Marine Drive. Source:

     Mumbai…the land of dreams! Delhi will steal your heart…Kolkata will tickle your mind and Mumbai…Mumbai will make you want to put your best foot forward and conquer the stars. When one hears these terms associated with each city it seems very cliche but when you get to live, breath and explore them then you actually understand how true these sayings are. Whenever I go to Mumbai I love the energy of the place. From the moment I step out of the airport the thrill of adventure and the anticipation of discovering something new comes over me.

Colaba market. Source:

     For me the biggest pull has been the shopping that I can do there. Seeing the latest trends/collections in clothes or going through makeup brands that I don’t get to see back home or even adding shoes to my already overflowing collection like I have suddenly grown an extra 30 pair of feet. Even the trip to the local kinara (mom and pop) store is a revelation and half! They are overflowing with imported goods and exotic ingredients which I cant even find in specialized stores in Kolkata. Whether it roaming the galley of the posh Phoenix mall or haggling in the narrow lanes of Colaba Mumbai is a shopaholics paradise!

Taj Hotel, Source:

     I think the most striking aspect of this city is the contrast it offers. Between the highest of highs and the lowest of low. Between the young generation and the old one. Between the different cultures that call that place home. This contrast is glaring at times…but somehow very endearing too. When I step into Candies my senses literally are assaulted by the youth. The buzz of conversation, the pace of the service…everyone and everything is on its toes. Going back to my friend’s place in Bandra Pali Naka I experience the mellowness of the old…the christian family living next door. They come out in the evening and gather with friends outside the doors drinking and singing old English songs. The elderly gentleman lost in his youth while singing beautifully captures your heart and attention. It is this contrast that makes Mumbai so beautiful…

Sea face, Nariman Point

     Irrespective of how long my trip is, ie whether it is a quick trip over the weekend or a long relaxed vacation for 15 days, it is not complete without me visiting the Nariman Point sea face. I feel like I have come to the edge of the city over those jutting boulders. Sitting there looking at that horizon makes me realize how big this world is…how much there is to see out there…to experience. All the problems and tensions of my life seem petty and meaningless then. It helps to recharge my batteries and more importantly cleanse my soul so that I can toughen up and face a new challenge. That is what Mumbai does to me…it makes me want to live, to celebrate, to express my individuality and to have to courage to make my dreams a reality.

     I sound like another one of those people who go to this enigmatic city with stars in their eyes. But it cant be helped. Mumbai is the city of whispered promises. Your hard work and a little luck is all that is needed to make a lot of things a possibility. Every time I go there I discover something new…each new person I meet or travel with helps me see Mumbai in a whole new light. It is not the promised land of “milk and honey” by any means…but it is a place for hope. Discover it for yourself…take sometime off and experience the many faces of this place. I will see you soon….take care!