A megacity, the home of Bollywood, the economic powerhouse of India, this is a city that will charm and frustrate you in equal measure.
Watch the video and answer the questions below about it. The activity is suitable for intermediate students.
1 What was Mumbai made of a long time ago?
2 What does '200 years old' refer to?
3 What has really affected the lives of Mumbaikers in recent years?
4 What are the three main pastimes for Mumbaiker?
Everywhere you look, throngs of people always in a hurry. One of the most popular cities in the world, where time is money. Hi, I’m Yogita and this is my city.
Surrounded by the Arabian Sea, it is hard to believe that this humming metropolis was once just (1) a cluster of islands. It all changed when Portugal seized control in the 16th century.
Look hard enough, and you will still discover areas of Portuguese colonial influence. This settlement is one of them. (2) Some of these homes are more than 200 years old, but they are vanishing fast. High-rise flats taking their place.
Mumbai is becoming a concrete jungle and in the end, we will need beautiful, quiet places like Khotachiwadi just to breathe. We may be able to save a small part of the city, but with the rest of the city being destroyed the way it is, I wonder what our children will be left with.
The skyline is transforming but what has really affected the lives of Mumbaikers are (3) the violent attacks seen in recent years. Yet what is striking is how quickly the city moves on.
It is a tough place. Difficult to travel around and often I feel as though I cannot breathe. But if it all gets too much, this is the place to escape to. Look out to sea. Nothing is happening, which is perfect.
Mumbai will give you a fair chance if you are willing to work hard. Many come to the city to become a star. After all, it is the home of Bollywood. This dance class may be in a shanty town, but the dreams here are big. Everyone from slum dog to millionaire is just crazy about (4) the movies.
When I grow up, I want to be such a big superstar that when I walk in the streets, every person should recognise me. They should point to me and say, isn't she the same girl from that famous movie?
(4) Cricket is the only other pastime that unites us, Mumbaikers. Actually, there is one more thing. Despite all our problems, we are eternal optimists. It all looks a bit mad, but this is (4) laughter yoga. Practitioners swear that having a good giggle is the key to a healthy and happy life.
In Mumbai, the life is stressful, we would say 'you come and join us, you forget all your problems, your depressions'. Laughter is crazy? No, it's... let them come and try it out, it's excellent and the best medicine for your life.
At times, I do feel frustrated that the people deserve better. But, there is not time to dwell on what could have been. Here, every day ends not with a sense of hopelessness but eager anticipation of what tomorrow can bring. Mumbai is my city.