sahir(Junior Colleagues :) ) started searching for flat in Airoli. But surprise surprise... that day we all came to know, we are criminals! How? because we were "bachelors"!!! (I used "were" only for me, my two friends "are" still bachelors! ;)) Wherever we go and ask for flat on rent, the first thing people said, "No Bachelors, only married couple or family". What the hell! Bachelors are criminals or what? And very first time we all understood the value of "wife" in our "life"!
Anyhow my past life's good "karma" helped us, and finally we found one really good flat(there are no "quotation" so it was really nice flat! :)) after continues efforts of 15 days. Finally we shifted to our brand new really good flat and I started living with my new roommates Mr. Manish Hadiyel and Mr. Sahir Vhora.
Our flat was quite near to the office campus and we had company bus also, so we did not need to use any public transport. Due to this reason, even after staying in Mumbai, we were not actually living Mumbai!
Even my office team was good too, Mahesh(ganni uncle), Amol(bottle), Rajasekhar(paper), PradeepA(mota), Abhishek(ravan)! I am writing this at the moment and I can't stop myself laughing hard remembering those days. It was full on fun in office. I felt like, I was living the college life!
And at home, after staying few days with my roommates, I was sure that Mumbai life is going to be full fun, laughter riot and unforgettable. I tell you, Manish and Sahir are the guys with whom no one can stay low. These guys rocked our home by their funny jokes and masti. One more interesting characters became our very good friend was Mr. Dev! He was teammate of Sahir, but he mixed up with us so well and he was damn humorous. In fact, we all were humorous. Apart from me, everyone had amazing ingenuity which makes you roll on the floor laughing like anything and I am like Navjotsingh Sidhu, who can't stop laughing once started. The only difference between me and Sidhu is, I do not act and I actually laugh! :) And of course how can I forget Rajbhai and Varun too! Oh my... I am just remembering that time and my heart is filled with full of joy and happiness.
Now after these laughter riot weekdays, here is weekend. My fiancée-Darshana was also in Mumbai that time. :)))) But but but... she was staying in Goregaon East, which was almost 30 KM from my place. Travel from Airoli, Navi Mumbai to Goregaon East was real test of mine in Mumbai! I had to take auto from my home to Airoli Station, get a local for Thane, from there Dadar, from there Goregaon Station and from there take an auto to my fiancee's place! Woohhh... It was real test of mine! Initially I was feeling real hard. Eventually I found BEST bus direct to Goregaon. Anyhow slowly I started loving the local trains. Of course I was travelling for my fiancee, so I would definitely love any damn ride. But still there was something that, I started loving about local trains. Once during Navaratri, I was travelling at 12:30 in the night towards Thane. You can't even imagine the crowd at Dadar station. It gives you an impression that, its just 7 in the evening! There was not enough space to stand even in the train. I thought, this city REALLY never sleeps!
I visited almost all famous places of the city like Mahalaxmi Temple, Haji Ali Dargah, Gate of India, Hotel Taj, BSE, Marine Drive, Juhu Beach, Gorai Beach, Bandstand Bandra, Elephanta Caves. It was such a great fun travelling by local trains, BEST, Taxis and visiting all these places. All are such a beautiful place! And even some Mumbai special snacks are also mouth watering. I loved specially misal-pav. Above all I loved Manish's Bhaji-Pav. We still tell him that, buddy you are in wrong career. He should be chief chef at 5-star hotel.
I am simply in love with this city. And again that imaginative picture of Mumbai broke, and wonderful unimaginative picture of Mumbai got place in my heart instead of my mind!
Definitely, it is not easy to live in Mumbai, you need to be ruff & tuff, but Mumbai is the city where you would love to live hard!