When I was little, going to downtown Mumbai used to be exciting. A huge metropolitan city with double-decker buses, zoo, planetarium etc was sure exciting for a kid. Even as a young adult, my university friends and I would take the train to the city center to sit by the water front at Marine Drive or Bandstand. The city of Mumbai has fascinated me for a long time, and I’ve always wondered what it must be like to live in the center.
Of course, living in the fancy areas of downtown Mumbai is close to impossible if you don’t already live there or are extremely wealthy. Since I was neither, it always remained a wonder. Back in the day perhaps I’d have said that I’d love a home in the city center, but lately I’m over that thought. The steeply rising prices, the commodification of places of residence and prevailing view of buying a home as sort of a financial investment has been quite off-putting for me, to the point where I no longer desire to own my own place in the city.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped being fascinated by the idea of living in downtown Mumbai.
Fortunately for me, a friend was visiting Mumbai and decided to book a room in one of the poshiest parts of the city; Marine Drive. The “fortunately” part is about him booking a room big enough to accommodate me during his three day stay in the city.
Living at Marine Drive
So how does it feel to living at Marine Drive? Amazing. With a sea view, the sunsets are a delight to see from a french style full height glass windows. I could see all the people sitting exactly where my friends, family and I have sat numerous times. I woke up early to go for a morning walk and grabed a coffee along the way, something I literally dreamed of doing for years.
Eating casually at some very good restaurants, or going to a evening musical at the Opera House just a short walk away or having problems like having to travel quite far up north to get to the “regular” part of the city were a delight and I felt extremely privileged and fortunately to be experiencing it.
Yet another of those silly bucket list items got ticked. Sure, living the permanently would be cooler, but this is probably a close second. Or perhaps living there permanently wouldn’t have made me appreciate it as much as I did now.
Even as I was living in that hotel room, I knew how much I’m going to miss the couple of days that I’ll spend there. Now, as I’m writing this, I can see how my past self very accurately predicted that. I’ll end with a picture of sunset over Arabian sea from the hotel room’s window.
Thank you for reading!