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Mumbai. What can be said about this magnificent city that has not been said already? It has been described in ways and manners that leaves no scope for more, and yet there is always something new to portray about the city of dreams.

Mumbai in one way or another is a natural paradox. It is a city of contrast. It offers so much, but takes away more. It is a city which will make you feel poor and rich at the same time.

Here is the list of some of the biggest paradoxes you will find in Mumbai:

Slums and Skyscrapers

Mumbai holds the record for the largest slum population, about 7 Million sitting in the largest slum colony in Asia. Upon landing in this city, the first thing you will see are the tall buildings kissing the skyline. Drop your gaze a little lower, not too far, and you see the slum colony, extending beyond the horizon.

Slums and skyscrapers, a rare sight otherwise.

A city of dreams, that never sleeps

The great city of Mumbai is often described as “The city that never sleeps” and at the same time it is fondly called “The city of dreams”. People come to Mumbai with a thousand dreams to make it big.  It is the place where dreams do come true. The city has something for everyone! And to get that far, it demands all that you have – your will, your hard work, your sleep. It’s true that Mumbai is always alive, be it day or night, but that comes at a price. As the Yiddish proverb goes, “If you want your dreams to come true, don’t sleep.”

A city that never sleeps!

5-star Hotels Vs the Dabbawallas

The dabba system is one of the most popular businesses in Mumbai. Be it college students or office executives, everyone relies on dabba wallahs for their lunch. In spite of having some of the country’s best restaurants that serve all kinds of cuisines, dabbas find a place on almost everyone’s desk. They offer different flavors and yet traditional Indian food.

Some stylish Dabba Wallahs!

Taxis and Porsches

The city has speed, no doubt about it. The yellow and black cabs are very popular in the South Bombay area. You can find plenty of them there as rickshaws do not ply in that area. The Marine Drive highway is a popular site for car racing during night time. And you will not see simple ordinary cars! From Porsche to BMW, all kinds of luxury cars can be seen whooshing around by the sea.
You may reach Marine Drive by a taxi, only to witness an awesome racing show!

A taxi passing the Marine Drive

Local trains but jammed roads

The Mumbai local train is the lifeline of the city. Thousands flock the local trains to go to work. The crowd of a Mumbai local train is legendary.
In spite of this, Mumbai roads are forever jammed! The honking gets on your nerves and the rickshaw meters keep running. The favourite most excuse in the city when you get late is: Blame it on the Mumbai traffic!

You don’t want to be hanging around in one of these!

Pollution and Sea Breeze

The sea is the best thing about the city. If you want to get some fresh air, put on your jogging shoes and go for a run near the sea. Juhu beach, Marine Drive has so many people jogging and enjoying the cool morning breeze in an otherwise hot and polluted city. But as soon as you move away from the sea, pollution strikes you in the face. A case of extremes.

A cool and refreshing morning jog by the sea!

Mumbai is a magnetic city; it will always pull you towards it, despite its paradoxes. It’s a city of constant change – it changes you making you hate it and love it at the same time!


Komal Jain is an IT professional during day and a writer at all other times. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering, but she tries to ignore it and finds peace and purpose in writing. Travelling, eating, and writing is what she basically wants to do her life.
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