Sunday, December 13, 2015

Amchi Mumbai - My favourite city

I have visited and stayed at many places across the length and breadth of India. And of course I have my favourites in every zone of India. Yet there is one such city that stands out amongst all, the one place you call home.

Mumbai (erstwhile known as Bombay)
Amchi Mumbai (means Our Mumbai)

Let me describe my city on the basis of three attributes: Drive, Design and Connect.


It holds a special place in my heart since it is where I was born and brought up.

More dreams are realised and extinguished in Mumbai than any other city in the world

More so, it is a place that thousands from various parts of the country throng to, with a dream in their eyes and hope. After all, it is said to be the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. A hope that the city will absorb them like one of its own. If you look around the city, you will see the inhabitants are not only the originally inhabited Marathi folk, but there are people settled from all over India.


In my opinion, the mere basic instinct of survival of the fittest is what drives the inhabitants of this mayanagari. This instinct is either in the DNA of the citizens or has to be cultivated into one’s DNA. And by this instinct, Mumbai can either make you or break you.


From the Gothic architectural craftsmanship of the British era in the Gateway of India, Asiatic Library… to the modern marvels of the Sealink or the Reclamation, Mumbai has a distinct design for all.
For instance, this island city that originally constituted of seven islands, has now been redesigned to a bustling metropolis that stretches from Churchgate to Virar. An aerial view of the city and you can see that this city has the structure to accommodate the teeming, crammed hutments but thriving local business of the largest slum in Asia: Dharavi – to the spacious inhabitants of one of the busiest railway stations in India – Dadar. And one can still easily navigate their way through the arteries and the veins of this mahanagari through local train, BEST bus, kaali-peeli taxi, autorickshaw and of late, the Metro.

The design does not limit to the infrastructure or heritage of Mumbai, it is prevalent in the food as well. Be it affordable local fast food like vada pav for a poor labourer's sustenance or the Indianised chinese food fare in a suburban mall, the city has designed its elements to satiate the hunger pangs of each of its inhabitant. Even at 3 am your sudden craving for pav bhaji can be doused.


Bombay was renamed to Mumbai after the Goddess Mumbaidevi fairly recently in 1996. And the Bombay-ite became a Mumbai-kar. Regardless of its name, the soul of any city lies in the people.


It is natural for every visitor coming to the city for the first to get lost. But it is unnatural for them to not receive any help. Ask the dabbawallahs - the tiffin connection of the city's hunger. Their's is a symbiotic relationship like any other Mumbaikar - they depend on the city for sustenance as the sustenance depends on their time of arrival. 

The widespread connect across languages, classes, sects, and nationality even is displayed in the times when Mumbai was in distress. Be it the dreadful 26th July downpour and eventual floods that paralysed the city network, but not its spirit. Not even the November 2008 terror attacks on prime locations in the city squash its never-say-die attitude. And neither did the dreadful terror train bomb blasts dent humanity. After each and every incident this city has faced, it has bounced back like a phoenix rising from the ashes.


Through these key attributes, I feel amchi Mumbai is indeed #madeofgreat.


  1. Hey Gauri,

    I landed up on this nice article when I was writing about My memories with the city. Confess: I can read unlimitedly about Mumbai.
    My affair with the city:
    I would love to hear some feedback from a Veteran Blogger like You.

    1. Thank you for taking out time to read and comment on my blog post Upasna! I will surely ready your post :)

  2. Enjoyed reading this post Gauri. Like the comment above says, I can read endlessly on Bombay and not feel bored at all! :)

    1. Absolutely. I can echo with that sentiment Priyanka! :) Thank you for taking out time to read and comment on my blog post.


So, Is your glass half empty or half full? ;)

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