Reasons Why I found Similarities Between London and Mumbai

It's unfair to compare a metropolitan city in a developed country to a metropolitan city in a developing country, but the similarities between London and Mumbai cannot be overlooked at many levels

Reasons Why I found Similarities Between London and Mumbai

After a recent visit to the capital of England, I perceived a few similarities between the two mega cities. Being a hardcore Mumbaikar, I’ve seen and travelled throughout the South side of the city since I was a kid and as the Britishers ruled India for a long period of time, the British influence is prominent from an architectural point of view, but the aura a metropolitan mega city has is somehow similar across the globe. Of course the cultural diversity is influential in a city's structure, but at the end of the day, people and the common human instinct is the same worldwide. Although there's a major contrast considering the population density and development status of the two cities, Mumbai and London do have some remote similarities which are quite fascinating from a traveller's perspective. 



Oh yes, when you travel from Mumbai to any place in the world, there are a couple of expectations one has: 1) Better weather 2) NO TRAFFIC 

Some areas in London are congested just as Mumbai. As the buzz in Central London is at its peak during the summer, people driving there are fed up of the traffic. Conversing casually with my Uber driver, I heard him complain about the traffic. When he asked me about where I was from, and when he heard my response (Mumbai), he just shook his head and said, “You’ve come from traffic land to another traffic land, you must be used to it”. I chuckled and agreed with his point, as the two cities do face traffic congestion on a regular basis. One HUGE relief in London was no honking, even though people were irritated sitting put in the traffic. People in London are slightly more patient and comply with the 'no honking' policy and I genuinely hope one day, Mumbaikars will also refrain from honking. 

Central London comes under the 'ultra-low emission zone', where non-residents of Central London coming into the zone will have to pay a certain amount to just drive through the area. Should Mumbai introduce such a rule? I definitely think we can work around a similar concept. 

Fast paced lifestyle

Like life in Mumbai doesn’t pause even for a second, London is full of buzz with people not stopping, constantly on the move and in a hurry. Once office hours are done, people pick up a quick bite on the go, and walk towards their destination and are moving at a speed. In Mumbai, people value time very seriously, although faffing around is quite common in the financial capital of India, which could be the case in London as well, but the busy streets do give out a very similar feel to that of our city.

Mostly, people in Mumbai don't walk slowly, especially when they have to get on a local train and the exact same replica is seen at London's tube. The positive I can take from my travel is that there was no pushing or shoving while people tried to make their way, while we all know the situation that haunts Mumbai. There are busy bees floating in both these cities and I guess it's just got to do with the population and speed of the lifestyle. 




The Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture is quite popular in London, and as South Mumbai is so heavily influenced by the British, you would see buildings like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) formerly known as Victoria Terminus in London as well. The Victorian architecture is seen throughout the UK and it does make us feel close to our beloved city. 

Mumbai's architecture came to be present through the British in the 18th and early 19th centuries. At first it was the neoclassical style of architecture but later, the Victorian Gothic style (also known as Gothic revival) came to dominate the city. Walking outside Euston train station in Central London just made me feel I was around the Fort area in South Mumbai. 

Cultural Diversity

London boasts a diverse culture with people from across the globe residing, travelling in the city.  With Indians, Pakistanis, Southeast Asians, Europeans, Africans, and of course Britishers, London does see a footfall of people from all walks of life. Right from food to festivals celebrated, London is rich in cultural diversity and this directly corresponds with Mumbai.

Mumbai has a population of over 20 million and people residing in the financial capital come from different parts of India. Though not many Westerners reside in Mumbai, Western influence in the city is quite prominent. Though English is popularly and commonly spoken in London, Mumbai boasts of three major languages which are commonly spoken - Marathi, Hindi and English. As you walk by in London, you can definitely hear Asian, European and Indian lingual influence as I came across many who said "Kya Mumbai jaise traffic hai yaha pe" (the traffic is exactly like Mumbai). 

Travelling does help you discover multiple features a place has to offer, but on various occasions, you end up looking for common aspects between the city you're travelling in and your hometown. I would love to visit London again and explore the city and culture further ahead, maybe I will come across a few more similarities and I'm sure, there will be many.

You can take a Mumbaikar out of Mumbai, but can't take Mumbai out of a Mumbaikar (however cliche that sounds, still impactful). 

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