From Mumbai, NY

After coming to New York from Mumbai a year ago, I realized that I have lived here forever.

From the city of seven islands, Mumbai, to a city of five boroughs, New York, the journey has been magnificent in ways big and small.

After coming to New York almost a year back, I realized I have lived this life forever. Little has changed for me since I came here. I still travel by a train and then wait for a bus. I do my grocery on the run, slog five days a week and long for a weekend with pleasant weather.


I hated the pigeons fluttering into to my second floor apartment terrace in Mumbai and I hate them on my 9th floor apartment terrace here. I detested the traffic in Mumbai and I do so here. I loathed the extreme weather in Mumbai and do so here. The trains are often delayed even here, much as they were in Mumbai.

I went for the BOGO offers in Mumbai and do so here. I tired of long lines in stores and find them here as well. Weekends were — and continue to be — full of action and Sunday evenings a downer. I still experience the Monday morning blues.

I drank chai on the street in a glass and now I buy my coffee off the street. The chai was normally accompanied by a vada pav (Bombay burger); here it’s a donut or bagel. In Mumbai, I used to instruct the chai wala to add ginger or cardamoms to my tea; here I instruct the store associate to add equal and a mocha shot to my iced latte. And after a few visits they both have my chai and coffee preferences down.

I loved to shop the best brands in Mumbai and I do the same here. I traced the Times of India fashion trends and here I follow the New York Times fashion blog. I read Sydney Sheldon there and do so here … yes, where else, on the train! My fashionable matching footwear hurt me while walking in Mumbai and they ache here too.


Visiting Times Square every other week is as satisfying as visiting South Mumbai. I loved the Hard Rock Café in Mumbai and I love it here. I adore the Sunday flea market in Manhattan as much as I adored shopping on Linking Road. I still have more clothes, shoes, handbags and other accessories than my closet space can handle. My handbag still packs the same set of things — water bottle, food, lipstick, hair brush, train pass and lots of coins.

I witnessed 26/11 in Mumbai and follow the annual memorials to 9/11 in New York. I come from a city where people don’t bother to look at each other in the daily rush to work to a city where people don’t smile except on weekends. But the wonderful residents of both cities — Christians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims alike —stood together in crisis like a close knit family.

I feel I have lived here forever. I am a Mumbaikar in New York or a New Yorker from Mumbai. Same difference


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