The Bombay that I Miss!

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The ancient bus ticket
The ancient bus ticket
The ancient bus ticket

Before you point out that it’s Mumbai and not Bombay, let me clarify that I’ve used the word deliberately. I grew up in Bombay and not Mumbai and at some level, I’ll always be a Bombayite and not a Mumbaikar. What’s the difference, you ask? It’s not just a simple name change, it’s actually saying goodbye to things that I have grown up around.

Why am I suddenly getting nostalgic, you ask? It so happens that just last week, I borrowed a book from a public library near my house. The book, a classic by Fitzgerald was barely borrowed from the library. While reading, I came across an old BEST ticket stuck in the pages, perhaps used as a bookmark by someone years ago. The clincher was the fare, a princely sum of 15 paise. It was some revelation!

BEST Double Decker Courtesy: Midday
BEST Double Decker Courtesy: Midday

What happened next was a journey through nostalgia. I saw in my favourite spot in the house and I thought about the places and things I grew up around – having ice golas in the hot summer afternoons, saving up money to buy a new cartridge for my video game, and it went on for longer than I expected.

I started discussing this with my mom and she told me about the time when she was growing up and a trip to the famous Elco market in Bandra with her friends was the first time she was allowed to travel alone (without her parents) in a local train. Turns out in less than Rs 12, they could travel from Kandivali to Bandra in the train, have the famous pani puri at Elco and return home. Now with Rs 12, I can barely get an auto ride from my house to the station.

Mumbai Victoria Courtesy: April Rinne
Mumbai Victoria Courtesy: April Rinne

That got me thinking about the city I grew up in and hence I present five things that I miss the most about ‘Bombay’ :

  1. The Victoria on Marine Drive: Sunday’s were never complete without this. While I believe in the whole cruelty against animals bit, I’m still sad that a part of my childhood is gone forever.
  2. The old Juhu Beach: Remember how Juhu Beach used to be different? It was cluttered with hawkers and stalls where you could talk to flashy robots. It was a mini carnival and I miss that atmosphere.
  3. Swad Candy: Now, this is not really a Bombay thing but I miss that sweet-sour candy that was available in all the general stores. Now only a few stores stock this candy. (On a side note, someone make a list of stores where Swad is available. Please)
  4. Swad Candy Image Courtesy: Panjon
    Swad Candy Image Courtesy: Panjon

    Double Decker Buses: As kids, we took special pride when we managed to get the first seat on the top level of a double decker bus. We would pretend to be the bus driver with our imaginary steering wheel and brakes. Now these buses have almost vanished from the streets of Mumbai and they are used only in a small section of South Bombay

  5. Local Parks: Seriously, where have they disappeared? Oh yes, the concrete jungle swallowed them all. I remember when I was young, there used to be a lot of parks that served as a meeting place for the residents of a specific locality. I miss ‘em parks!

These are the top 5 things I miss about Bombay. Share your list too!

Post By Khushboo Tanna (4 Posts)

Khushboo Tanna is a connoisseur of food, street shopping and the straight faced smiley. Additionally, she constantly rambles about cell phones.

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Khushboo Tanna

Khushboo Tanna
Khushboo Tanna is a connoisseur of food, street shopping and the straight faced smiley. Additionally, she constantly rambles about cell phones.