Mumbai, or Bombay as people originally like to call it, is synonymous to lively as the city never sleeps, for being the land of dreams where people make it big or as one of the biggest metropolitans of the country. But this according to me is not what defines the city; rather it is those small eating outlets or street shopping areas that define Bombay.
Most people relate Mumbai to its par excellence. Chaat and Pav Bhaji which is truly not the same anywhere in the world! The streets of Bombay, whether it is the southern Colaba or the suburban Santa cruz or Andheri, are overflowing with these delicacies that are savored everyday by a huge population, one could say that Vada pav is practically like a common man staple breakfast. Whether it is the seven star restaurants of the giants like Taj, Oberoi and ITC Maratha or Colaba‚ Delhi Durbar, Pizzeria and Leopold Cafe, food remains an integral part of Mumbai, with a host of new bistros, pubs and cafes joining the league, one can never run out of a good place to eat at.
Art and culture in this city has always played a major role, the Jahangir art gallery always has something different to offer. The Kala Ghoda festival conducted annually brings several small scale handicraft works to the forefront and the event is supplemented by spell bounding music and dance performances enthralling the audience throughout the festival. Theatre is considered to be the taste of the elite in Bombay and is much appreciated by most people, National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), one of the coveted platforms for artists to perform on, brings to the masses some of the plays that have gone down in history as being some of the finest works in the world of Drama. The city is filled with museums for those truly interested in revisiting the ancient era, with Prince of Whales being one of the largest in Mumbai.
Beaches in Mumbai are one of those places that leave you yearning for more and more time in the city, despite the crowds that can possibly trample you on the weekends, one can never get enough of the Ice cream faluda at Chowpatti or the Kala Khatta at Juhu. See the sky before sun rise and see it after sunset, feel the waves seeping your feet and that is when you have truly felt the aura of Bombay. Adorned with beautiful bungalows of popular celebrities, the city will leave you swooning over your favorite star and your ardent desire to catch a glimpse of that person, along with thousands of people who come to the city just for that! Colaba causeway, Crawford market, Fashion Street and Linking road are a shopaholic paradise with some of the best accessories and clothes for a very cheap price, all one needs to do is, put on a comfortable rig along with sports shoes with some seasoned bargaining skills in order to avoid getting ripped off and you are ready to explore the busiest and the chaotic face of Bombay.
Mumbai is always highlighted in the news for its dreadful rains as it does cause a huge deal of inconvenience to the working class but this is also when the place mesmerizes you the most, especially if one is lucky enough to be experiencing the incoming showers at Nariman point which is the most scenic sight to be in as the entire marine drives, also referred to as the Queen necklace is visible and with the advent of the rains, one can easily spot a Chai wala serving steaming hot tea in his iron kettle which surprisingly tastes like heaven. Even though the whole set up is like a typical Bollywood movie but the breathtaking experience will always remain with you as one of the fondest memories of this magnificent city.
This city has more to it than is often talked about, it is not only fast paced and alive but also serene for those interested to withdraw from the hustle bustle of their mundane life, there is something about Bombay that attracts you like a magnet and your time here gets etched permanently in your memory, no wonder Gregory David John dedicated an entire book, considered to be a masterpiece, on this very city. Mumbai or Bombay, the name does not matter, what matters is what makes it so unique that one can never have enough of this place. Let your visit not be sightseeing, because Mumbai is all about journeys and not destinations!
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