In every country there is a city where dreams can come true, and in India, that city is Mumbai.
City of contrasts by antonomasia: ancient and modern, tremendously poor (it has the sad honor of housing the second poorest suburb of Asia: Dharavi ) and blatantly rich (the skyscrapers of Nariman Point travel thousands of financiers daily to negotiate millions of dollars ).
In it, dance until dawn, but still pray at dawn; Night owls and mystics naturally attend.
It is the city where Mukesh Ambani (the greatest fortune of India) has build a twenty-seven-story house, with a service of six hundred people for a family of only six members.
And it is, simultaneously, the city where we will find alleys crowded with people in the markets of Null and Chor, where artisans of Lucknow embroider wonders in silk, and jewelers create dreams in diamond, gold and exotic gems.
The Mumbaitis look at their city with tremendous pride and with a passion that often exasperate the rest of the country and foreign visitors who have no qualms about calling a vital attitude of extreme dignity and genuine solidarity arrogant, demonstrated to the boldness after the tragic terrorist attacks. suffered in November 2008.
The playground of Mumbai are its two emblematic beaches : Chowpatty and Juhu . A walk at sunset through them on Saturday or Sunday, getting carried away by the tide of people who watch without seeing, by the families that gather in the sand, by the half-naked children who splash with used tires (although the waters are not suitable for bathing), for couples who shyly lull and kiss secretly, for the charlatans who sell the good luck, for the gangs of teenagers who dream of love of cinema and sing to their idols … .., it is the best immersion in a country, in a lively and exciting society like that of Mumbai, melting pot of all India.
Indians in general, and mumbaities in particular, love to eat between meals . For them, all food must include a consistent food, be it a rice dish, a “dal” or some kind of bread. Anything else is considered only a snack, mere excuse to approach the nearest post to take a “chai masala” and take the opportunity to share with peers and bystanders. Among those snacks are the “chaat” , a term that literally means “product to lick your fingers.”
The sublimation of the chaatwe find it in Mumbai (and inside it, on the beaches of Chowpatty and Juhu) whose innumerable street stalls compete with each other not only in gastronomic quality, but also in external appearance, color, more modern and thunderous music ……. Such is their success that they have been exported to all over India.
Mumbai’s favorite chaat is the so-called “bhel puri” , a tasty mix of puffed rice, potato, green mango, coriander and mint leaves, ginger, tomato and the secret “chaat masala” (black salt dressing, lemon, chili , cumin and green mango powder), served in banana leaves or metal bowls, all tied with tamarind chutney acid.
It is prepared in the act, in view of the client, who if already an initiate, can suggest more or less spicy, more or less acid, according to his personal taste. It does not satisfy hunger, nor is it nutritionally balanced, but trying one in Chowpatty Beach on a Saturday evening is one of the most enriching experiences for any visitor of my dear Mumbai.
Mumbai, Yaar !!!!!