Maximum City -Mumbai , Bombay or The city of Bollywood.

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Just few weeks before got the chance to see Mumbai , the heart of India , the commercial capital where life never stops , which is always buzzing with activities ,people , construction ,vehicles and something new . Last few visits to the city and I could only see the airport . This time when hubby decided to run the Mumbai Marathon , I was Mumbai struck thinking that I will be spending few days in her lap . Having been to all the metros , I knew what to expect . But I was wrong . Mumbai is Mumbai , it is changing and evolving every nano second. From secluded to crowded beaches , street  to gourmet food , chor bazar to designer labels , chawls to sprawling bungalows Mumbai has a bit of everything for every soul. The first day in City and we decided to go to the Juhu beach and experience a part where the old and new meets . The beach is thronged by people from all age; couples , weekend travelers , students , backpackers . And it is crowded . My only lament , “why we don’t keep our beaches clean? ” Though the tempo driver gladly mentioned that because of the initiative of many celebrities the beaches are clean now , still I could see paper cup floating , spits on the sign boards , people throwing empty plates in the corners. May be one day we will learn to treat our public places as our own homes. Juhu beach is a Mecca for the street food hungry Indian .From Pav bhajis made on Iron plate which looked like an UFO to me , golgappas , bhel , munchies , ice cream golas with different colored bottles stacked on the van , you can get anything which your  heart desires. And there are vendors who are ready to click pictures in the setting sun for few bugs and you can freeze the moment forever. The kiddo located the Dominos pizza while entering the beach . And we decided to eat the pizza in the evening while enjoying the spectacular view of the city and the ocean.

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Mumbai is like a conundrum , in just a lap of few meters you can experience two different worlds which are just opposite to each other. This place is a perfect example of symbiotic relationship between have and have not , from jhuggis to multistoried buildings , from temples to Mosques , the cart pullers to the Armani clad people zipping in their BMWs. But what makes Mumbai apart is its endurance to survive despite all odds . Next day we had decided to visit Gateway of India which was thronged from people all over the country . You can also take a jetti ride from here to visit the elephanta caves . Adjacent to the gateway of India you can see the famous Taj palace and many star hotels in the same street facing the gorgeous ocean views . A walk along the walkway is mesmerizing . We also took a lunch break here in one of the roof top restaurant at a star hotel. And was quite surprised that Food was cheaper that many of the gourmet restaurant we frequent in Bangalore. The area adjoining the Gateway of India is called Colaba and I loved this area with cobbled pathways , heritage buildings and streets cutting at right angles to each other . Colaba is one of the posh areas of Mumbai and abuzz with eateries , Spas , shops selling antiques , books and a variety of knick knacks .

Next stop was marine drive , also called Queen’s necklace . This is one of the most famous areas of Bombay and in the night with all the lights glowing it looks like a beautiful necklace . And there is never a dull moment here . From hawkers selling tea , snacks , pop corn , earrings , scarfs , goggles , it is bustling with people , couples jogging , running and spending quality time with family . This is the shoreline which makes Mumbai so glamorous, shown again and again in many TV channels. Here You can also take a Tonga ride which takes you a round in this beautiful locality and you can have a taste of Mumbai’s life.  We had decided to go to Siddhivinayak Temple next morning which is thronged by devotees all around the year. I had heard so much about this beautiful temple . Enroute we also took a stopover at a roadside eatery and tasted some of the most famous snacks which Mumbai is known for including the Misal , Sabudana Vada and the Modak . Modak was so delectable that it just melted in the mouth. There was a long queue of devotees but was able to get the Darshan in 15-20 minutes. I was inquisitive when I saw the devotees echoing their wishes in the ears of the huge mushaka and found it really endearing. After  visiting the temple we decided to a bit of Street shopping and was totally taken aback by the number of things you can buy in Mumbai streets. Mumbai is like a drug which gets in your nerves , for people living there they cannot think a life without it , because it is the epitome of life. Two days back while lunching at a restaurant  I met a certain Mr Rao and his adult son who runs an eatery in Andheri and they were from Erankulam , Kerela. A little chat with them and they told they are here from  more than two decade . And I asked candidly  , ” Would you like to go back ? ” And in unison they replied , “Never , Life is so interesting here and it is such a happening place !” And that sums it all ” Ye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan , Zara bachke , zara hatke , Ye hai Mumbai meri Jaan !!!”

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