It’s been a while since I moved to Mumbai for an internship. You know, the land of Bollywood, glitz, glamour, rich, rags, local trains and everything else in between. I was terrified about moving here but now that I am here, I decided to extend my stay for a few more weeks. Don’t get me wrong, this is faar from my comfort zone, it’s a craazy place. But there’s something about the crowd and the people that I want to enjoy for a little longer.
So what all did I notice in these past two weeks?
- Rude People
Most people told me that Mumbai is one of the most welcoming places because of how tolerant the people are. I agree that the people here are tolerant.. But they are also super busy. This means that they have no time for you or your doubts/concerns/BS. This makes them very very rude sometimes.
Everyone I know are good, nice people. People I don’t know, like rickshaw waalas, uber guys, shopkeepers, random strangers… they scream at me for everything.
I got yelled at soooo many times, it’s not even funny. Rickshaw drivers yell at me because I have no coins with me to pay them and they, for some reason, don’t want to part with the coins they have in their little pouch. They also scream at me for losing my way and telling them to take a wrong turn (that’s not my fault, Google Maps hangs on me sometimes). I get screamed at by pedestrians for walking too slow (I don’t walk slow, they walk too fast).
Things have sort of changed now though. I have also started screaming back at people. After a point you start getting pissed at people trying to get on your nerves for no apparent reason. Maybe this is what they mean by “Mumbai changes you maaan!”. I have however noticed that people who yell at me calm down a little when I yell back at them.
Needless to say, Mumbai is a huge city. Soo huge, that it takes hours and hours to reach from one end of the city to the other. Places I want to go to and people I want to meet live on the absolute other side of the city. I have been refusing to take the local trains all this while because this:
So unless ShahRukh Khan himself materialises in front of me and asks me to “chayya chayya” with him, I am not going near any local trains. That means I have to Uber places and even with all the romance I have with Uber (here), I cannot be content with them charging such high rates to go places. I end up spending all my money on reaching to a place and am perpetually broke.
- Getting Lost
I pride myself as someone who is pretty good with directions. Unless I am in a mall, I rarely get lost horribly (No, I don’t have an explanation for why I get lost in mall). But in Mumbai, I, for the first time in my life, got lost horribly. Somehow, I managed to walk 3ish kilometres in the exact opposite direction to where I was supposed to go to. With my GPS on. Google MAPS on. People present around to whom I could’ve asked the way. Sign boards around saying I was walking the wrong way.
Still got lost.
Then I had to take an auto, pay extra (which is sad coz I walked so I wouldn’t have to pay 30 bucks. Yes, I am sometimes cheap.)
- The Name
Finally, there is the whole issue of whether I must call it “Bombay” or “Mumbai”. I know I am supposed to call it Mumbai, but my parents always said Bombay and I feel like I am too old now to change myself. But then again, I don’t want to get beaten up for not saying the right stuff. People seem to want to scream at me for no reason here anyway don’t want to give them a reason to beat me up too! So I am now a changed person who tries real hard to say “Mumbai”.
- Joeys and Theo’s ka Pyaar.
Have you heard of Joeys? The pizza place? Their meat ultimo? No?
Take the next flight here. You need this pizza in your life.
It’s crowded, getting your pizza is a huge task and there is usually no place to sit there and ambience is non-existent. But the pizza – I think this place is actual proof that heaven exists.
Then there’s Theobroma. I am not a huge chocolate person, but even I think their desserts are AMAZEBALLS. There are many other dessert places around here too. I have many more to get to so 2017 is going to be pretty cool food wise at least 😀
All in all, I guess even with all the screaming and getting lost and geography issues, it’s still worth living here. If nothing else goes right, you can always go and get yourself good pizza and a cookie (get screamed at the auto guys on your way there and back, but whatever). The city is inspiring actually. Mumbai makes you want to work, to do something with your life. I don’t think many people can sit a home and do nothing all day after seeing the struggles people around get to chase their dreams.
And anyway, Coldplay has come here so that solves any issue I have with this land.
Photo Courtesy – https://kaipullai.com/2011/08/15/hello-world/, http://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/asie-pacifique/64961-150320-un-train-deraille-dans-le-nord-de-l-inde-21-//mortshttp://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/asie-pacifique/64961-150320-un-train-deraille-dans-le-nord-de-l-inde-21-morts, http://www.mumbaieastwest.in/events-in-mumbai/love-mumbai-the-symbol-of-love-for-mumbai-installed-at-bandra-reclamation/