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Day 8 of The Candid Odyssey

Even though our health is not good, we are setting out for exploration today. As central Mumbai is a bit far from Thane - where we are staying - we need to take a train to the city center. As I walked to the railway station, I started feeling low on energy. Hmm, we need to eat something. The streets were busy with different types of vendors, but surprisingly, there were no restaurants. After a few Kilometers of walking, we can see a cafe. One thing to notice across the streets of Mumbai and nearby regions is that people dine by standing. Yes, really, the cafes or restaurants don't even provide chairs. We just need to stand, eat, and leave. Not sure if it's because of the lack of space or because people don't have the time to sit and dine. As I kept eating a couple of idli while standing, I started feeling something wrong. Eyes kept closing, hands fumbled, legs lost strength, mind faded away, and finally fell down completely! That was the first time I was fainting in my life, and that too on a busy public street! Thankfully, a few nearby people lifted me up, gave me a chair, and sat me down. They were also willing to take me to the hospital. Even though people didn't have time to sit and dine, they were ready to spend time helping those in need. Such moments raise our belief in humanity and reflect what humans really value. To all those naysayers who say humanity is doomed, this is for you :)

After resting there for a while, we are resuming our walk. To make sure we won't fall down again, we are either taking support of the objects on the sides or using handrails where available. Luckily, we reached the railway station fine. Mumbai's suburban railway system is interesting. It's like a combination of metro and traditional trains. Fast-moving trains connecting major stops via the traditional railway stations. Mumbai's railway stations and train journeys do offer sights that prove Mumbai's population density is too high. But it doesn't mean that people sit on top of crowded trains to commute like shown in those movies or images. Maybe years ago, but not at present. Also, stations like CSMT are very developed and beautiful, from inside and outside. As we reach the Mumbai center, we are walking to the Horniman Circle Garden to take some rest. As you know, we are not that healthy today, so we need proper rest in between. There are a lot of people in that garden who came to spend time in peace. Some read peacefully, some sleep on the grass, and some engage in serious discussions, while we are resting and worrying about our health. As we are sitting near a tree, we also get to witness the games of small rats searching for their food. We also need to make sure that there is a washroom nearby so that we can easily run to it when the stomach calls :) Remember, we were having diarrhea yesterday.

When we walk around the Bombay Stock Exchange and similar buildings, it's a serious feeling. Because a lot happens in those buildings that make or break people's finances. Better be serious :) As we walk forward, we reach one of the most popular landmarks of Mumbai - The Gateway of India. On the backdrop of the Arabian Sea, the monument looks majestic. The pigeons surrounding the monument and the tourists posing for pictures add to the beauty of the monument. Needless to say, the Taj Palace Hotel situated nearby reflects the history and pride of Mumbai city. As we keep wandering around these attractions, there comes the Heritage Bus. It's a double-decker bus with an open roof that takes passengers through the city like a tour. We are also hopping in. The bus tour gives us a good feel of the city. The beauty of Marine Drive, the progress of societal development, and the variety of human lives can be observed from that bus tour. Mumbai is known for being home to the hustlers, whether it's the billionaire businessmen or the small business workers in Dharavi. We missed some places like Dharavi and Dhobi Ghat where the soul of Mumbai lies. Maybe next time. But, we did find time to visit Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the best modern museum in Mumbai. The well-arranged museum built in the Indo-Saracenic style offers a display of history, art, culture, tradition, and science. It's more like a well-managed heritage than a museum, that's worth the visit. The problem with museums is that we won't remember anything after we get out of there. Museums can offer knowledge and immediate excitement, but not experiences that will stick with us forever. Throughout our journey, we will visit many museums, but only a few have given experiences that stick. We will see which were those museums and what were those experiences. Keep reading.

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