A horse chariot outside the Taj, Mumbai

Mumbai, a world explored before

Lesson 1: Let go into the song called Mumbai instead of resisting. Mumbai, (or Bombay) a world explored before, a city with a million stories about it, yet each visitor and explorer finds a new angle.

May seem overwhelming at first, the thousand million billion people of barking mad maximum city Mumbai. Home to some of the wealthiest men in the world, with skyscrapers and terrace helipads, Mumbai also contains the largest slum in Asia which receives 8,000 new homeless people everyday, and the largest brothel in India, Kamitapura. Mumbai is a strange play, with all sorts of actors.

I first visited Mumbai when it was Bombay, and so it will always be to me. Headquarters to the Bollywood film industry, Bombay is quite filmy in its persona. From the chaiwallas (chai sellers) to movie stars, all follow the same pattern of existence: a fast paced, never stopping dance.

A horse chariot outside the Taj, Mumbai
A horse chariot outside the Taj, Mumbai

Being the media capital of India allows for raging global level events, world class parties, with celebrities from the world pouring into the city of dreamers.

Amidst competition and cheating, original genius and plagiarism, Bombay still holds its integrity, as floods of aspirers come  into the city every day, hoping to realise some glorious dream.

From mosques to temples, corruption & wealth, poverty and scandals, terrorist attacks, Bombay has an undying, unyielding spirit that fuels the 50 million excess souls in its bosom.

The largest slum in Asia is in Mumbai. A stark, shameful & steep difference between the lives of the rich and the poor
The largest slum in Asia is in Mumbai. A stark, shameful & steep difference between the lives of the rich and the poor

Mumbai for Backpackers

Mumbai is very expensive. The backpacker place in Bombay is Colaba. Arguably the most affordable accommodation is available here. Don’t be disappointed though, if your room is just about as big as your bed, and you can’t stand up straight in it. This is also the down town area of Bombay; this is where most tourists arrive, and leave from.
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Bandra and Janta Bar
Say Cheap Booze! Filled with college students, and dreamers, with ones who migrate to Bombay, and the ones who live here. Each evening, every evening, Janta Bar is a festival.

While the startling chemistry of sounds, smells, and spiced air could be a bit much to take, you need to let Bombay grow on you. And you will be happy that you did.

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