Bengal to Bombay

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

By Pritam Mandal

Mumbai is one of the most important, populous, developed and wealthiest cities in the world. People visit many cities, come back with some good and some bad memories. You recall them for a couple of days and then get back to your regular routine in your own city but there are some cities which leave a bigger impression and influence on your life and being. Mumbai is one such city.

When I recall my first time in Mumbai, I remember the travelling on the Mumbai local train. It looks bit scary from the outside because of the density of the crowd in the train, especially for someone who hasn’t seen something like this. Every compartment of the local train is packed with people just trying to get to their destination. I didn’t even know when I got into the train and when I was pushed out of the train. I was glad at least I reached to the place I was trying to get to. The Mumbai Local taught me something about Mumbai and its people, the value of every single second is more in Mumbai and nobody wants to waste a single second.

You can’t talk about Mumbai without talking about the Vada Pav. It’s a Mumbai delicacy that you can get on every corner, every street whenever hunger strikes. The chatni-filled Vada Pav keeps calling me to it again and again. The Vada Pav street shops are the biggest threat to the fancy burger and pizza joints of Mumbai. Also, I just can’t seem to forget the taste of the Mumbai Pani Puri, Pav Bhaji and Bhel Puri. Khoob Bhalo!

Mumbai has many popular and amazing sites to visit. You can go to Marine Drive if you just want to feel the cool breeze graze your face, a family picnic to Juhu Chowpatty or Aksa Beach is also an outstanding option. Haji Ali and Churchgate are great places to explore too. There are some peaceful places where you can go to just take some time off from the hustle that is Mumbai but the trick is to find those places. And you’ve got to find them on your own, that’s the fun bit.

There’s so much that the people in Mumbai take for granted and don’t appreciate enough. The heritage, the literature, the music, the theatre scene in the city, the aesthetic visual art around the city, the balance between the urban design and Victorian architecture. Another vital piece of information about the people of Mumbai, they know how to celebrate and enjoy any festival with great enthusiasm. Every festival is celebrated in this town with the same enthusiasm and on the same scale.

Bombay is the birthplace of Bollywood. You can still see people lining up outside the houses of their favourite actors like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, and the list goes on. A Mumbai must-visit is the Prithvi Theatre which was built by actor Shashi Kapoor as an homage to his father Prithviraj Kapoor.

Apart from being home to a billion houses and a gazillion people in them, Mumbai has place for everyone who comes to the city. Take me for an example, I don’t even know how I passed a year in this city without being fluent in Hindi, English or Marathi. Mumbai has accepted me as much as I have accepted Mumbai.

Pritam Mandal is a Second Year Mass Media student from Bunts Sangha's S. M. Shetty College of Science, Commerce and Management Studies, Powai. He is originally from Kolkata and is currently studying in Mumbai.

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