Things which make Mumbai a true “Sapno ka Shehar”

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If a Mumbaikar has things to rant and rave about, we wouldn’t be surprised. But when the city that never sleeps appeals to out-of-territory people, it surely is a matter of surprise. There is surely something about the city that makes us all – Mumbaikars and Non-Mumbaikars – fall in love with it, alike.

Amrietaa decides to run undercover and discovers 13 things that non-Mumbaikars love about Mumbai when they tour the city.

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The Sea Link
The Sea Link has slowly but gradually turned into one of the most visited sites in the recent times. The thrill of driving at 100kmph in the middle of the sea overpowers driving through the same old routes back home, in a traffic-snarled city. The open skies above, wonderful winds blowing across your face and gorgeous cable wires lit up in the night are an added bonus! The sea link is undoubtedly the face and pride of aamchi Mumbai.

Sunsets at sea
Whether it’s the Gateway, the Marine Drive, the Chowpatty or Bandstand,; sunsets in Mumbai look equally stunning at all these points. There’s no denying that the beaches are unkempt, there is something different about it. Bhutta, the rains and the sunset, there couldn’t be a perfect combination. And just like an Indian on foreign soil goes picture manic, you will find the non-Mumbaikars on a clicking spree at these beaches.

The Vada Pav
The Vada Pav – mashed potato, spiced and flavoured, coated with flour and deep-fried – is a ‘hot’ favourite here, literally. Served with Indian bread or the pav and some lasoon chutney, the vada pav is for the time-crunched businessmen and those on a shopping spree keen to get back to their trial rooms.

Public Transportbuses-main
As much as we hate our sloppy public transport system, the non-Mumbaikars are madly in love with it. The BEST bus line couldn’t be more aptly named, the rickshawalas may act pricey but then again have the power to get you to your destination in a mere 10 mins. The black and yellow taxis are a reminder of the good old Bombay with its Premier Padminis. And our very own local train may have crowded coaches, but the journey is definitely worth experiencing. And the latest mode of transport – the Monorail and the Metro, which we all take pride in.

Late Nights
Most Indian cities strive to achieve a nightlife as cool as Mumbai’s. Free-spirited girls, good looking boys and alcohol! Not just that, but the city never allows you to stay hungry. Apart from the famous Khaugalli, there are various chaiwalas and idli-vendors dotting the city. With hot and fresh food to feed your growling stomach, these annas are everybody’s knight in shining armour.

Safety
At one time Mumbai was known to be the safest city for girls. The number of disasters may have upped the charts, but nevertheless, Mumbai still is safer than a lot many other cities in India. We do not need a father or brother coming to drop or fetch us every time we are out of the house at an odd hour. We are self-reliant independent women and know the best of the Marathi slangs. No jerk is going to harass you and even if he does, we are well-versed with handling them at all times – ‘chya aaila’! Non-Mumbaikars may be shocked when getting to see this side of the Bambaiyya girls, yet again, that’s just how the girls in Mumbai roll.

KPN photoGanpati Bappa Morya
Pune and Nasik may lead the drumrolls when celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, but there is something about Mumbai that sets it apart. The festival will have you spot young guns practising their drum beats on the road side and artists busy making precious idols. People move ahead of communism, the Muslims come over for Bappa’s Darshan, everybody bows before the Lal Baug Cha Raja, and dances together to bid him adieu on Visarjan day. All kinds of emotions take over and the whole town goes crazy!

Street Shopping
Families love Mumbai’s street stalls. They get to buy fancy and elegant clothes at cheap rates and rant about them. Colaba, Bandra and Lokhandwala are famous spots for shopping. Jewellery, scarves, party gowns – name it and these stalls will have it. Who knew Mumbai can have inexpensive fashion too!

Bollywood
If there’s one thing this list needs to begin with, it is Bollywood. Mumbai is the glitzy capital and there is no denying that. We cannot do without romance, action and horror – a seamless blend of all with the essential mirch masala. And of all this, what astonishes visitors the most, however, is how effortlessly these celebrities live amongst the commoners. These commoners will chase them to get clicked with them and hoot their names in the middle of the road. More often than not, the celebrities will also stop and pose along, because the paparazzi is what gets them going.

taj-mahal-hotel-mumbaiHeritage
The heritage of Mumbai is very rich. The High Court, the Asiatic Library, CST Station, Haji Ali, Gateway of India, Caves, Forts and Taj are just a few of all the treasures Mumbai contains. Mumbai is a rich hub of historical Legacy that people love to venture at. The British did some good we say.

Great Hospitality
Mumbai has people that have hearts larger than life. Drought, famine, earthquake, floods – if there is anything other than sports that bring people together, it is times of crisis like these. Mumbaikars will not think twice before they step out in the most difficult if time sand gives the ones in trouble the much-needed support.

Contrast a city can hold
Mumbai is not just big; it is also very diverse. The richest and the poorest hailing from all religions and castes live here together peacefully. Travelling a mere five yards in Mumbai can reveal all of human existence. There are the Ambanis and Khans on one end and Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi on the other. Mumbai is full of secrets! But this contrast is just the glue that holds the city together.

Wankhede_Stadium_Feb2011Wankhede and Brabourne
What better place to watch the God practice his trade than in his own playground, the Wankhede. Cricket is India’s religion, Sachin is our God and his rannbhoomi the stadium. We as Mumbaikars are lucky enough to get to witness some of the most historical matches and the non- mumbaikars just can’t help getting jealous!

Long story cut short – Mumbai knows how to win hearts and is downright infectious. Are you a Non-Mumbaikar with some Mumbai travel experience to share?  Have a fondness for Mumbai or just some views about the article? Do comment in the section below.

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