Yes I do, I’m bound to, it’s Bombay after all!
It’s been about three and a half months since I moved to Bombay, and this visit to the city marked the start of a new phase of my life. This time I came here to ‘live’, yes, for long term and on my own; i.e. it’s my first job after college which has brought me to this city and which also brought me my social and financial independence. And I love it here; it’s such a relief from laid back and orthodox Ahmedabad which I left behind. Working in a huge American Corporate with top class work culture and with workplace located in one of the posh locations of the city, living on my own, paying my bills with my earned money, working hard on weekdays, partying harder, hitting the beach, watching theater, attending stand up comedies, exploring the city, and getting wasted on weekends. What more do I want!
Indeed, ‘Work Hard, Party Harder’; life seems to be making me live this motto in Bombay. When on weekdays if you spend around 12 hours at work almost every day, making sure you fully utilize your weekends is the only way to retain that ‘feel good’ factor in your life. And that’s what I’ve implemented in my life. Come Saturday morning and I have to hit the beach and experience the pleasure of travelling in local trains, for if I don’t do so at least once a week, I feel suffocated. Weekend nights are usually spent attending theater (this is what I like about Bombay, we have quality plays in this city unlike in Ahmedbad with dead theater scene and rare plays that too in Gujju) or stand up comedies and being wasted. Then I find joie de vivre in picking a different spot or location to explore within Bombay; in this way, in three months itself, I’ve seen almost everything ranging from upscale Colaba to the slums of Dharavi; and I tell you, this city indeed has some really contrasting and mesmerizing visual treats to offer.
Oh, and did I mention about the gastronomic delights Bombay treats you with? Ranging from beef at Leopold’s to real (with pork sausages) Hot Dogs at Mondegar’s to Hummus at Maroosh to local street side Wada Paus, everything I’ve tasted here is finger licking good unlike those Dhoklas and Theplas in Ahmedabad. And you get every damn type of cuisine available on this planet in this city, again, unlike Ahmedabad. For Lebanese food, you have Lebanese Point, for Chinese, you have Mainland China, for street side Non Veg food, you have the famous Mohammed Ali Road; and man you get some scrumptious sea food in here. I also got to satisfy my long time craving for Pork Chops and Beef, which one obviously doesn’t get in Ahmedabad. In my first few days here, it was hard for me to believe that I’m finally in Bombay, for the hotel’s breakfast buffet served Omelette and the ease with which you can get Chicken Biryani home delivered was something which is unimaginable in Ahmedabad.
Oh, and did I mention the free flowing Alcohol?
Also now that I’ve got a bank account with a balance of my own, life’s so different from those pocket money days; booking air tickets for my travel doesn’t pinch my pockets anymore, spending almost a mini fortune for an occasional weekend night out seems all affordable. This city has a certain buzz to it which inspires you to work hard, earn more and spend more. And the best part, it provides you options to spend your disposable income by doing things other than mere watching movies and eating out (again, unlike Ahmedabad).
But one thing that I dislike apart from the ridiculously high real estate prices (obviously) is when people call this city Mumbai. This wretched up term coined by Shiv Sena when it came to power in 1995 was an effort to raze down the British past of the city (Just like the BJP government under Cheap Minister, Mass Murderer Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad is trying to rename it to Amdavad to raze the Muslim past of the city; heck, the AMC has even started using the term Amdavad everywhere. As soon as you exit the airport, on the road you see a big sign which says Welcome to Amdavad) and this has started an irreversible trend to transform this great cosmopolitan city to be like any other provincial Indian city . Not just that, Shiv Sena fools then went on a renaming spree, changing names from British to local ones, Victoria Terminus to Chhatra-whatever-the-hell-Shivaji Terminus, Colaba Causeway to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Napean Sea road to Bhulabhai Desai Marg, Prince of Wales Museum to (again) Chhatra-whatever Vastu Sangrahalaya. I think I understand when Salman Rushdie refers to Bombay as the ruined metropolis which is vastly different from the city he grew up in. Bombay was cosmopolitan then, now it’s becoming more and more regional. Well, who’s to blame, history’s proof that this city has never stayed in one hands for long. first it was the Portuguese, then the British and now it’s them.
The logic these Shiv Sena loonies give for renaming the city is that the name derives from Goddess Mumba of the Koli fisher folk who were the original inhabitants of the city and that’s what the city was called until the Portuguese and the British occupied it. But the fact is that Bombay was nothing but a cluster of 7 islands which, in the Portuguese times was called Bom Bahia, meaning Good Bay, thus came the term Bombay, later British took over the city and conjoined the 7 islands to create the landform which we (sadly) call in this day as Mumbai. It was never ever called Mumbai in it’s entire history.
Anyway, I’ll call it Bombay no matter what. I’ve been ‘staying’ in Ahmedabad for all this time, but now, I’m ‘living’ in Bombay!
Ending this post with this Pseudo Echo number, which goes like…
Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me
Town to keep me movin’
Keep me groovin’ with some energy…
Well, I talk about it
Talk about it
Talk about it
Talk about it
Talk about, talk about
Talk about movin’
Gotta move on
Yes, I’ve moved on to that town and that town is Bombay!