It was a shocking welcome, it was my first time there but my expectations were different, I guess the glitz and glam of tinsel town had photoshopped reality. After a lengthy flight from Nigeria to Ethiopia and another connecting, I finally landed in Mumbai.
My first greeting was the blazing sun on my skin, when you travel those many miles you subconsciously expect the clime to be different; it wasn’t. On the way out of the airport I was greeted with a chorus whining repartee of Keke Napeps darting furiously about like a swarm of winged termites and the air was heavy with incense, mongrels hung around with the ease of total confidence in their untouchability.
I was headed to a local airport, destination-Visakhapatnam or Vizag as its fondly called and almost missed my flight because there was traffic induced by a cow chilling on the road; in my Naija way I was going to hop off the keke to be the hero of the day and chase the cow off when the driver -someone who must have had eons of experience with different foreigners- told me in no uncertain terms that the cow has the right of way ALWAYS, ol boy see suya…Lol.
The hotel staff welcomed me with a mega bucket of chicken, Indian hospitality at its best.
After 6 weeks of going into town every day I saw it all, the exotic nightclubs, the sprawling shopping malls, the high rise buildings, the seafood restaurants (Visakhapatnam is a coastal city and I loooooove seafood) the foreign food chains, I also saw the beggars, the slums, the hustle and the GRIND.
At the end of the day I realized that every society is made up of all these factors, growth is an ongoing process but you have a choice of telling your story to the world, a legacy of showing the world how you want to be defined. Bollywood chose bright colours, tales of heroism and sonorous songs with perfectly choreographed dances.
Let the music play, I’m dancing with India tonight.
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