Why does this city look so different during the night from the day? Do people also seem different in the night from the day? There has always been something about this city after dark; it’s a whole new life at night.
Just as people put on their best look and get out at night, the city also puts on its jewels. The diamond lit marine drive, the tantalizing Juhu Beach, the palatable food at Mohammad Ali Road, the enticing Gateway of India the list of places to visit at night is never ending. It’s a city that never sleeps. Whatever time one decided to venture out you will find a substantial number of people on the streets and roads.
Although when people generally talk about Mumbai’s nightlife, I observed that most of the people relate it to the clubs and pubs, all the dancing, partying and drinking. They tend to overlook the actual beauty the city has to offer to its people. We tend to take the things given to us for free for granted. The fact that one can walk down the streets of Mumbai without thinking of getting raped or mugged is quite an achievement. I would generally think twice before stepping out alone forget night even during the day in any other city but Mumbai in India. But Mumbai is always bustling with people and also because of the open environment; it doesn’t come as a shock to the people here.
You can get food at every nook and corner at anytime of the day or night here. There were times when I was living in Manchester there was nothing to eat because everything shuts down at 8 pm and all the restaurants at 11pm. It came as a shock to me on my visit to Mohammad Ali road, where at three in the morning the place was packed with people. I have never seen so many people anywhere at that time of the night. There were people of all ages, from all backgrounds at the same place. No one cared about his or her caste, colour or status. Why couldn’t the world be like that? This city for sure unites you and the only caste that exists is called humanity.
The city is one offers safety, security, food, peace and sanity. Where there is no differentiation on the basis of anything and varied number of options to choose from for everything. What more can a person ask out of life? Hence a trip to Mumbai is sure to be incomplete without experiencing its nightlife.
Stunning sun warming us as we sail through the backwaters of Kumarakom, sweet clouds involving us in their trip with the doors lighting the fire, there could be no better therapy to relax the soul. It was the day I tried toddy, a sweet and sour drink tapped from the coconut palms, fermented to give a sweet kick. It was like taking a sip of heaven from God’s own country, Kerala.
As we got baked under the sun, spending a lazy day on the houseboat, gorging on freshly caught and cooked prawns and fish, we wondered how it would be to live like this far away from civilization. How it would be to live away from technology, the commotion of the city, the spite of the people, the rules of the society, and the greed of humanity? Then it strikes that there are people who actually live their life like this, but in no time they would also be plagued by ubiquity of the urban lifestyle. Maybe, it feels all nice and pleasant to be here, spend the whole day in the lap of nature’s goodness; but the truth remains that we can’t survive this lifestyle for too long. Some day we all would want to go back to our respective lifestyles, back amidst the man-made comfort and luxury. Looking at the brighter side, at least we have a place to hide when we need a break from the world; a break we all long for once in a while.
With thoughts racing through the calm waters; time standing still as the sun goes down; the rain slowly starting to pour feeling each cell, I can imagine boats in heaven might be like this. Clicking away the splendour that surrounded us, it made me wonder how each time I spend the day on the houseboat there is a different picture of beauty, a different taste of nature, a different sensation of calmness. Although one feeling remained the same; to come back on the houseboat again and again for a different experience every time.