There’s an iPhone app called “Mumbai On The Go”. I doubt there is a better way to describe the city.
Everywhere you look, anytime of the day, and night, Mumbaikars are on the go. Whether they are going to work, returning home, going for dinner, shopping or even going for a movie, we are in a massive hurry. In the morning, roads are packed, trains are overflowing and buses are almost tipping over with the weight. If you have time to spare, and you show it, expect to be pushed and shoved, by a wave of people. If you try jumping head on into the wave, you better be the best surfer around; there’s no love lost. To save time (does it really?), people jump off the running train much before it can even come to complete stop. Why? To avoid the crowd while walking up the staircase, and hence getting out of the station faster.
You’ll know you’re a true Mumbaikar when you find yourself already thinking about your evening plans, bright and early in the morning, on your way to work. You may be putting just one foot forward, but your mind has already taken 10 steps ahead in the same time. Standing in one place, with a blank slate for your mind is very rare for a Mumbaikar. After walking aimlessly around the city one weekend, I was met by strange glares; it was almost as though people saw right through me and knew I had no particular destination in mind. They looked at me as they would if a UFO landed in the city.
Even if you travel one day in the city, and find yourself alive, or at best, getting ready for a night out, be warned that no two days in the city are exactly alike. This is perhaps good news for some who’ve had the worst travel experience till date, but for others, Lady Luck might just pass you by tomorrow. Speaking from experience, you could get completely drenched in the rain while standing at the side of the train, your slipper could slide off and fall under the train before you board, or you could even be stuck in this century’s worst traffic jam (till date of course). Leaving your house with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, could perhaps be one of the worst jinxes in Mumbai.
There’s no way you can completely prepared for what the city has in store for you. If you’re lucky, the high energy of those around you, moving as if there were no tomorrow, could actually rub onto you.