Now we’re talking! This is the India that we were waiting for in the previous 5 weeks: the India that makes you feel like you’ve landed on a different planet and you’re surrounded by aliens, but is also familiar and comforting in its european-style decors, food and habits.
To us Mumbai is the perfect blend of “Indianity” and Western modernity, with the – all so Indian – crazy traffic, head wobbling, men-hugging, selfie-seeking, street cooking, “chalo chalos” and “thik-hais” and the – all so European – colonial mansions, Christian churches, businessmen in suits, promenades by the sea, fancy restaurants, Burger Kings and real Italian espresso.
We arrive in Mumbai after a 7 hours train ride from Ahmedabad and we love it istantly. We are totally captured by its vibe: it’s laid-back, fancy, underground, forward-looking and decadent at the same time. It’s Rio de Janeiro meets New York, meets Berlin, meets Oscar Wilde’s London.
From day 1 we decide to avoid “must-dos”, ditch tourist mainstream attractions and go live the city istead. We explored whole different food markets, walked around decadent Colaba, hipster Bandra/Khar, California-style West Bandra, upcoming Parel and enjoyed some healthy hangouts and nightlife with people we met in our path.
There’s something powerful in the air here, that smells of life and opportunity. Occasionally of rotten fish and garbage, too, but mostly of freedom and optimism.
We leave Mumbai happy to move forward and feeling nostalgic at the same time.
Goodbye incredible India, you’ve been motherly and inspiring to us in your chaotic crazyness and kindness, and a piece of you will remain inside ourselves forever.