Facades, Facets and Faces of Mumbai
Posted on 26 October 2016
A city that I love to travel to, and want to escape the moment I reach... Mumbai.
Mumbai or Bombay, a place I hold a complex and bittersweet relationship with, never sleeps, they say. A massive city, with gorgeous buildings, probably the tallest skyscrapers of the country, the warmest of the people, and the highest number of population in India. They call it the New York of India. A million people with their own stories, struggles and dreams.
Holding an important role in the history, Mumbai like any other place has two (or many more) sides to it. There is the sparkly side to it, which of course, attracts people from all over, like moths are driven to the lamp. And then there is the darkness right under the lamp, which is the flip side of the city. Small and smaller apartments, narrow lanes and crowded local trains. I could never survive that kind of struggle I guess, given that I am more of a nature person, cities scare me. And a city where everyone is constantly moving, I don’t think there is a fit corner for a person like me who moves at her own pace.
Projects and gigs take me to Mumbai, once or twice in two months, but honestly I’ve only fallen a little more in love with the place and people. Something in its tropical weather, humid air and the bright lights that never go off, that keep you up, keep you moving and push you to do things. Also, the financial and cultural hub of the country, there’s always something that keeps the city in highlights, be it the fashion weeks, movie premieres, star studded residential colonies or the happening nightlife.
Another interesting fact that only a few people know is that Mumbai has the second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world after Miami. The city portrays a unique amalgamation of the Indo-Saracenic, Art Deco, Gothic Revival and a few other architecture styles. Buildings like Victoria Terminus (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) which is a UNESCO world heritage sight, and reflects influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Mughal buildings, will leave you awestruck. And this is only one out of the many buildings and structures in the city, that hold a crucial place/role in the history of India and have been standing tall and proud, after all these years of seeing some pleasant and unpleasant incidents and attacks.
Surrounded by the beach on one side, you cannot miss the multiple hang out places that offer the best of the cuisines and street food.
This melting pot, in my opinion, is a place that for some people might take more than one visit to fall in love with. It grows on you. It certainly does.
© All photos via Ritu Arya from RazzleDazzlePickle and Praveen Achary.