Welcome to a roller coaster journey of trains and flights, locals and autos, metros and cabs. A journey to the City of Dreams – Mumbai, a trip to be remembered and memories to be cherished in the long run of life. A ten days trip organised for the Media Science students as an industrial visit with exposure to the real aspect of the media world.
Memorable Trip To The City Of Dreams “Mumbai” – 2019Boosted with enthusiasm and excitement, the trip began with a 42hour train journey from Siliguri to Mumbai. A group of 13 eager students guided by Ms. Steffi Prasad and Mr. Krishnesh boarded the train in the early morning hours. The train pantry food and local food vendors bringing in the stately varieties were our constant munching eateries. Board games to variable playlists, gossips to sensible talks, it was a journey filled with fun and jokes, which finally ended at the Mumbai Central, the station where many stories begin and many dreams take off.
Mumbai Central greeted us with cups of tea and the delicious vada pao. Luggage promptly grabbed and swift footsteps traced our paths to our hotel via a minibus. Seeing our lodging and stay facilities, our eyes remained wide open. Cruise like interior décor with beautifully lit cabins and details to fineness, it was a space so mesmerizing. We were physically tired but mentally excited, the beautiful stay filled us with even more zeal.
We quickly dropped our bags to freshen up. Then after, we all decked up and left for the well-known charm of Mumbai – The Marine Drive. Filled with mixed emotions, the shore gave us a serene view of the city on the other side. The city that never sleeps, we could witness the busy lives of people even at midnight. With things changing every minute, the only thing that stays constant in Mumbai is the whirling sea breeze and the roaring sound of sea waves.
After a few relaxing hours with the soothing sound of waves and chilled winds, we headed back to our hotel for some rest and a bright start to the next day. A free day next, we went hopping the streets of Mumbai, from local markets to street food, from visiting the very famous celebrity houses to the beaches, it was a fun-filled exhausting day. Andheri to Juhu to Bandra, we saw the face of every part of Mumbai.
In the evening, we visited the DK Studio where we witnessed an ongoing shoot for a show named “Boli Lagao”. Warmly greeted and welcomed by the owner of the studio and a person from the DOP team, they gave us insights into the studio and the functioning of the industry. It was our baby steps in this real field and was very enlightening. Witnessing the real happening of the shows telecasted on televisions amazed us.
Next was our visit to one of the very known and famous studios for Indian daily soaps – Balaji Telefilms. Founded by Jeetendra, it has witnessed some of the very famous and high TRP rated shows of India, to name some – “Kyunki saas bhi Kabhi bahu thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar ki, Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kumkum bhagya, Naagin, Yeh hai mohabbatein” and many more. It was a dream visit for all of us and an eye-opener for the fact that it takes an ample amount of hard work, dedication, and investment to pull off an entire show.
Along with this, a visit to the ICE Academy, one of the best acting schools and media institutes in Mumbai by Balaji Telefilms, was also a treat to watch and beneficial for us. Our next destination was the Digital Academy – The Film School where we were introduced to the different sections of this industry like the editing rooms, high tech cameras, and gadgets, lights, makeup rooms, shooting props and locations, and many more. It was indeed an honour and a great learning experience to meet prominent writers, directors, and actors of some of the great shows.
The fifth day had lots more in store for us. A dream destination for the media students – Whistling Woods International, a film, communication, and creative arts institute in Mumbai. The campus was extraordinary and vibrant with students all around indulged in their various activities, from shooting to editing, painting, fashion designing, dance and music, acting and much more. The ambience and the vibe of the place were positive and thrilling. One thing which connected us to that place in an instinct was the motto – “#DOWHATYOULOVE”, similar to the ideologies of Inspiria.
Exploring the campus, we tripped our foot over a hidden treasure – an opportunity to meet Subhash Ghai. It was indeed a great experience and a beautiful time spent around the campus learning the aspects of the real reel world. Speaking of Mumbai, what often strikes our mind is the 26/11 attack on The Taj, and standing right in front of it and witnessing it live made our nerves shiver and minds cold. We were in awe of the beauty and its charm made us speechless. Right opposite to The Taj, stands the beautiful Gateway of India built in the memory of the landing of the first British monarch in India. An architectural marvel on its own, the monument stood soulfully lit in the colours of the Indian Flag.
Amidst all of these visits, remained the intriguing interviews of the students in various companies for many different posts. The first of the many; nervousness, stress, anxiety and excitement had all taken over our minds. With the notion that all is well that ends well, the interviews went great with positive hopes and fingers crossed. A bonus on our trip, the 3-day broadcast fare was significant in itself, with the VFX and the latest technology products kept on display and for demo use. It fascinated all of us especially the ones interested in the fields of cinematography and editing.
Talks over coffee with Anirban Bhattacharya was a special one acknowledging the working of the industry and the harsh reality related to it. He briefed us about the struggles in this line of industry, and also motivated and encouraged us to be ready for the future and stepping into the real world. All the fun and excitement took us to many other famous tourist destinations like the Haji Ali, the Siddhi Vinayak Temple, i Phoenix City Mall, Versova Beach, Bandra Bandstand, Fashion Street, Sea link, Elephanta caves and many more. It was all squared, and the tough time had arrived to bid goodbye to the awesome city, a future for many of us. With ups and downs all along and lots of experiences and learning, we arrived at the airport to complete our return journey.
Our early morning fight and with a climax to our adventurous trip still was awaiting. A lot of chaos and confusion among the officers at the airport, we somehow managed to board the fight just at the last minute and made our way back to our home. What made Mumbai unforgettable for us? Was it the place? Was it the people? Was it learning? Or was it the fun that we had? It was 15 individuals gathered with the motive of exploring, learning and enjoying the most of what we got during the trip and the bond among all of us which made this trip unforgettable and one to be cherished for a long time in our different ways.