Thought to tell you a bit about the city of dreams
Mumbai is big. It’s full of dreamers and hard-laborers, actors and gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants and fisher-folk and millionaires. It has the most prolific of film industries – Bollywood, one of Asia’s biggest slums and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. It’s India’s financial powerhouse, fashion capital and a pulse point of religious tension. It’s evolved its own language, Bambaiyya Hindi, which is a mix of…everything. It has some of the world’s most expensive real estate and a knack for creating land from water using only determination and garbage. But wait. Mumbai is not frantic, it’s not overwhelming. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.
Bollywood stars can attain near godlike status in India. Their faces appear in advertisements around the country, and star-spotting is a favorite pastime in Mumbai’s posher establishments. To me, it was the film Slumdog millionaire that represented how the other half live in Mumbai, albeit in a stereotypical fashion. Slumdog Millionaire’s slum-dwellers represent approximately 60% of Mumbai’s population who live in the shantytowns and slums – some would say they are the foundation of Mumbai city life.
You really have to live it to understand it, Mumbai taught me a lot.