I don’t know what it is about this city that attracts me so much to it. What is it that keeps telling me to go and see this place? Why do I feel so attached to the place even before setting my foot on it? Why am I so much more excited to go to Mumbai than I ever was for going to Delhi? On the prospect of going to Mumbai, why have I always thought ‘it will happen when the right time comes’? I don’t know.
|I hope in two months time I know most of these places. Picture Location: Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon (November 2012)|
Just for note- Flashback to September 2006- the first thoughts of going to Mumbai had taken shape in my mind. I just didn’t know how or when it would happen, nor did I give much thought to it then.
And a little more backstory- Flashback to May 2012- prospects of going to Mumbai and internsing at a production house. Looked awesomely inviting. But I chose to go to Film City Noida and intern at Times Now. Mumbai will happen when the right time comes.
And finally, it was in the winter vacations this year that I had decided I would be heading to Mumbai for an internship the coming summer. I didn’t know how or where. An internship was not part of my course curriculum, why was I thinking of working in the two months of the last-ever summer vacations rather than spend time at home sleeping and lazing around? I don’t know.
But then suddenly an internship did get included in our course for ‘understanding the industry and developing future prospects’. When the offers for other cities like Hyderabad and Chennai came, I promptly refused. ‘Either I will go to Mumbai or I will spend two months at home’, I was adamant. What company- I really didn’t care. What industry- film/ad production- I was almost sure. Which place- Mumbai- I wasn’t going to let another option come in!
By mid-March I was spending hours on reading about the city, ogling at Google Maps and literally trying to memorize the entire city map. More challenges were yet to come. A major studio hadn’t selected me- it didn’t bother me much, but now I started talking to my seniors and other people I know in Mumbai at a more serious level. And then suddenly one day at the end of April, my HOD gave the news that a production studio was willing to take me and a few of my friends in for an internship. I was elated! My first trip to Mumbai is actually going to happen!
Considering the social media buff and facebook-active that I am, I haven’t yet ‘announced’ my Mumbai trip to most people around me. I have stopped myself. I don’t know why. May be I have been waiting for things to get ‘certain’ and ‘final’. ‘It’s not a big deal’, you might say. I wouldn’t disagree less.
It was long before this ‘finalisation’ happened that I was preparing a check-list of ‘Things to do’ in Mumbai. For a city which has been on my radar for well over 8 years now, I have a really good 20-pointer list for my little-over-a-month-long trip to the city. And I don’t mind sharing it with you:
- Chowpatty and Juhu (So what if my friend termed them ‘the dirtiest beaches in the country’, I have to see them. They are the ‘most popular beach names’!)
- Versova beach- the huge rocks (Lage raho Munnabhai/Wake Up Sid fame- that’s the one right? Or I got it wrong?)
- Take a ride on the local (and in case I like it or not, take some more rides- preferably on one of the most crowded trains and on ek chaalis ki last local)
- The Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (how can I not see them?)
- Marine Drive (Day time and night- the Queen’s Necklace is it?)
- Walk of the Stars, Bandstand, Bandra (Google helped, otherwise I would have called this: The place where film star names are on the tiles)
- Selfie in front of CST
- Ferry from Gateway to Elephanta Caves
- Witness the sea waves splashing on the way to Haji Ali dargah (high tide times are risky?)
- Siddhivinayak temple (Mom, join me for it. Let’s go!)
- Vada pao and the Bombay bhel puri!
- Selfie at Mannat, Jalsa and other ‘star’ homes and marvel at the ‘biggies’ separated from me by just a gate. And probably at Jalsa hope to get my blog’s inspiration to join me in its 6th birthday celebration next month
- Trip on the double decker bus (wouldn’t have been so eager for this one had there been some Knight Buses in India)
- Drive through Bandra-Worli sea link
- Maratha Mandir (Is DDLJ still on there? After all these years?)
- Prithvi Theatre (Why you so famous sir?)
- Dhobi Ghat and Dharavi (yes, yes!)
- Follow a dabbawala as he goes doing his work through a day and try to understand how the efficiency in their work happens
- Watch a movie at IMAX (Why no IMAX in Delhi?)
- That place which looks like a London street (My friends told me about it, I just can’t recall the name)
- A tour to the film city (probably with one of my friends who I suppose works there)
- Meet some local Mumbaikars and try to understand their city from their perspective.
And in case my budget allows (I am sure my dad is laughing his heart off right now- he has to sponsor all my crazy ideas after all), I wouldn’t mind veering a little off Mumbai to ND Studios, Karjat and Imagica theme park.
Aaah..ok…I know I am going for an internship. And looking at the above list, everyone (you, my parents, teachers, friends and future employers) might wonder what kind of an internship this would be. ‘Is this guy even serious that he wants to work?’ Well, yes I am. I hope I really really like my work during the internship because
1. There is no other way to make my employer fall in love with me a.k.a. my work, unless I am giving my 100% to it and
2. If I love my work, you get my 100% and some amazing output; if I don’t, probably I am taking unaccounted sick-leaves!
But I also do hope that I have the weekends off because only then will I be able to satiate my thirst to see this new city. I am headed to my dream city and yes, I will make the most out of time there (unless you are Anurag Kashyap, Madhur Bhandarkar or Karan Johar and are offering me to be the A.D. in your next project with the preposterous but welcome condition of not getting any leaves at all)!
Well, so let me leave more of Mumbai until I reach there. Tickets are booked (A new premium AC train with dynamic pricing- should be an interesting journey), accommodation is yet to be finalized (yes, help me with it if you can please!), packing to be done over the weekend, meet some people this week before leaving Delhi for two whole months and yes, appear for two exams of my end-sem over the next two days.
I don’t know how the internship is going to be. I am all geared up and excited to see as much of the city as possible in the 40 days I am there. With the kind of research I have done over the past couple of months on the internet about Mumbai, I just hope I enjoy seeing the ‘real’ sights even more. The internet is a real spoiler sometimes!
More than that, and along with a lot many other things, I want to discover what it is about this city that keeps attracting so many ‘strugglers’ from across the country and what is it that keeps calling me there. Yeah, after so many years, it’s Mumbai Calling…Finally!
And yes, all Mumbaikars reading this post- all kinds of tips, suggestions and ideas for making the 40-days of a college-going and travel and cinema loving Delhiite’s first Mumbai trip awesome, are welcome. May be you could suggest more things to my checklist, join me in visiting some of the places or even take me out for dinner at the best street food vendors in your city. I am listening!
Other posts with the Mumbai adventure: