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The most fascinating, enigmatic city on earth. The name is Mumbai, island city or as we describe it as surrounded by the Arabian sea.Hold on!Fascinating stuffs about the city and you know you are here when
1. One spots the black yellow cabs when you enter the city from any part of India, via the Panvel, Khargar route when our dear cabbies silently ferry passengers to their destination in the city that never sleeps. One could see the passengers reading the newspapers, smoking or peeping at the views of the city-this one for people who have just landed in the city for the first time or the admirers of Mumbai.
2. Local trains
As the local trains seep through the railway stations and the maddening crowd jostled inside the jampacked trains to Churchgate, Andheri and Vihar and when the street urchins loudly break into 50s, 60s songs in exchange for some paise.The sensation felt as the trains rattled past the station and at the speed two trains crosses each other's path is breath taking and the vroom vroom rush felt towards one's face as if the energy has been splashed all over the faces. It makes one a commuter and a Mumbaikar for life. Pride of belonging to maximum city.
Be it Juhu chowpathy or plain chowpathy, adjacent Wilson college in the Tardeo vicinity, one is charmed at the livid city. Be it the guys selling coconuts, channa or Kulfi, you feel your city exudes a distinct charm which no other city possess.I may be biased here but it is what belonging to one city makes us. Sitting there and popping paani puri is one of ma favourite activity on the beach.
4. Chittrapathi Shivaji Terminus(CST)
During the Victorian and British rule VT and now CST, our central lines station stands out as the most historically rich station and is a must visit place to have a feel of Mumbai or Bombay as it was known during a certain era. The clock which is easily spotted standing at the chowk, amidst the crazy traffic and honks. That's Mumbai for you.
5. Haji Ali
The dargah. Take a train from Churchgate, alight at Mumbai Centrl and take our red Best bus, which by the way, is a significant characteristic of the city and here you are at the dargah, surrounded by the sea. Treat yourself to an ice cream falooda. As one gets on the way to the dargah, this beautiful, romantic place is surrounded by numerous traders selling chadar, flowers which you shall offer, paying obeisance to Baba. As you stroll on the long way to Haji Ali, surrounded on both sides by sea water, you encounters unfortunate crippled mortals begging for Alms. the dargah itself is very crowded, receiving visitors of all faith. It is a very soulful and peaceful place and I was there quite often,sipping chai and eating samoosas in the Poor man's canteen. Yeah, right that's the name of the canteen.Enter the dargah, tie the tabeez on the cement poles and silently make a vow and offer the chadar and pray. legend has it that whatever one ask in the dargah is obtained as Baba silently transmit your wishes to the Great Almighty.
6. Siddhi Vinayak mandir
The Ganesh mandir is one of the most visited place of worship on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Straight from Dadar station and be there early Tuesday morning, you may well spot the entire Bachcahn clan, Amitabh,Abhishek, Aishwarya and Jaya as wella s Jeetendra, Tushar and Ekta Kapoor who are stout devotees. The mandir is no less than the airport and security is tight. First experience, spent a good 2 hours standing, queuing for the Ganesh Arti. Don't expect to leisure sit and pray.Give your offerings to the officiating priests and calmly step back and pray to Lord Ganesha coz there is a huge crowd and you just be shunted for not letting others pray. The Lord is highly demanded and we get few seconds of fame, standing face to face. Do not forget to whisper in the mice ears and your wishes shall be given a patient hearing. Ask it and you shall get it. Don't ever forget your promise to the Ganesha.
7.Marine Drive, Bandstand, Shivaji Park.
They are all my favourite places in Mumbai. My first days in Mumbai were spent on the alley at Marine Drive, more precisely listening to Kalindi-purani jeans on Radio Mirchi. It makes for lovely evenings and remains my most memorable nights in Amchi Mumbai. In the morning, take a walk from one end,Vasant Vihar appartment, next to C-road, Churchgate or ITC hotel towards the end of Nariman point or towards Barrista. Sitting during the early morning,watching the sunrise and reading Times of India or Midday. Bandra bandstand is another favourite place of mine. Amitabh Bachchan's office, Salman Khan's galaxy appartment, Aishwarya's flat and SRK's famous Mannat is just round the corner. Sit at Barrista or CCD reading a book, sipping a coffee staring at the seaface is a relaxing experience or you might just sit on the rocks as the wind gushes on your face. Yehi hai Zindagi yaar..Go to Shivaji Park,another beautiful and typical Maharashtrian place in Mumbai and there is the beach, the park and Barista. The most beautiful and sexy Barista outlet, frequented by a class crowd, college students. You are in for a treat.Shivaji Park is a must visit place once in your life.
The Fort area constructed during the British rule house the University of Mumbai at Fort and the famous, historical library and it bears the name of Scott. The library bears all the marks of the British rule, right from the doors, stairs, wooden tables, chairs and even some fans. The most famous Rajabhai Tower is located on the peak of the library. From the stadium or from Eros Theatre, one can have a beautiful view of the famous Rajabhai Tower. Hordes of tourists visit the famous Rajabhai Tower.
9. Mohamed Ali Road
The famous and beautiful Muslim place is the Mohamed Ali Road where there are so many distinct and exquisite Muslim food. You are in for a treat during Eid after Muslims break their fast. The place is beautifully crowded and the place is charming, vibrant coupled with sellers displaying Muslim calenders, books and other beautiful things associated with Islam. The food is delicious and here you enter the festive mood.
Can Mumbai be complete without the monssons. As the first droplet rains showers on the city,just get out of your house and roam freely on Marine drive. Get drenched as the sea wind shake violently on the city and the black umbrellas compete for space. Watch the kids play football on the streets. Monsoon is special in Mumbai as it makes the city colorful.
Truly Amchi Mumbai. 1000 things bout maximum city to be unleashed in a book.