Creativity is not just the want of writers, artists and thinkers. It is also the need of the hour for business professionals when they need to come up with marketing strategies, sales pitches and innovations in products. But what will happen if most of our creative thinkers and businessmen are sitting in front of their computers (and, worse still, enclosed in an office cubicle) all day? Here is a list of 10 quirky places to get your creative juices flowing in Mumbai to drive those depressing work blues away.
1. Kala Ghoda
Close to the financial hub of Mumbai is Kala Ghoda, a neighborhood known for art, historical buildings and quaint cafés. The yearly Kala Ghoda Art Festival happens here too. A coffee at one of its many cafés and a walk through its libraries and art galleries will surely prove to be inspirational. Who knows, you may even end up exhibiting some of your own work at next year’s festival!
2. Prithvi Café
Located in the compound of the iconic Prithvi Theatre, this café has seen and fed some of the stalwarts of the Indian theatre industry. Not only is the café’s food delicious, but the place also exudes a creative vibe. There’s always an atmosphere of something fun brewing and the buzz of excitement increases when its annual festival, Thespo, is around the corner. Come here with your laptop or notebook, order some scrumptious food and soon you will feel like a part of the stalwart gang.
3. Asiatic Library
The Asiatic Library’s steps are now an iconic symbol of Mumbai’s architecture. In Bollywood movies, they have been portrayed as everything from palatial homes to courthouses and even hospitals! In reality, it is one of the city’s most stunning libraries. Sit on the steps and ruminate or walk into its grandiose hall and browse through the innumerable books or simply stand and stare at its magnificence—whatever you do, know that you will walk away inspired.
4. Jehangir Art Gallery
One of the most iconic and oldest art galleries in Mumbai, the Jehangir Art Gallery, which had also been portrayed in Amol Palekar’s Choti Si Baat, has seen artwork by classic and contemporary artists from both India and abroad. Anyone can walk into the gallery to admire the artwork and be inspired. If you are up against a creative block, visit the gallery and interpret the many exhibits in your own way, and before you know it, the block will have lifted.
5. National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
A visit to the prestigious NCPA can result in two things—first, you will be awed by its larger-than-life setup and second, you find inspiration. Here’s how: the institution has witnessed performances by the likes of Zubin Mehta, Naseeruddin Shah and many other legends. It is the home of performing arts in the city and no one who comes here returns without inspiration. All this without even watching a performance—imagine if you do!
6. Powai Lake
Powai Lake is the epitome of natural serenity in the midst of a bustling city. It offers a pleasant respite from the busy city life and quiet spots for thinking. Stroll through the lush greenery that surrounds the area or go boating in the calm waters and soon, that much-awaited idea will flash in your mind. It is also a great spot to indulge in some painting or the other fine arts.
7. Marine Drive
Marine Drive is the quintessential ‘inspiration point’ of Mumbai, if there ever was one! For years, books, plays and films have showcased characters who come here to find answers to the many questions that life throws at them. If you are someone who is seeking something—creatively, professionally, spiritually or emotionally—this is the place for you. Spend some time watching the waves and soon, the answer will hit you like the cool sea breeze! Sign up for a cycling tour around Marine Drive in South Mumbai on the Cleartrip app.
8. Leaping Windows Café
Leaping Windows is an indie-style café in the western suburb of Versova that is the epitome of coziness and comfort. Piles of books stacked against the wall and comfortable bean bags spread out on the floor along with some lip-smacking food—sounds like the perfect place to unleash your creative streak, doesn’t it? Spend a rainy afternoon here and you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
Gostana is home to healthy meals and burgers. It is small yet boasts a chilled-out ambience and eclectic vibe. The walls are plastered with pictures of iconic bands so if you’re a musician, you know where to go. Healthy food helps to nurture the mind which, in turn, means better ideas. Good news is that pets are more than welcome here too.
10. Worli Sea Face
Worli sea face is another wonderful spot where Mumbai’s seascape may be enjoyed. You can walk along the promenade or sit on one of its many benches. Head here post work in the evening and catch the sensational sunset—it can fuel creativity like nothing else! From here, you get a clear view of the Bandra-Worli Sea link, an architectural marvel that took years to construct. When you have a gorgeous natural sunset and a mammoth man-made wonder before you, do you still think inspiration will evade you?
Mumbai has always been a city of not only dreamers but also doers. It’s no wonder then that this metropolis is blessed with spots, right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, that provide people with ‘flashing lightbulb moments’. There are many options from spots of calm serenity and the mighty ocean to quaint cafes and art hubs. So the next time you aren’t able to get any work done, a lack of inspiration surely won’t be one of the excuses!