Friday, January 5, 2007

Local trains faster than Planes, vada paav better than 5 star hotel buffet

Yes you read the subject line right. That’s the thing I felt is driving Bombay.

My first impulse on landing in a gaun (they call it so) of New Bombay was ‘if their gaun is so good, how would their sheher be’
We didn’t have to wait for long to find out. We were on our way to the city of Mumbai after a visit to our host’s place. Being my first local train travel
I was pretty much excited (needless to say, I wasn’t let down) Was equally fascinated by the way we changed trains in two stations for our connecting train.
This was when I got to know the importance of time for people in Bombay. Thanks to the expert guidance by our host cum guide we managed to get in and out of the trains on time. Here we started or ‘chaatful’ tour of the city. Eating at all the Chaat outlets we could lay our eyes on. Their Best busses would really be the best. I don’t know much about these stats. But this is fun as well. Though time consuming and a bit expensive compared to the previous option.

Anyone who has been to Mumbai will remember all the sounds, that are so much Bombay. the sounds of the local trains whishing by, Horns, raunchy music from a taxi blaring away, the trung trung of a BEST bus, the afternoon namaaz, and who can forget the eunuchs and their steady beat ( aye hero!!! While we were in the taxi) and not to forget the beggars—all so much a part of Bombay and so inseparable. Pigeons. So many of them at anywhere u find a place. Forget that how many pigeons near our host's place in the morning. I was woken 2 days by pigeons.

Bombay! A city of contradictions— there are a few I found. Roaring traffic on a busy market road (Hajiali). well dressed men and women sharing a crowded local compartment with fishermen heading to the city with their best catch .

In short if u plan to live in Bombay, try watching time with every step. I am told If u promise someone you would reach in 30mins then U have to(also will) reach in 30 mins. If u are addicted to anything there, that’s it. You would not have it from anywhere else. Thanks to the Mumbai Vada pav I don’t eat vada pav any where in Bangalore after this trip. Some comparisons anyone would draw would be:
1. Unlike in Bangalore where people are relaxed and lazy, in Mumbai people are more active and they got their priorities straight.
2. I was surprised to see big roads without any pot holes and speed breakers. In almost important places, the roads are wide enough and people can just zoom through. If you are hit forget it, I don't think anyone would help you they have to reach their office in time.
3. You see somebody and smile in Mumbai they would smile at you. In Bangalore try it, you might get a scorn look. People are more friendly in Mumbai. (tried this in train)
4. Everybody in Mumbai thinks you know Hindi. Not so in Bangalore.
5. Bangalore life starts at say around 1700Hrs. Mumbai life starts at hmmmm… haan forgot it, previous days life has not yet ended.. how will the next day start.
Or life is always on the go. Or else how can u have ice cream at 3Am in the moning. This is Bombay that never sleeps

Finally, missing vada pav, Mumbai and our host J (I know u would kill me if I haven’t mentioned it, but I mean it this time) wonderful trip to a wonderful city, with a wonderful host.


Kit said...

Hey! I know exactly what u mean. I've been to Bombay thrice in the last year and enjoyed it immensely each time.
We had gone once to drop off our roomie in the intl airport. His flight was at 3:00 in the morning to Brazil.
We left Pune at 11:00. Not a soul could be seen on the roads, no shops were open. As soon as we arrived in Bombay, we end up in a traffic jam!!! This is at 1:00 in the morning :) Then once we left him and started back (at around 4:00) we could see the milkmans and newspaper wallas on the road. I was like, "Doesn't this city ever sleep???"

Kit said...

Like the song that goes...
Ladies are nice,
Gents are full of spice,
Come to Bombay,
Come to Bombay,
Bombay meri hai :)