Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan

The breathtaking Marine Drive, rickety yellow taxis, congested locals, greasy vada pavs, rusty bookstalls at Churchgate, shopaholics on Linking Road and picturesque Madh Island, these are just a few images of Mumbai that will always remain etched in my memory.

Having moved to Bangalore, I am physically disconnected from the city. Now I catch glimpses of the city, which was home to me for three years, only through the TV or movie clips.

Like all non-Mumbaikars, the city seemed harsh in the beginning, but soon embraced me into its madhouse environment. With each passing day I developed a strong bond with the city. I soon enjoyed the roller-coaster Mumbai ride and valued the importance of 'living on my own terms'. I, no longer, had to worry about how I dressed or behaved in public "so as not to drawn unwanted attention". There were no more uncomfortable stares or lewd remarks. In Mumbai, it's each to his own.

Here, Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt are not Bollywood bigwigs, they are someone you often bump into on the streets, walking their dog, eating bhelpuri, well, going about doing their own thing. They are just about as normal as you are!

Working in the media, like true Page 3 style, it was not rare to share a laugh with Akshay Khanna, Marc Robinson or even Olive's A D Singh. And at each high-funda party, you eventually end up chit-chating with one celeb or another and not stare at them in awe.

I owe a lot to this city. It taught me how to juggle hectic job schedules and yet have a mad circle of friends. At the end of each tiring day, the city infused extra energy for a quick trip down to Leos or a walk with friends on Marine Drive for a cuppa. My strenuous job never bogged me down, cause the city always introduced different ways to help me de-stress. From Jahangir art gallery to Rex theatre to Gateway of India to Strand, the city is always bustling with energy at all times of the day.

Guess that's why there's no another city in India like Mumbai!


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