Mumbai - As I like It07 Nov 2011
Mumbai - the city I thought was appalling had changed my attitude towards itself transforming my apprehensions to appreciations and there are many of them. I only regret that I did not carry a camera to capture all the images of Mumbai that were amazing and astonishing.
- Taxi and Taxi Drivers: To my astonishment, I found the taxi-drivers very honest. They charged as per the meter and the chart (and believe me none was forged). Even more surprising was that the taxi-fares were lesser than what I usually and most of the people in Pune end up paying to auto-rickshaws in Pune. Moreover, unlike anywhere else inIndia, there was nowhere the taxi-driver were not willing to go. You could just open the door, sit and tell the destination and the taxi will start moving towards it. Drivers are always all ready. One reason for this is that people prefer taking local or train, as they are faster and convenient (if I can say so). Better transportation is what most cities in India lack and Pune is one fine example where Urban Sprawl has been huge in contrast to any development of basic infrastructure.
- Fort Area: My impression about the place where Rohit (Rohit Chauriha) and I were staying was changed after my chat with cousin Shrey when we met him at Marine Drive. The Fort Area is full of buildings built in (as far as I can understand) in Victorian style of architecture. The whole are takes you back to the history. Fort St. George (it cannot be a Victorian architecture (VA) monument as it much earlier in timeline than that for VA) was nearby but we could not visit it otherwise it would have been a great chapter from a history book come alive. Nevertheless, Fort area is amazing place surrounded by some amazing buildings. However, as you move from CST towards Bycullah, you will find buildings that forced Rohit to call the area – ‘The Ghost Town’. Nevertheless, it was amazing for us to have stayed in Fort area. I only regret that I could not take any pics as I had not taken my camera.
- Gateway of India: One night after having dinner, Rohit and I decided to visit GoI. We hired a taxi and reached the destination for just Rs. 20 (to my surprise). The building did not at all impress me as I stepped down from the taxi. But as we moved towards it, it excited me as it was a great blend of Hindu and Persian Architectural styles. The arches were similar to the one that you will find in any monument of Delhi Sultanate times. Corbelling were as usual a great piece of artwork. We were not able to go inside and had to view it from outside its inner boundary.
Opposite GoI is located the most famous, if not the finest, hotels ofIndia– Taj Mahal Hotel. It is amazing. But for Gateway of India it would have taken the whole post.
- Marine Drive: In Mumbai, if I will call any part a city to live in, it would be Marine Drive area. It is a great place to refresh yourself and refurbish, and replenish your energies. Just visit the place, if you have not already done so, to know why I say so. We were sitting just opposite Air India’s office and I think that is the best place to sit on Marine Drive. A thought passed my mind that I shared with Rohit – if Air India moves to some other place then certainly, the financial losses that it is currently facing will be abated.
- Dadar Bus Stand (Dadar Bus Sthanak): We catched Shivneri for Pune from Dadar East. The city has over and over, again and again had made a point to attract me to its finest details. Dadar Bus Stand from where we caught Shivneri is located below an actively running flyover and is amazing example of space-creation and utilization. It is the recognition of the utilitarian value of the space that attracted my appreciation and of many others that use the bus stand for commuting. It is a good example to be copied elsewhere where population is increasing day by day that is having its impact on the available space. It is a wonderful piece to mark its place in any thoughts, ideas and suggestions on Urbanisation.
- Pancham Puriwala, CST: Rohit and I were surprised when we reached Pancham Puriwala. It is located at Bazargate Street at Fort. What a discovery it was!! Typical Uttar Pradesh food – Puri Aloo. Just visit it if you are a north Indian living in Mumbai and crave for homemade food. There is nothing commercial about their food except that they sell it. The food is one that mummy cook at home. Amazing!!!
Mumbai is amazing. Only thing that I do not like about Mumbai is that it is so fast-paced that it leaves you with no time to be in peace with yourself. Everyone is in a hurry to reach somewhere. Keeping that all aside, Mumbai is a wonderful city and I can understand why people do not want to leave it. Great!!
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