Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Living in a Metro

It’s almost one year since I moved to live in a metro city called Mumbai. There’s so much talked-heard, written-read, shot-viewed, reported, and speculated about this city. And here I add something of my personal experience to it, and maybe I’ll reiterate most of the things.

First things first, what everyone’s heard of Mumbai, most of it is true. It never sleeps. It’s happening place. It’s city of dreams. It’s always humid. It’s crowded. It has only springs and summer. No winter. You sweat naturally, so rarely you’ll need to put on your sweater. Lot of traffic jams. Always packed locals. You just be in front of the gates, and you will need not do anything to get in or out of things. Life is really fast here. To survive n stay happy you must cope up with the pace.

What changed in my life after coming here is planning and executing everything. The main difference between my hometown Aurangabad and Mumbai is the distances. Being a state capital and financial capital of nation, Mumbai has expanded too much. State highways, national highways, express highways are internal parts of this city. Though Mumbai and Thane are two different cities and districts, they are so well connected by local and BEST that they seem to be a single entity for an outsider like me.

Commuting daily is really a challenge in Mumbai. Every day has a new story. I have experienced both living near n farther to office. Most people here travel a very long distance daily to reach the workplace. Lot of hurdles come into their way like traffic, slowly progressing work on roads, mega blocks, bus failure, changing points, rush, rains, etc… Little energy is left for anything when you go back to home after working.

So for each and everything you need a plan. Like to go to office, you have to decide the mode of transport, you need to decide on what time you’ll get that bus/train, you should be on the stop/station well before time, so you should be ready and leave home at least half n hour before the actual travel starts. And you must be ready for any hurdle that alters your plan.

In Mumbai and Thane, everybody lives in places far to each other. For doing anything the first task is to gather people at one location. So, if you plan some hang out in the first half of the day, plan it a day before, or if you want the second half, plan it in morning. Otherwise you are most likely to make a mess out of it. And only one activity like movie, shopping is enough to occupy your whole day.

Local people here don’t feel anything strange or hardly anything about it. But for a lazy guy like me, this kind of mental work and discipline in everything was irritating. I was bored. But nowadays I am getting the knack of it.
Aurangabad is a very smaller city than Mumbai. My friends live in all corners of Aurangabad, but to gather them 30 minutes notice is sufficient. We used to plan for movies days ahead only if it was much awaited superstar movie, and advanced booking was required. Otherwise our outings and plans would be made just like that. Decide a place now and we would be there in 20 minutes and having fun.