A non Mumbaikar….well only for facts…In fiction of my own I am a Mumbaikar. Not born and brought up here but a place that gave me a second life. Marriage brought me to Mumbai 7 years ago and I have my own dilemma has Mumbai grown on me or have I grown up here…mentally and emotionally! And of course a few more grey hairs than what I had in Delhi!!!
A north Indian always enters into a debate of Mumbai Vs Delhi more than once in their stay in this city and even though he/she does not want to win it but all eloquent efforts are made in this direction supporting one’s Punjabi ego that will qualify the grandiose of Delhi, its flamboyance, the mouth watering street food and the OPEN SPACE in Delhi as things to die for!
My first few months in this city were all about adjustments…from an independent house into a two bedroom apartment, from Metro to Mumbai local, from coriander and garlic dominant food to kadi patta and coconut in what you can never dream of, from top to toe matching attire to wearing anything that comes in your hand first…I was learning and unlearning the ways of living. And I was kind of liking it….The Pav Bhaji at Dadar, the Ragra Puris at Matunga, The South Indian treat at Mysore Café , the Mawa cake at Kiyanis, the Kabas at Ayubs, the Red Velvet Cup Cake at Candies, the Coffee at Moshes, the Genie Dosa at Khao Gali, the Sandwich of Santacruz …..Was food really worth the winning point in the debate of Mumbai Vs Delhi…it got me thinking. The city really has its charm in its busiest lanes and crowded trains, in its simplicity and its brains…I have embraced Mumbai with open arms and it has reciprocated the same to me and to many people who come from across the country to find their own meaning, purpose and existence in Life.
What runs common to all the immigrants is the hope and dream of having one’s own home in one of the fancy looking skyscrapers…I also started my house hunting drive with similar intentions. The wish list was big, started from a 3 bhk with balconies in all rooms, should have a separate washing area, drying area, a store, enough open space in the floor lobby, a perfect view, sunlight, wind, child’s safety, fantastic complex with full amenities, superb location, easy access to all near by facilities, good school in the vicinity, a salon nearby, an ATM, a grocery market and it went on and on. After first few visits with multiple brokers all around Navi Mumbai, I realized where we go wrong in our house hunt is when we are not willing to let go the North Indian in us. I realized that my aspirations were not realistic and I needed to prioritize. Then it became much simpler as I started the process of elimination. What became important amongst all the things since I am a working mother, was a safe locality and complex, good amenities for a child to play. Things started falling in place and I was almost sure of cracking this puzzle till I woke up to the reality of schooling menace in Mumbai.
One’s address becomes the reason of getting through many schools. Therefore I went back to the drawing book and revisited my shortlisting of locality, builder and complex to match my preferences of school. In my view, a house hunt in Mumbai is unique to each one. Profile yourself, your priorities, take a long and short view of life and pen down your top 3 requirements…the hunt will become simpler if you don’t ask for the moon!