Mumbai’s cape.

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Mumbai's cape.

(Photo credits: Jimit Seth. Editing: Paarth Ghia. Caption Courtesy: Henal Jasani.)

Dark alleys are not audacious enough to de-lighten your otherwise gleaming soul.

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Life in Bombay suburbs.

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-Written by Sabrina Kunnel. Edited by Henal Jasani.

Life in Bombay is hectic, what is new about that?  But there is a part of this city where you can laze around, stretch out your arms and soak in the sunlight and greet the morning birds with a lazy smile.  Is this possible? Yes, try the suburbs of Bombay, you will get a glimpse of the old and the new, the village and the city and more over you will get plenty of trees and birds to gaze upon.

Surprised, that all the while you thought only South Bombay and Bandra had astounding views to offer? I guess the convention needs to be altered.  Located in the suburban area of Bombay, welcome to the bland areas of Juhu. Here you will not only get the feel of the wind in your lungs, but you will also have the benefit of occasionally sighting birds of varying breeds right from the Sparrow to the Kingfisher.  An additional advantage of the feeling of living in a village is that of the chime of the church bells that ring at 5:00 a.m. in the morning.

Children with their laughter catching up with their daily school routine and little ones playing in the by-lanes are a sight one enjoys on a daily basis. A walk to the beach in the mornings will revive your drooping spirits and will give you plenty  time to clear your thoughts.  A cool drink of coconut water from the stalls nearby will refresh you and the wet sands below your feet will comfort you.  The same beach in the evenings will revive you with its liveliness. The squeals of little ones as they dig into the sands will delight you.  The sound of the waves will refresh you as you sit silently and admire their ongoing nonstop flow. 

This does not mean that life in the suburbs of Bombay is less hectic, it only means that in spite of all the busy schedules of their daily life peole do get a chance to be with nature and cherish every bit of it.  Rich, poor or the middle class all walk and work with nature in one stride that’s the significance of Bombay.  Bombay is the daily struggle that each individual carries with him during the course of the entire day, Bombay is also the tiny gestures of care shown by one individual to another when you see someone giving alms to the poor, when you see someone helping a co-traveler or for that matter when someone cares to plant a tree, it’s all Mumbai with all its ups and downs and topsy turvies.

 

Bombay’s new avocation.

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Bombay has been a benchmark setter when it comes to night life in India. Be it SHM/ Hardwell concerts, Clubs like Tryst, Privé or silent moments with loved ones at Worli sea-face. This city never runs out of events or places to illuminate your night. But what will make you fall in love with this city are people who are just about enthusiastic for everything. This October it’s the Navratras.

Bombay is home to all the diverse cultures residing in India. We celebrate all festivals here with equivalent spirit or more; as they are celebrated in its native land. Navratras are no exception. You would see women are donned in bright Ghagras and backless Cholis, men in Patthani’s going to Navratri pandals buoyantly as they would go to a concert. Nine days of dismissal of non-vegetarian food from our diet only to see the all the tanned skins glowing under the shimmer.  We would put a chill on alcohol and yet get high on the beat on the music and dance continuously for hours without a halt.

And when you would go around these Navratri venues there are these stereotypes you will spot almost immediately:

 

  1. 1.       The Black-sellers:  Before entering any Navratri venues you would find these who could be selling you entry tickets in lower prices. They would first observe you and when they will be sure you haven’t bought the ticket yet they would come to you and slyly tell you the rate at which they would offer you the entry tickets.
  2. 2.       The Bang-able:  These are the ones who you would want to bang. They will catch your eye from afar. Dressed in sassy traditional outfits, attractive features and would dance like Apollo and Terpsichore.  
  3. 3.       The Desperates: Only aim of these kinds is to get laid. You will see them looking everywhere with lustful eyes while they are on a hunt to catch that one chick/dude they could get “friendly” with.
  4. 4.       The Enthusiasts: These will be adorned in 50 different types of ornaments and accessories paired with heaviest on Ghagras and Kediyas. They will also arrive early and catch the best spot to dance.
  5. 5.       The Care-takers: These are the ones who will never dance but instead they find bliss in taking care of the belongings of the ones who are dancing. You will see those carrying bags, bringing water for everyone or catch dupattas and create a niche so that the ones who want to dance can dance peacefully.
  6. 6.       The Wanderers: These type know so much people around that they would keep wandering, dancing around with different set of people all the time. They are not the ones that will stick to one particular group of people. It’s not their fault that they know so many people, is it?
  7. 7.       The Baffled: Now, everyone knows that Navratri pandals are place where people to come to dance but these are the set of baffled crowd who don’t know if they are here to dance or listen. So you will find them going at the apex of the ground below the stage and pretend like it’s a concert. Sorry to break it to you guys, but you got it all wrong.

 

The Alternatives :

Averagely people in Bombay spend most of their day either traveling in trains or in the traffic. So, what’s the alternative to celebrating Navratri is such a scenario?  Keep Reading…

Saturday, 5th October 2013.

One of our admin Jimit Sheth boarded 9.24 Churchgate train from Borivali. Joining the many others, he was hanging on the door for a little extra oxygen where something unusual caught his eye. A train decorated with plastic garland. Baffled at that time the lad was trying to figure out what was the much-ado about?  Answering his inquisitions, he hears the noise of ‘Manjira and Dhol’. After looking carefully within the train he realized the passengers were celebrating Garba in Mumbai local. There was a group of musicians  were singing ethnic songs, dressed in ‘Kafni Lengha’. As much as our admin wanted to join them, his train had left from station leaving a sleek smile spread across his face for the remnant of journey.

At Thane, there are huge screens put up at signals broadcasting Navratri venues so while you are traffucked, you can watch people dance and hear infamous Navratri songs to pass time.

CHEERS TO LIFE

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CHEERS TO LIFE

It just happens to be a part of night life,
The Corp-orates Or the Party animals,
Its highly dangerous to health as we know,
But here this can be the reason to make up a new friend in town,
To hang around the town with clumsy walks,
Going crazy on streets screaming out with all the energy,
and as its about to dawn we wont forget one thing before ending our night,
Go to marine drive sitting calm and still just making the most of the peace that resides there,
with voice of splashing water of sea on the rocks lying one upon another at a stretch,
As we would say CHEERS and have party all night *on the rocks*
and create memories to cherish throughout our life
THAT CRAZY NIGHT IN MUMBAI

Localized.

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Every person constantly aims to reach the epitomes of success, popularity or that scared place of love and peace. But what’s more of an elated experience is the road that gets you there. The people you encounter, manifolds of experience you annex and little episodes that helps you build bigger perspectives. Mumbai Local is one such place to be. Whopper of stories building in the 12 compartment train is not something we can put a number on. It’s just an experience which you need to savor.

Written by Henal Jasani. (http://impulsivecravings.wordpress.com) and Photo courtesy Paarth M. Ghia ( https://www.facebook.com/PaarthGhiaPhotography )