Romancing the city of Mumbai

There is something about Mumbai that makes it special. As special as your first love is.

I mean, as on last count, I have been to at least 34 different cities, across 4 continents and yet there is something, something about Mumbai that keeps calling me back. Back to its arms, the hug, the embrace, the womb, if I may. You know, its like that illicit love affair that you know wont take you anywhere and yet you cant get out of. Wait, you can get out, if you try. You just dont want to. Coming back, in my case, I think the reason why I keep coming back, the obvious suspects are Neo and sgMS. And may be all those amazing memories that I have, of times, people and places that I have enjoyed while I was living in Mumbai.

This time, on one of those impulse trips to Mumbai, as I was landing in Mumbai, I realized something that I had never noticed in the past. Funny how you still notice new things about Mumbai even though you have been here a million times. Mumbai looks amazing at nights. Amazing because I dont have a better word to paint the picture. Its as decked up like a bride is on her wedding day. Probably better.

The city is showered with amber lights. For some reason, that's the only colour of street lights in the entire city. May be it is easier to spot, cheaper to install/maintain or whatever but the effect is, all the more, electrifying. Things get accentuated when they are under the amber light. You actually begin to notice things that you never cared to even glance at. Take street boards for example. The boards that have pincodes and the official names of the roads on them. The blue ones. Before I saw them with amber tint, at night, I dint even know that they existed in the first place.

You see a different side of Mumbai at nights. The roads are not as narrow as you know them from your "interactions" during the day. They are wide. Wide enough for you to zip around in your car and actually overtake other vehicles. The pesky rickshaws and taxis from the day, are parked in perfect neat rows along the sidewalks. All the filth and garbage you try to avoid during the day, is mysteriously gone. And so are all the signs of life. The beggars, the hawkers and the urchins that create that constant cacophony during the day, are all sound asleep and only sound that they make at nights is when they're snoring.

And then, when most people are off to sleep, when everyone but the romantics are still awake, the ones who love the city the most, come out. The cops, the whores, the chai and cigarette sellers on bicycles, the omelet hawkers, and the romantics. The romantics, the ones who just want to be left alone with their love. The city of Mumbai.

P.S.: Of course Mumbai never sleeps and you can get stuck in traffic jams at even 2 in the night. But then, that's select busy intersections. Right? And at least the romantic in me refuses to believe that Mumbai never sleeps. It does. See it for yourself next time you are out. At night.

P.P.S.: Trying too hard :D

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