Tuesday, 7 October 2014

10 Quirky Things About Mumbai

‘Quirky Indian Cities’ special series –

Marine Drive 

Mumbai is magic. If I talk about its quirky side, I think I would say that every bit of it is quirky! If you have lived in Mumbai or spent even a few days there, you should be nodding in agreement. It is a mad city. It is in no way a sane city! Do I like it? No.

I LOVE it.

Although I always loved Mumbai (totally besotted by it), I got to experience it deeply only when I got a chance to live there for four months. I graduated from being infuriated to being in love with it forever.

So, here comes the QUIRKINESS of Mumbai -  

1.The super maddening Mumbai local trains can really make your heart race faster.

When I made my debut as a traveller on a Mumbai local (Andheri East station), I was terrified. It was during the peak monsoons, which made the experience even more intense. I hadn’t even anticipated the feeling of travelling on a local; I was already horrified by the chaos and drama at the station. The train station was in an even messier state due to the rains. Everybody seemed to be running (for no reason), and in the midst of all the action, I saw a man sleeping near the ticket counter. He was covered head to toe with a white bed-sheet. And, finally when I hopped onto a train, I sat on the edge of a seat (smelled a mix of odours) and just waited for my station to arrive.

Mumbai CST station

2.Nobody goes to bed before 1 o’clock in the night.

Staying up late in Mumbai is a norm. The hustle and bustle of the day continues till late into the night. People go out for movies, pubs, seaside outing and midnight buffets. Also, vendors, newspaper men and other such people keep ringing the doorbell till 9 pm. Perhaps Mumbai is quiet for only a brief period of time, which is around daybreak. 

The night is as lively as the day in Mumbai.

3.Night-outs and drinking don’t raise eyebrows.

Pubbing and partying are a culture for the locals. Unlike other cities in India, drinking isn’t a hush-hush affair. Well, I am not saying that other metropolitans are conservative about alcohol; Mumbai folks are definitely more liberal about it.     

4.People have good traffic sense despite the narrow roads.

Mumbai traffic can be really wearisome. The roads are not too broad, while the vehicles are limitless. People get stuck in traffic jams for hours. Despite all the difficulties, people maintain traffic decorum. Nobody tries to overtake another vehicle mindlessly. Each vehicle keeps distance of at least two feet from the other one, which is not practiced in other cities in India.
 
No vehicle runs a race.

5.Mumbai is a beautiful, yet a dirty city.

Without an iota of doubt, Mumbai is a beautiful harbour city. It has got lovely beaches, lakes, mountain views and scintillating skyscrapers, but on the other hand, there is a lot of garbage in the city. No wonder the city evokes mixed emotions in people. Some people are exasperated by its dirtiness, while some chuckle through its charm.
     
Powai Lake

6.Lovers like to get tanned.

Mumbai is a city of love-birds. You will find couples everywhere you go – Marine Drive promenade, Juhu Beach, Powai Lake and the most infamous one is Bandra Bandstand. The funniest part is that these couples romance in the blazing sun, while the rest of the world is busy at work.

Gateway Of India

7.Mumbai has only a few sophisticated neighbourhoods.

Ironically, Mumbai isn’t really a chic city. Even the crème de la crème neighbourhoods in the city, such as Colaba, Juhu and Bandra, are quite modest. You will find old and dilapidated buildings, ordinary streets and pavements. But, there is an undefined charm to these places (maybe because they are connected to Hindi films).

Hiranandani is one of the few good-looking neighbourhoods of Mumbai.

8.Mumbai locals are chilled out about their lives.

They enjoy life with the balmy sea breezes, swaying palm trees and the waning sun. It seems they discover something new about their city every day. An average inhabitant in Mumbai, on a daily basis, has to travel long distances for work. But they seem to embrace life the way it comes to them. For instance, you will see women cutting vegetables on local trains to save time.  

Chilled-out locals

9.Mumbai rains are magical but crazy.

The three-four months when it rains in Mumbai, everybody soaks into its romance thoroughly. It’s a wonderful time for long drives, lots of coffee and short getaways around the city. But, it is devastating too! There are pools of water everywhere on the streets and you have to walk with your legs dipped deep into the muddy water.

10.The meter system in the taxis and autos is scary.

I found this a bit strange. The meter system in Mumbai works differently. Although it’s commendable that the auto-drivers and cabbies strictly go by the meter, it is quite heart-pinching when the meter keeps pulsing even while the auto is stuck in a long traffic jam. So, if you travel long distance in Mumbai and also get stuck, get ready to pay a whopping amount at the end of the trip. That’s not the case in Delhi – if your auto-driver agrees to go by the meter, you pay only for the kilometres and not for the time.

Have you been to Mumbai? What do you think of it?


