Commuting in Mumbai – on a Budget

If you are a Mumbaikar, you probably spend about two hours on your daily commute on an average. And if you are planning a weekend trip out of the city, you will easily be travelling for over three hours each way. The longer you travel, the more you spend. Given the high cost of living in this city, your mode of commute only adds to your expenses. You might like to point out local trains and BEST buses as affordable ways to travel. But those are fertile grounds for pickpocketers and way too crowded for comfort. I have heard countless stories of friends losing their phones and wallets on a crowded bus or a packed train. Today, I’m going to tell you about some cheap yet comfortable and safe ways to travel in Mumbai!

The ubiquitous auto rickshaw - you can dislike it, but you cannot ignore it! ;-)

The ubiquitous auto rickshaw – you can dislike it, but you cannot ignore it! 😉

A popular way is to make use of the taxi service in Mumbai. Taxis are safer and much faster than auto rickshaws. The chances of having your purse or other valuable item snatched from the sides is much lower. Petrol and diesel are quite expensive here. This might lead you to assume that there is no affordable cab service in Mumbai. However, many private players have entered the market and made commuting much cheaper. Ola Cabs and Meru are undoubtedly the market leaders in Mumbai, but there are many lesser known cab companies that you can rely on. Most of these cabs are air conditioned, and will get you to your destination looking fresh. Mumbai has a perpetual humidity problem, and in the summers, you perspire all your fluids out. Also, if you have a long office commute like I do, you must definitely opt for air conditioned taxis. Another advantage of private cabs is that they are constantly tracked via GPS, and your location is known to the control centre at all times. Their GPS enabled smartphones also help the drivers take the best route to your destination to get you there as quickly as possible. Nowadays, some cabs also have the option of letting your friend or family member track your location real-time. The fact that most of these operators have their own mobile app makes it very simple to book and cancel cabs. You will also be able to book through their web portals and over a phone-call.

Would you prefer a cycle rickshaw to a taxi in the torrential Mumbai rains?

Would you prefer a cycle rickshaw to a taxi in the torrential Mumbai rains?

For those of you who have plans that change as frequently as the weather changes in London, and require cabs on the go, there is Uber. The Uber app lets you find any cab near you and you have a ride in a few minutes. Many of these online ride sourcing firms offer huge discounts and award referral credits when you onboard a friend or family member. If you are smart, you can actually ride free at most times! The recent news of safety breaches by these companies are worrying. But they are all making their rides safer, so don’t write them off just yet.

I dream of the day when commoners like me will be able to rent a stretch limo...

I dream of the day when commoners like me will be able to rent a stretch limo…

Most of my friends love to drive, but don’t have cars. And what do you do when you don’t want a driver listening in on all your group secrets in the cab? Well, self drive cars is the answer to your dilemma! Car rental for self drive purposes is very popular in the States and Australasia. But India is catching up just fine. If you are bored of the cheap Mumbai cab service and wish to drive a car on your own, hire one of the self drive cars and zip away without a care in the world! And on that note, I would like to tell you about an interesting venture that my friends have started up – Justride. Next month, I will be taking out one of their luxury cars on a spin. Stay tuned for that blog post!

Where the Night Owls Hang Out in Mumbai

Mumbai is known as the “Maximum City”, and rightly so! The financial capital of India is like no other Indian city for it stays awake until the wee hours of the morning. What does the average Mumbaikar do so late in the night? Well… when the college crowd is not studying and the working class is not doing overtime, they like to PARTY!!! And these youngsters party at various discotheques in Mumbai. The city’s party-goers throng the discs in Juhu, Bandra and South Bombay. There are plenty of great places in the suburbs too. Nightclubs in Mumbai are known not only for the glamour quotient, but also for the delectable spread they have on offer. The dance-floor is just one attraction. What gets most people to party is the avante garde music and the best DJs that perform in Mumbai!

The culture of clubbing

The culture of clubbing

You will perhaps find the country’s finest night club in Mumbai. There’s a place for every kind of reveller – from those who love to sit back with their friends or colleagues and spend the evening drinking and laughing… to those enthusiastic dancers who just can’t stop tapping their feet and grooving to the tunes of the DJ. There are nightclubs where you will be fortunate enough to rub shoulders with the who’s who of Bollywood and Page 3 fashionistas. There are party-places for the rich where you cannot get in unless you have an invite or know the secret code. On the other side of the spectrum, there are affordable places for the perpetually broke college-goers. There are also clubs where the environment is so formal that you won’t notice any guest flouting the dress code!

Coming to the topic of dressing for a night out in Mumbai, the city is pretty liberal. The ladies can get away with just about anything! 😉 But a good practice is to style yourself according to the culture of the club. For an upscale discotheque in Mumbai, dress in your finest party-wear. Bring out the shimmer and body-glitter! Invest in some designer apparel. Feel free to show off your skimpy tunics and make your legs look longer in fishnet stockings. For the men, buy some satin-based dark shirts that look wonderful in the dim lights. Blazers, if worn to a nightclub, must be shiny and well-fitted. As for a tie, go for slim ties and do the pret-knot!

That said, don’t fret too much about your outfit, for Mumbai only cares about having a good time! Don’t be surprised when you find couples in their seventies dancing amorously in their stylish garments! 😉 The best nightclubs in Mumbai are the ideal dens for night owls!

This post has been written in association with