I am from Baroda, a mid size city not a huge as Mumbai and even not as tiny as village. So, you can understand my excitement when I had to go for a visit to Mumbai. It is not frequently that I get an opportunity for travelling alone and that also to Mumbai, its beyond imagination. Hence when I got a call from my masi in Mumbai, to go to visit her I grabbed the opportunity with both my hands.
Feeling jolt of excitement when my train reached Mumbai central I only wanted to inhale the positively pumped Mumbai oxygen, but as it is famously known about the Mumbaikars they are restless people. A group full of people pushed me from back when I was standing on train’s door. Now I surely had my share of Mumbai’s oxygen but of course mixed with restless people’s sweat.
I reached Mumbai (Bombay I like to call it) at 7 in the morning. I thought who wakes up so early, hence there would be no crowd in the local which I had to take from central to Andheri. But Mumbaikar’s are amazing people even at 7 I only got a place in the ladies’ compartment and that also because a kind lady was standing beside me at the station but on seeing the train coming, she became a tigress punching on the deer and took me in her run.
Ladies compartment is the most entertaining place in the whole world if you have right eyes and ears for it. Ladies around me were doing all sort of work. To my right a girl around my age was reading a mills and boons novel while to my left a fish vendor was sitting. In this continuously moving and running on it toes 24×7 City you can sometimes feel very small. I could see everyone busy in its own life. I could feel people always anxious and don’t take it as an exaggeration but you will see people literally running on roads. Sometimes I could not even see their legs and I would imagine them as flying workaholic angels with a laptop bag on their right shoulder and a Vadapav (Bombay’s favourite breakfast) in their left hand.
After seeing all this busy people, I felt exhausted so after reaching my masi’s house I slept. I slept for the whole day as if fulfilling share of those running angels sleep. When I woke up in the evening masi had different plans for me. She said go and visit south Mumbai, go see the ocean and Churchgate. I have heard a lot about Mumbai and its sea but after today morning I had little hope in my heart left. But nevertheless, I went to Churchgate again by local and let me tell you I think I have bad timing problems. In morning, it was people’s office going time while just now its people office going time just now it is people’s office leaving time.
So, until I reached Churchgate that little hope also vanished in a puff. But when I reached Marine Drive, all my eyes could see was the sea. The sea has magical effect on me. It’s the only thing constant in this fastest moving city. I was under its spell I could not move an inch from there. I think when the Mumbaikars are tired from there whole day they had only one source of relaxation –“The sea”. Sitting on the wall I could not think of anything. It only relaxed and soothed me.
So, this is the battery charger of the Mumbaikars and so they are the people who are running “24×7” coming near the sea. I felt as if I had come near my mother. So, I sat there for very long time without any care of the world, charging my dead battery as the many people besides me were doing and getting ready for facing the next day……this never sleeping city……