If you enjoyed this post, you can –
Subscribe to receive ‘new post’ updates through Email.

26 comments:

  1. :) born n brought up here ...agree with most of ur points.


    What I loved more are the awesome clicks of the city!!.... Beautiful they are...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad that you enjoyed the post and liked the photos too! Mumbai is a charming city despite its many flaws and I simply love it.

      Delete
  2. "Ironically, Mumbai isn’t really a chic city." it's true, actually!! Before I went there, Mumbaikers all told me that their city was classy while Delhi was brassy, and you kind of touched one Delhi's brassiness in your previous post about the capital (loud/proud Punjabi culture). But it's a different kind of "brassiness" - in Delhi it's very over-the-top and colourful on a personal level, while in Mumbai it seems to be quite showbizzy at the top end (whether that constitutes class if a matter of personal opinion), but for the most part Mumbai seems to be a working (and working class) city. Interesting sociology!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well put! Yes, Mumbai is very down to earth and normal in real. It is glitzy and intimidating only on the outside, and that's what makes it such a charmer! :)

      Delete
  3. Truly awesome post Renuka, super like it, though never visited Mumbai, but through your post I came to know more about this beautiful city. BTW I think in Delhi too there is a system of waiting charges on Auto and taxi, though it won't impact you much, but see the meter during you stuck on a traffic jam and see it continuously moves. Though it is true that it move on a very slow speed.

    And second thing, since no one agrees to go on meter over here, so we don't get much time to see all these things :) You know if well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alok :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. What I meant to say about the meter system in Mumbai was that it records both km and time, which proves to be quite expensive. As far as Delhi's auto meter system is concerned, it doesn't charge you for the time - it's another thing that the auto-driver may get infuriated and ask for more money if the traffic is bad. But the meter doesn't record time. For example, if you go to Nehru Place from Dwarka, it's 25 km, the meter will charge a fix amount - Rs.200 whether it takes 1 hour or 2 hour to reach, whereas in Mumbai, if you go to Bandra from Powai, it charges would definitely vary according to the time consumed.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Are you from Mumbai? :) If yes, please enlighten me on the same.

      Delete
  5. Love Mumbai for all the above quirkiness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Mumbai is incredibly lovable.

      Delete
  6. mumbai is awesome, and I actually love that the ricks use meter even in traffic because when negotiating rates I always get ripped off lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, in a way it's good. :) Going by the meter is always better than negotiating.

      Delete
  7. When you have magic, when nobody goes to bed before 1 o'clock in the night, how do you expect the taxi and auto metres to run normally?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! But that's the way Mumbai is!

      Delete
  8. Guess what I have never been to Mumbai, but as many I love to explore this city as the fullest. Your post increase my hunger at the top...:P. Incredible photos and Lovely post Renuka.......:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Priyashi :) I hope you get to visit Mumbai soon! In fact, now is the time to visit it. The weather is moderate at this time.

      Delete
  9. I've never been to Mumbai but it's been on my bucket list for ages. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay!! Absolutely wonderful pictures. What was your favourite food there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you visit Mumbai soon! Mumbai's street food is savory. But my personal favorite was Theobroma's bakery's Red Velvet Cake! Absolute bliss. :)

      Delete
  10. We are ending our India trip in Mumbai and I am so looking forward to it. What do you think the minimum amount of time would be to see things? We are thinking a minimum of 5 days but may extend longer...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's lovely! 5 days should be sufficient for Mumbai (if you are not planning to visit the surrounding places). But of course, you can extend it to 7 to 10 days also, as the city has so much to offer - South Mumbai architectural attractions, beaches, lakes, markets, eateries, etc.

      Delete
  11. Nice observations. May I also add that Mumbai is the city of hurry and scurry? Been there several times; the crowdedness doesn't agree with my system, though its a good place to make your career. I would like to visit again, though not to stay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Abhi! :) Yup, Mumbai is always in a hurry. Thanks for adding!

      Delete
  12. So true! I haven't lived in Mumbai, but these points speak to my several visits over many years. I couldn't agree with point 9 more - Mumbai rains are so magical! I remember driving past the Marine Drive this one windy day when it looked like it would start pouring anytime soon, and the sea was going crazy. Its waves were rising high, crashing against the Marine Drive and almost showering the streets. And there was this group of young guys that was dancing on the pavements with a small music stereo, waiting for the wave water to come crashing upon them! That was a sight. :) And I actually like Mumbai's taxis and autos, no matter how fast the meters run - at least they run! I detest having to talk to Delhi's auto drivers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing the way locals enjoy the torrential rains of Mumbai. Yeah, autowallahs are nice. I like the fact that you don't have to haggle and argue with them. :-)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...