Mumbai – the bewitching queen of India still offers true seekers the chance to unravel their mysteries. In the local language Hindi; Mumbai is also known as Mayanagari meaning the mystical city.
Sitting on the parapet, wind blowing on my face, wide-open space and enjoying the beautiful sea-calmness; this was Marine Drive at 0200 hours (also known as, Queen’s Necklace.) I thought I finally understood why people over the decades had exaggerated the intoxicated appeal of Mumbai. I heart Mumbai. This ain’t just a sentence. This is one emotion that envelopes on you when you walk down the roads of Mumbai, saunter around at the Linking Road or brush past the sweat in Locals.
I still remember the day I first stepped in Mumbai. I hated the fact that I had left my friends and hometown only to shift to other city – and hence I hated Mumbai too. After an over-night journey from Vadodara, me and my family reached Mumbai. At 0500 hours, this city looked fresh to my eyes. People travelling in the Locals of Mumbai at this hour came as surprise to me. They were office-goers, fisher women, college students and most of them, people like me, who had travelled from a different city/state to come to Mumbai. We got down from the train and hired a taxi.
Commuting on the streets of Mumbai, I was absorbed in its serenity. Up till now, there are no words to describe the morning picture of Mumbai. Magnificent buildings rose high. The leaves on the trees lay still in silence. The newspaper vendors in a group distributed their work. People waited on the bus-stops. The aura of freshness and a new feeling. Yes, a new feeling – the feeling that attracted me instantly to like this place – Mumbai.
Today was my last day. Leaving Mumbai was as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree. A flashback of Life played in my mind piece by piece. I could vision all the years I spent here like a rolling film. There was ME walking alone on the streets of Lokhandwala in happy pride. There was ME with my building friends playing in the compound, remembering those friends whom I now missed very much and were not in touch. There was ME with my first day at College and how happy I had felt making new friends. The attendance, the bunking, the birthday parties, the college fest. It all came in line. There was ME getting my first job with a MNC. A sense of achievement at a younger age. Life had suddenly changed after my first job. There was entry of my Best Friends. How I had met them and never thought to be so close to them. They were here; besides me and today I still felt lonely. Tear rolling down my right eye; I hold my friends tight and told them – NO, I can’t go. Everything was changing. But the smell of Mumbai is still the same like my first day here.