Why Is Mumbai Called An Ivory Tower?

“Mumbai” it’s not just a word, it’s a concoction of emotions, pieces of hearts, droplets of rain, puffing of the local trains, honking sounds of the traffic and a bread-winners paradise.

If I could choose to live anywhere in India, I’d choose Mumbai over and over again. It’s where I’ve spent 20 years of my life and wouldn’t mind spending the rest of it.

Imagine, you’re already late for work and to top it all you’re stuck in a bottleneck of traffic due to the incessant metro-construction; the truck drivers are not giving you way and rickshaw’s want to fly over cars to reach their destinations, its hot and humid and you have no option but to wait, just then a little street vendor/urchin knocks at your car window to sell you a beautiful bouquet of roses. Right there, that’s when you truly disregard all the frustration and start enjoying the small joys of life. And that’s exactly what living it a metropolitan city like Mumbai feels like, it’s all about the rat race but it’s also about the aesthetic feel of everything around.

People living in remote places of India come to Mumbai with a sparkle in their eyes whereas the residents of the city have nothing but complaints about everything be it the government, municipality or a delivery-guy wanting nothing but to service you. We forget that we live in this ivory tower called Mumbai where we get everything on a silver platter. Sometimes it feels like in Mumbai, need may be satiable but never greed.

Let’s take a moment to look around us and appreciate the real aesthetics of Mumbai that we have for long taken for granted.

The Magical Monsoons in Mumbai hold a special place in my heart. Often a cause of misery and trouble for most, but for those who see a silver lining in everything it is indeed an experience. The lingering smell of the soil, the rain pattering over the leaves, the cool breeze amidst the humidity and the little shops selling snacks right out of the hot pan are indeed a blessing.

The Mumbai Local, a much-criticized means of transport, but in reality, one of the world’s fastest communication network. How else would you reach from one end of this humungous and perplexing city to another end in less than an hour?

The Beaches of Mumbai are no Goa-style shacked beaches, but they have just the right blend for any beach-lover, tourist or a fitness enthusiast working out by the sea. With a plethora of stalls and activities by the sea, it makes it a kids-paradise too. 

The beach with a promenade, namely Marine Drive is of utmost significance to any Mumbaikar’s life, it’s a place for pensive thoughts when lonely, a place to unwind from a day’s long work, a place to hang out for college students and mostly a place from where you see a major portion of Mumbai with yourself being a tiny drop in the ocean.

A hub for Art and Theatre providing many with their daily-bread. Mumbai is the city for all those amateur actors from all over India who come to Mumbai with the dream of becoming the next “Shahrukh Khan”. Theatres like Prithvi, Tata and Bhabha play a pivotal role in bringing recognition to these talents.

Shopping Anywhere and Everywhere is yet another feature special to Mumbai. One need not go the distance to shop for anything. The famous Colaba Causeway, Fashion Street and Lokhandwala Market, are very centrally located and cater to all kind of masses and satisfy every shopping urge be in clothing, jewelry, or pottery.

Such is the aura of my city, the city I call home, the city I’ll hold close to my heart no matter where I’d be in the future. Living in this “Ivory Tower” may give a misconception of being “mollycoddled” but the struggles of surviving and earning a living in a city as populated as Mumbai busts this myth. The constant search for potential, opportunities, security and a better life puts us right back in the interminable rat race called life.


Written By - Tushna Choksey



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