The city where everything is small and cramped. Small houses, small spaces, small work stations...small things that support big dreams. Our very own version of New York City with an Indian flavour- Mumbai, meri jaan, Mumbai!
I have had the privilege to experience this city twice in less than two years. The city is filled to its brim, yet it houses many an aspirant and his/her dreams. When I first visited Mumbai, I couldn’t quite point out what exactly it was that seemed different about the city, but towards the end of my trip, it dawned on me. It was space!
Space, or the lack thereof, has never been a real issue in my life and for that, I am extremely grateful. I had never felt the want or need for more space. I never felt claustrophobic except inside my college elevator. I never felt confined. But Mumbai changed that for me. While there is an excess of everything in the city- people, trains, building, cars, autos, etc- the only thing that the city lacks is space.
After my stint in Mumbai, I headed back home to Bangalore. I enjoyed its spatial luxury- walking on footpaths, taking less-crowded buses and easily finding parking spots. But, little had I realized that my fate of small spaces had followed me here. When I reached my new work place on Monday morning, finding parking was easy, but finding my way into the small room tucked away at the end of the building was not. The room, literally about 8 feet long, had 6-8 people working in it. It was impossible to talk to anyone on the phone; even a client brief wasn’t possible, let alone a personal conversation. After resorting to communicating only through SMS and email (yes, even with the loved ones) and taking longs walks around this maze like business center, I finally found my "space".
The area itself was small, but it afforded me the luxury of personal space, both physical and mental. It lay against a large bay window over looking the main road that was bustling with traffic and activity. An old tree spread its branches over the glass and gently filtered the rays of the sun. Day after day, as I sat by this window and soaked in the warmth of the sun, I let my mind think.
And that is when I realized what Mumbai gives its people: a small window spot in its maze of streets, buildings and humans. A spot that provides great physical and mental comfort to its resident. A spot that lets one unwind. A spot that encourages free flowing thoughts and lofty aspirations. And that is why, no matter how crowded and in need of space Mumbai is, it is the city that houses the biggest dreams and highest hopes.. because it is the city that has the most spacious minds.