Yesterday, I went out for a walk in the midst of a dusty and foggy Mumbai. It is the most populated city in India with a staggering number of 20 millions!
I was amazed with the resident of Mukesh Ambani, (from what I read) fully equipped with elevators, helipads, yoga studio, theatres, and the hanging gardens. The location was so prominent that you could not miss it for sure! A few kilometers away, ironically, laundry was done by hands to rush for drying in an open area. With the heat of Mumbai, delivery could be done in a few hours away. I was more mesmerized by the colors of the clothes, the pace of the manual laundry in Dhobi Ghaut rather than the luxury showcase of Mukesh Ambani.
I passed by Gateway of India, which was not as phenomenal as compared to the India Gate in Delhi. But still, New York is not complete without Liberty, right? I turned my back, and there it was, the grand Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the object of attention after the notorious terrorist attack in 2008. Looking grand, I got chills going down my spine to think about the incident. I couldn’t help to pray for the victims!
I continued my rickshaw journey to Bombay Municipal Building and Victoria Terminus where the domination of gothic architecture was so obvious. Again, the crowd reminded me about India’s phenomenon. With the irregular flow of the traffic, I couldn’t even identify which lane was on their right path. I ran and stood in the middle of the traffic for 10 seconds to take clear pictures of these buildings!
I was off to the popular promenade, Marine Drive, to get a better view of the upscale real estate along the coast. Next to it was the number one beach in Mumbai, Chowpatty. I knew I wouldn’t get the Bali feel over there. But overall, I was satisfied with my stroll in the localized beach.
I was let down by the overly hyped Hanging Garden in Malabar Hill. I couldn’t believe I was even there. Maybe sunset could be a better time for such a short visitation. I swung by Jain Temple, a nicely decorated temple with beautiful paintings over the ceiling. My neck was kind of aching, but it was just worth it!
I just couldn’t erase the distinctive blend of the slums and modern Mumbai. It was the lifestyle that got me so attracted to Mumbai and not the mega buildings!
Oh dear, it’s getting late. Good night and sleep well!