Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Urbanisation has changed the face of Mumbai

After living in this busy metropolis, this island of islands for or so 17 geezerhood Ive realised one thing your senses are automatic whollyy heightened. Whether its your eyes that are constantly alert in the fast paced duty or your ears that are forced to hear a cacophony of trains, vendors and honking cars. Your intercommunicate and taste buds that affirm gr sustain accustomed to Mumbais spicy, flavour many cuisine. And of course, weve all had the chance to travel in a packed topical anesthetic train, scare that wed get pick-pocketed, its like were born with a heightened sense of touch too.But I perceive Mumbai to be a urban center of spirits. By this, I dont imply that ours is a city full of stench and smog, no its much more than that akin each home has a distinct smell of its own, Mumbai has these particular flavours and scents that bushel the city and give it character. The moment you step into Mumbai, your impression about the city could vary, depending on wheth er youre an optimist or a pessimist. A pessimist would complain about the foul spirit that comes from the slums, (You should know that Mumbai is home to one of the largest slums in Asia Dharavi, so thats a lot of stink , the amount of vehicular befoulment and smoke from cigarettes, the malodour of overflowing sewage etc. An optimist, on the other(a) hand would enjoy the sterile, sanitised smell of malls, hotels which are plenty in Mumbai. Or you could be a realist like me and believe the city has a dual identity with motley collection of fragrances and odours. But thats a discussion for later. Urbanisation has changed the face of Mumbai entirely quaint little bungalows with terracotta tiled roofs are replaced with high rises made of chrome and glass. Niwas-es and Sadans are pulled down to grass way for Towers and Heights. However there still are some remaining gardens and patches of green like the Hanging Gardens, Jijamata Udyan, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park to cognomen a few. Mumbaikars still visit these parks to get a ottoman of nature. And how can I forget the numerous Chaafa or champa trees with their sweet smelling flowers Ironically this fast pace of industrialisation and development hasnt modify the condition of public toilets in the city. Most Mumbaikars still cringe at the stink that comes from our citys shauchalayas.The part of Mumbai that I enjoy the virtually is the sea. As a child, Id know that we were passing by some Chowpatty or beach by the crisp saltiness in the air. Mumbais fish markets smell of the salty sea too its the smell of freshly caught fish. Most times these markets give off the odour of rotting fish an odour I still find repulsive. And wherefore there is the floating smell of sukka bombil or Bombay duck dried in the sun near the coast Another way of knowing that youre near a crowded beach is the inescapable smell of chaat.The aroma of herbs, garam masala, the tang of squeezed lemons in a plate of bhelpuri or sev p uri are overflowing to set the juices going in your mouth Youd also smell vadapavs being friend and pav bhaaji being prepared taka-tak two dishes that originated in Mumbai. And accordingly there is the smell of piping hot groovy chai, (The term cutting chai is said to have originated in Mumbai too ) sold at tea leaf stalls at every nukkad of Mumbai. Every meal in India normally ends with paan. Another common feature on the streets and many walls of Mumbai are paan stains which have their own disagreeable stink.Sometimes I can tell which part of Mumbai Im in only by the distinctive redolence of that part. I know my train is passing through Andheri when I get a whiff of baked biscuits because the Parle G factory is very close to Andheri station. I know that my taxi has taken a turn at offices Circle because of the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and the local cafes serving original south-Indian filter coffee. For that matter I still comrade the aroma of freshly baked bread , cakes and cookies from the string of bakeries in my very own Orlem.Travelling in local trains has become a part of the daily process of a large number of Mumbaikars. More than often these trains are overcrowded, modify with more passengers than can fit in. Now its not the sea of bodies that I have an issue with, its the smell of human perspire thats the problem At much(prenominal) times I fantasy of Mumbai during the monsoon. There is nothing more beautiful, more gratifying than rains in the city It gives us Mumbaikars relief from the summer heat, the air smells fresh and clean. The smell of mischievous mud right after a shower is almost magical. Yes, such earthy fragrances are a part of Mumbai too

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