All right – it’s been a while, work and travel kept me busy. Spending lots of time in India especially in Mumbai(as the locals would say Amchi Mumbai), made me realize that I am in love with the city I never imagined to live in.
I instantly started missing Mumbai, when I went on a short overseas trip. Why I started missing Mumbai so much, took me a while to understand.
Something is unique about this vibrant city, city that never sleeps. The Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal Hotel, the traffic chaos, the history, the local trains, BEST bus, Kali Pili(Black and Yellow) Taxi, Vada Pao and Bhaji Pao are few things which come to mind when one thinks about Mumbai. Addition to that, what makes Mumbai unique are The Sounds of Mumbai’, they make this place so lively. I have jotted few which made to my top list.
Mumbai Traffic: This has to be on the top of my list, blend of generic roadside sounds, hoking of cars, the noise of auto rickshaw and BEST bus Hexa-bigul horn offers a spectacular experience. In the beginning this sound could be overwhelming, but once used to this – it makes no difference at all.
Station and Local Announcement(s): They are unique, they are crisp and repeated ones are exasperating at times, makes to 2 position on my list. The announcement repeats in 3 languages Hindi, Marathi and English.
Colaba Causeway: Right, this is 3 feet wide walkway with hawker stalls on each side. You’ll hear shoppers bargaining, shop-keepers trying to attract potential clients and traffic sound all mixed up in a chaotic yet melodious way.
Marine Drive: A popular hangout place for Mumbaikars, depends on what time of the day, what day of the week, you will get a unique experience each time. The sound of waves crashing the stony shores, traffic, voices of tea/coffee sellers & head massage guys, people talking and other random voices/noise offers a harmonious blend to ears.
Juhu Chowpati: This is a completely crazy place, vendors calling out common street food names such as “Pani Puri, Dosa, Falooda” to attract clients, food lovers ordering, the order taker placing the order over to counter, creates a fusion voices, which offers amazing experience.
Haji Ali Qawwali: If you plan your visit well, you can hear the roar of sea waves and the devotional Qawwalis with the marine backdrop while walking toward the Mosque. Qawallis sound ethereal and when blended with nature’s symphony, it creates an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
Siddivinayak Temple Aarti: The melodious sound of bells, chanting of mantras and hymns creates an amazing melodious rhythm. Experience is absolute divine.
Rain in Mumbai – Monsoon Season: When the heavens open over Mumbai during monsoons, the scene is very different. The pitter patter of rain fall on tin roofs, the droplets falling over water or the thunder creates a soothing sound.
Dhol Sounds: I was lucky to catch this way before Ganpati Visarajan. There are bands who start practicing months before the day of visarjan. Found few of them practicing under flyover on a rainy day. A group of band has approximately 30 members, imagine 1000s of groups drumming their way to visarjan spot, simply awesome.
Apart from what I listed above, the city offers vast experiences – so keep your eyes and ears open and have a blast when in Mumbai.