Earlier this week and to my own surprise, I found myself defending Mumbai to a rather crass foreigner. I took a deep breath and a large step back in order to keep the words I had for him flowing from my mouth.
Interested to see Mumbai through the eyes of others, I asked five of my friends to tell me what they loved about Mumbai. Here’s what they had to say:
Shyamal – a true Mumbaikar – replied, “Too many favorite things about Mumbai maaan…” After a bit of thought, he provided a list woven with hints of his comical personality: street side food, Marine Drive, Bombay cops and of course foreigners in Mumbai.
My ever entertaining friend Christina has spent the past 3 months transitioning to India while gently breaking the news to New York City that they needed some time apart. Between frequent trips back to NYC and setting up her new home in Mumbai, I am surprised the wonder woman has had time to do or see anything else. Her picks: street food, extra large balloons near the gateway, paying off traffic cops, seeing cows on the road and fresh fruit.
Bobby Talwar of the Mumbai based rock band Zero used one of my favorite things about Mumbai, the heaps of people who BBM as their core source of communication, to tell me why he loves Mumbai… “The SEA”.
After spending most of the last decade in Bangalore, my American-Bangalorean friend Laura decided to give Mumbai a try. What does she love the most about Mumbai? How safe it is! (It helps to have easily accessible transportation too.)
What was it about Mumbai that captivated my most magnetic friend of all? The adorable MissMalini explained when she first moved to the city she loved the neon lights and 24/7 taxi cabs. The adoration of neon lights quickly faded only to be replaced with dazzling personality. Now she loves that Mumbai has an endless supply of incredibly fun, interesting, talented and quirky characters to fill her insatiable need to meet new people!