Travel memory, monologue and from visitor to resident at Churchgate. One calls it a love affair with Maximum City and once you stomped your foot, it becomes difficult to live without it. As they say in love, one can’t live with it and can’t live without it. That’s Mumbai for you and me. We shared a love-hate-love relationship and cupid struck in the Monsoon 2003.
June 16, 2003
I landed in Mumbai on Monday Morning at 7 a.m and passed through the grand airport to get a sneak peak of the city. It was raining timidly and the first shower on the city that I would call mine. After braving the mad traffic snarl from Santacruz, the black-and-yellow cab passes through the shawl, shanties, sky crapers as I saw a building under construction with a young but tired mother holding stack of cement as her toddler looked around, to reach Churchgate. All in two hours. It was hot like hell!
Excited I was! I uploaded luggage and made way inside the International Students Hostel (ISH) at C-Road, Churchgate as one feel the gush of breezy air, you see, Marine Drive was two minutes away from hostel. On the other hand, I get a sneak peek of Churchgate, the iconic station, frequented by millions commuters. I was drawn by a bill board ad, More Dhak Dhak, less Bak Bak. Majestic!
On the day, we traveled through Colaba Causeway and visited Hanuman Mandir to offer prayers to the Lord, asking to show me the way in the city. Few minutes, we walked into the Phone Shop and, yeah, I got my brand new cellphone Nokia 3310, durable and sustainable. I used the handset for three years with my prized possession that unveiled my Mumbai adventure. First Day, First Show in Mumbai and celebrated with a new handset and, of course, Kingfisher beer and fried pomfret fish at Leopold. Love the bar. The following days were spent discovering The Legend of Bhagat Singh at Eros Theater in Churchgate and Not Just Jazz by the Bay munching on pizza and of course, my new love King Fisher strong as well as hawkers selling stuffs, buying magazines and books on the pavement. So much for the Mumbai adventure.
Clueless in Mumbai! First time visitor! You are in to lose their way as you loom near your new house but roads bear an uncanny ressemblance..I was taken for a ride quite often as I lost my way from A, B and D road but couldn’t locate C-Road. Worry gnaws you as you walk for hours in the humidity, losing your way and looking for a clue. Pat! Miracle happens as you walk furtively along the station, hearing the rattling of trains and voices announcing arrivals and departures. Bingo! It couldn’t come at a better time. You spot a hoarding you’ve seen or seem quite similar. ‘More Dhak Dhak, Less Bak Bak’, the win 94.6 radio station campaign steered by Gautam Radia on the billboard facing C-Road. I walk comfortably to my hostel.
‘More Dhak Dhak, less Bak Bak’ been the hoarding and clue on my way to the hostel. Mumbai lost and rendered possible by the hoarding at Churchgate to find my way back and Gautam Radio couldn’t have imagined that the billboard campaign could be the way back of the lost young student and newly converted Mumbaikar. The campaign remained for a long time in the city as I would get set on an adventure, confident to find my way back.
Truly More Dhak Dhak Less Bak Bak
PS: I couldn’t find any image of the ‘More Dhak Dhak Less Bak Bak campaign online and and put images of billboards and Churchgate Station to give a ‘feel’. If you have the image, get in touch with me. Thanks.