If you go and ask an Indian on the street their favourite holiday destination, most will never utter the name of the city they live in. Why would they? Seeing the same sights day in and out does not make for great tourist appeal. But, sometimes it does.
For instance, Mumbaikars love Goa. It’s the closest and most agreeable destination for nearly any occasion—birthday, bachelor parties, marriage, honeymoon, first child, divorce parties, and even funerals.
I am sure you too are one of them. Don’t disagree, we know you are. If not for all of the above events, there’s always the Sunburns and Supersonics.
While the pint-sized state is fun and frolic when you catch those Goa to Mumbai flights to return, do one thing. Treat Maximum city as a vacation spot and you become a traveller in the city you live.
So the moment you land, go home, unpack, and relax. You deserve it. Once you are ready to get back, take a weekend out. Here’s what you do.
The trains are certainly not the most comforting way to travel. But, you should. If possible, catch the trains from their starting points—Dadar, Andheri, or Bandra. Get a seat and just sit. No smartphone, no book, no earphone—zone out. This unstable quiet is an integral feeling every Mumbai citizen is used to. And as you near CST or Churchgate, stand near the doors (don’t hang) and take in the fresh air.
Get down and walk out and observe. Not just the historic sites around you (you should know which ones we refer to!), watch the people of Mumbai in a hurry, look how tensed they are to catch their trains, the way they wear their bags in front of their bellies, the yawning havildar on the Nilkamal chair, it will look simple but yet teach you a lot about the hard work the citizens put in. And this is just near the railway station, imagine the entirety of Mumbai this way.
The city is a mixture of everything—it’s like bhel. Why don’t you try it? And no, not vada pav or high tea at Taj. I mean bun maska and chai at Kyani, fish thali at Janta, Bournvita at Marine Drive, lunch plate from Rama Nayak, and kebab from Bademiya, these are but a few illustrations of Mumbai’s gastronomic delights and yes, they are affordable.
There is so much this city offers. What’s written above is a mere glimpse! Countless books are written on it, movies are made on it, and people pledge their lives to it. Why don’t you just go and observe it?