>I know a lot of people who have moved to Mumbai for work. In fact most of my immediate gang hails from Delhi. Over the past couple of years that I have been in this city, I have come to love it. But I have also come to learn that it is not an easy city to live in. While on the one hand it gives you immense opportunity to prove yourself, fantastic options to let your hair down and enjoy after a hard day’s work; at the same time the daily grind can leave you struggling to find your sense of emotional well being.
Unfortunately, I have some friends who have succumbed and are pining to move back to their home towns. Work and career considerations, sometimes, do not allow this.
This post is for those who have recently moved into Mumbai or planning to do so in the near future. It is a great city and I hope you get to enjoy your stay here as much as I am enjoying mine. Maybe the following tips will help.
1. Your place of stay : has to be as close to your office as possible. You will land up spending a lot of time commuting, else. Distances are not as huge as the lack of roads. Most people will tell you that you can stay far away as long as you’re close to a station and can hop into a local train to get to work. No. If you’re in your 30s and above, it will be very difficult to adjust to the trains. Physically and mentally. Don’t let people cow you down and call you a snob. It’s just something that an out of towner cannot do on a regular day-to-day basis. Hopping into a train during off peak hours to get to an urgent meeting is a different thing. Doable. But not on an everyday basis. I’ll let you on to a little secret. A lot of Mumbaites who can afford a car and driver do not take the train either. So you’re not a snob 🙂
2. Size of houses : are small. VERY. On an average a 2 bedroom house would be about 700 sq ft. Without any balconies. Come prepared. Discard extra furniture. As you start staying here you will discover that you spend a lot of time outside the house. So gradually the size does not matter. The concept of having people over is rare. Most people go out to chill.
3. Rentals are HUGE: and are divided between a fixed deposit and a monthly rental. It is called a ‘package’. So a 45 package could mean a deposit of 5 Lakh and a monthly rent of 40,000/-. Figure out if your company is going to help you with the deposit. Some companies include it in their city compensations.
4. The city is divided vertically : into Western Mumbai, Central Mumbai and Eastern Mumbai. Each comes with it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you prefer glamour, eating out, wining and dining you’ll prefer staying at the western side. If you prefer quieter areas, maybe even larger houses and slightly lesser rents, it will have to be on the central or eastern side.
5. Go out and socialize : as much as you can. The city has a hectic pace. The traveling, noise, pollution, competition can all take a toll on you leaving you very, very stressed. It is important to have a great friend circle to help you de-stress. It helps that the city offers great places to hang out, which are also affordable.
6. Drinking/Eating places may not actually be very expensive : Unlike a Delhi where mostly nightclubs are either hip and expensive lounges or young and loud discos, here you can actually find watering holes that you can hop across to from work, and which are not shady, are reasonably priced and you don’t even have to dress up for.
7. The city does not sleep : and what could be more proof of this than the fact that the last order at most restaurants is at 1 am- 1.30am. In most other cities the staff would have reached home and be cozying up in beds by then. Very often you will find yourself stepping out for a walk at 11 pm. Enjoy it while you are here.
8. Exercise : whether it’s by going for a run, playing a game, gymming, walking on the beach. Fitness levels are high in the city and also required because of the kind of living.
9. Keep yourself occupied : If you’re a stay – at – home spouse with no child to consume your time, please, please take up something to do. It could be a hobby, classes, part time work, working from home. Something..anything. Or you’ll go mad sitting in a small home with no balconies. I have seen this happen to some friends.
10. Most importantly – Give in to the city : It’s not like Delhi. Or Bangalore. Or wherever you come from. If you’re going to stay here only waiting for your move back, you’re going to be miserable. Explore it. Enjoy the nightlife. Step out of Mumbai at weekends to rejuvenate yourself. The city makes you feel young. Enjoy that.