Mumbai, the city of dreams is often known for its night life, therefore lot of out -of-towners spend sleepless nights to witness its magic. But little do they know what happens in Mumbai at the crack of dawn. Don’t you wish to know how do the sun break its sleep everyday and peep out of the clouds , how the flowers bloom daily with the glint of the first ray of light, how do the cacophony of birds metamorphose into a dawn chorus.
Do people actually wake up to experience this? Yes they do.
Let us take a tour of what the daily life of the local Mumbaikars look like which is far apart from the hustle bustle of Mumbai corporate city life. So let’s explore some of the hidden sides of the town.
Mumbai as located near Arabian sea enjoys its own share of wide array of great Marine food, hence most of the Mumbaikars are ardent devotees of sea food .So let’s start the tour and understand what Mumbaikars love to eat. Malad fish market which is situated near Malad west local railway station, will lay upon some insights about the taste of Mumbai. As the day breaks you will find the hard working newspaper vendors sitting at the corner of the streets and sorting the newspapers according to the region. In the midst of the daily routine you will also see small tea stall selling tea for the early riser. As we pass through them we reach the Fish market which opens at around 6.30 in the morning, yet it is always bustling with sellers and buyers. Fishermen or called as Kolis in Mumbai is actually a community that goes to about many years back which has been living and working along the coastal waters of seven islands since ages. The hardworking Koli women come to these markets to get a great bargain and pick up huge chunk of fishes to sell in their area. The ladies draped in colourful sarees worn in traditional way with flowers on their bun make the dull place a colourful sight. The men on the other hand unloads the heavy trays of fresh fishes from the carriers and carries it to the other vendors so that they can display it to the buyers. You will find best of variety fishes in different sizes and colours. At the corner of the market there is a small canteen run by another Koli woman, where you can sip in a cutting chai and listen to the soothing old Bollywood songs.
The life line of Mumbai is its local trains. No commuters can ever think of Mumbai without them. As we move from this place to our next destination, let us go through the life of Mumbai local train and auto rickshaw commuters and see how Mumbai on the move looks like.
A short stint from Malad station to Goregaon station in local train and a pleasant rickshaw ride from Goregaon station takes us through the lush green meadows of Arrey Colony. Our second destination is an Old Hindu Temple named as Gaondevi Mandir which is housed admists the greenery and peaceful neck of the woods of the colony. At around sharp.7.30 A.M, the morning prayers called as Puja is offered by the priests, which is accompanied by a pious Hindu Ritual called Aarti in which the Hindu priest chant and offer light to the deities. The positive vibes will resonate through your body as you walk and take a look around the premises of the temple.
After a spiritual connect, let us take a walk down the by lanes of Aarey colony and imbibe the beauty of the mother nature with a walk of silence. The silent soul would hear the beautiful sounds of nature, colourful birds chirping, singing and calling you through the woods, vibrant flowers greeting you on the way and tall green trees telling you the stories of the place. It will teleport you to a Greenland away from the city.
The lanes take us to the old buffalo sheds known as Tabela. The sheds and the buffaloes are managed by the milkman who milk the buffaloes. The milkman wake up in the wee hours in the morning for the milking process. Then from here the milk is distributed to the other vendors to sell. After the tiring milking process the caretakers and the buffaloes have their meal and relax at the time when the Mumbai office goer are rushing to their office.
When we talk about History of Mumbai, the oldest thing that comes to the mind is its rendezvous with the Buddhist history which goes back to the time of 1st century BCE to 6th century BCE. Our last destination of the tour is a Buddhist Monastery which is unbelievably situated in the heart of Mumbai suburbs. The archaeological monument is now known as Mahakali caves which was previously named as Kondivite caves as it was situated near a Kondivite village. The 19 rock cut caves was a monastery as well as home for some Buddhist monks. The basalt rock cut structures and the carvings from the Buddhist mythologies in the caves takes us back in time. Every remarkable carving has a history behind it and your mind gets soaked into it. Although it is situated at the core of city, yet it is away from the city life and is as serene as it must have been then.
At the end of the tour we see the daylight and get to know how every inch of Mumbai has a different story to tell as the time glides from dawn to twilight and from twilight to sunrise.
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