City of Blinding Lights

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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.

Why Travel?

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Journey to a new place, for me, is like the best kind of love affair; where you learn a new language to express your love, where you seize who you are, who you’re in love with, where sometimes lose track of where you’re going but still carry on for the thrill and adventure, and where with every journey begins a love story, some classic, some great and some which last forever. For all you know, it doesn’t even matter if the story has been written before, because no two love stories can ever be the same.

Journey to a foreign land, for me, is like a quest for the unknown, where we travel in search of both self and anonymity. We battle between who we are and who we should be, where we are and where we should be. We travel to lose ourselves, and sometimes to find ourselves. As Pico Iyer sagely puts it, ” What we find outside ourselves has to be inside ourselves for us to find it.”

So, when I ask myself, why do I want to see the world? Why is it essential to go to a place, and then why write about it later? My head says, “Because I want to examine different cultures, experience different lifestyles, explore different opportunities, embrace different moments.” While my heart says, “Because I just want to try and find a piece of myself everywhere I go to put together one day.” I would say, a tourist is merely a person who complains, “It’s not the same as in my country.” Whereas a traveler claims, “It’s not the same anywhere I go.” Traveling is not a just a hobby or holiday, it’s a way of life. For this life I would travel everywhere, anywhere, sometimes again, and sometimes even if it means falling in love over a 100 times.