Rachel of Hippie In Heels writes:
“For each terrible encounter In India, an equally opposite encounter will follow”.
She can’t be farther from the seemingly ubiquitous impression India makes on her visitors, especially the unwary first-times. There’s just too much happening in a country that seems to pack in an unbelievable 1.2 billion people and counting. Yet, there’s culture, color, food, vibrancy, and a flow of energy that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
As some people like to quip about India:
“You can love her, you can hate her, but you just can’t ignore her”.
But then, India is too big. There isn’t a section of the country that I could slice out for you and tell you that this is how the country is. It never is. Every state within the country differs in language, culture, food, and many other nuances.
Yet, you can see the country breathe, live, and survive in a huge metropolis such as Mumbai – the financial capital and the city that never sleeps. It’s the city that has a backbone as strong as the rock of Gibraltar.
Nothing seems to make it flinch. Nothing. Ever. There are, however, a few other reasons why I love coming to Mumbai:
The Airport: Just can’t get enough of it
The new Terminal 2 in Mumbai is a work of art. While it’s one thing that it was also featured in Discovery Channel’s Mega Structures, it’s one of the most advanced vertical passenger terminals integrating advanced design, architecture, and operational efficiency.
When you arrive here, you don’t just get into a typical airport. You literally walk into a microcosm of India featuring a 3.2 km multi-floor Art wall, illuminated skylights, and more than 7000 pieces of artwork and artifacts curated from every region in India.
Hospitality: There’s more to it than you care to get
Most people don’t know this but India houses some of the best hotels in the world. Not just in the way hotels look, the grandeur, and the fanciness that hotels come with but India also boasts of some of the best service in the world.
Warm, hospitable staff will prime you up to soak you in extreme luxury (if that’s your kind of a thing).
In Mumbai, you do have the pompousness of The Taj (with a bit of recent violent history to it with regards to terror attacks that the hotel was a victim of) and The Leela Palace, you do have many more options to choose from the likes of Palladium, Four Seasons, Oberoi, and more.
There’s not a single cross-section of people here in India that you can stereotype. Indians come in all sizes, shapes, and types. Varying backgrounds, languages, dialects, and personality types only add to the staggering variety of Indians.
Mumbai is home to millions of them rushing to work everyday in packed suburban trains. Mumbai has a growing base of IT companies and is fast turning out to be a center for IT. It always as pleasure meeting up with my colleagues at the Kalpavruksh office, their helpfulness and hospitality for visitors are second to none. Plus, Mumbai is where Bollywood (the Indian version of Hollywood – only brighter, bigger, and produces more movies in volume).
Tell me whom you are likely to bounce into, in a city like Mumbai.
Indian food needs no introduction. It’s so popular that the current National Dish of Great Britain is actually an Indian curry (butter Chicken). Eat Indian food in India and your palate will swoon and swirl with crazy, tingling, and mouth-watering recipes that Indians are so proud of.
What food you ask? Think Vada Pav, Kebabs, Pani Puri, Chicken Tikka Rolls, Bhel Puri, Kheema Pav, Channa Batura, and so much more.
So, just how popular is Mumbai’s food? Check out Sanjiv Khamgaonkar’s huge list of 40 Mumbai foods you just can’t live without on CNN and you might also want to check out Monisha Rajesh’s list of 10 awesome street foods in Mumbai you can’t live without.
There isn’t a city like Mumbai anywhere else. Granted that you’ll see the early morning hustle during the rush hour everywhere in the world, but nothing strikes you just as much as Mumbai’s seemingly palpable energy. The city literally moves all the time. At all times during the day.
So much that even a rush hour ride on Mumbai’s local train has to make it to an average visitor and is worth mentioning in your achievements list…!