Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay has an almost lyrical quality. The syllables glide easily over the tongue, painting vivid pictures of glittering skyscrapers and Bollywood dramas. Often compared to New York City for its fast pace of life, it’s no wonder that the city see thousands of expatriates, from all corners of the country flocking to it. Mumbai is, after all, the city that never sleeps; the city of dreams and the city that turns dreams to reality.
But what happens to the thousands of dream-seekers once the city has captured them with her bewitching charms? Is it merely the fact that this is a city that never sleeps, that keeps its inhabitants awake until they have fulfilled their dreams? Is this why Mumbai is often regarded as the city of dreams?
While Mumbai welcomes all expatriates with open arms, giving them accommodation in her already crowded land, it doesn’t take long before some may become disillusioned with the city.
Mumbai isn’t just the city where your dreams come true. It’s a city of hard-work and perseverance. In the rat-race of Mumbai, life is definitely a survival of the fittest. Housing and accommodation is sparse and costly. You will need to get used to sleeping, not with the canopy of greenery and the gentle whispers of the wind, but with the glare of artificial street lights and persistent traffic. You may forget what it feels like to see friendly faces at every street corner, and the hollow faces of the family living below a city flyover may haunt your dreams.
For a newcomer, the city can be a harsh reality and the first few months are critical in building a bond with her. For those who survive this, Mumbai will only keep giving to them.