Saturday, 21 July 2012

Living in Mumbai- Part1

       There is more to this city than the Bollywood stars and their frenzy. Amidst the traffic and our fast paced ostentatious lives there is something that holds each one of us to the city. The city is magical and that I can say by my experience of over 23 years here. I have never loved anyone or any place more than this city.

       It was a beautiful Friday afternoon.  Silently the rain kept pouring.  This rainy day along with a tinge of sun turned the overall experience nothing but quintessential.  However, motormen decided to disrupt the beauty of the day by calling it a strike.

They say when in ‘India expect the unexpected’. In India, when things do not go ur expected way and no one is ready to hear you, you on a strike. If things are still not working they go on the next level of strike: The Hunger strike. “No way, its black mailing”, you may say. Yes it is, for sure! But this is how things work in a country whose population is 2nd largest in the world. Isn't it difficult to be heard in such a huge crowd?

        Local trains are the backbone of Mumbai city. They are the fastest and the most affordable commuting option we have. So when trains come to a halt in a way it affects lives of most of us. It was late afternoon and I had already got 3 reminders from mom to leave for home at the earliest. You would be amazed to know she was worried about the traffic more than me.  The one thing that scares a Mumbaikar even more than inflation is Traffic.  The sluggish movement of vehicles paralyses all your activities. Overall, wastage of time, fuel and money. In case you are in a rickshaw, your eyes would be glued to the ticking meter.

         I left office at 7pm albeit the reminders from mom. No sooner did I reach the main street that I realized it was surely going to be a tough fight to move ahead. I rued my negligence towards mom’s multiple alerts about the traffic. Perhaps, after looking at the speed at which the cars ahead moved, I was surely going to be jaded.  What options did I have than to switch on the radio! The garrulous girl that I am, conversing with someone always looks like a better alternative. I put on my favourite radio channel. To my surprise he wasn’t ranting. He spoke about car pooling. I just couldn’t believe, how did I not think of this? There were so many people on the streets, who were figuring out ways to reach home. Buses were packed, Rickshaws were occupied and people on bikes took triple seats. This was the time to help and this feeling erupted not just in me but a lot of other Mumbaikars. Mumbai unites at the time of crisis; big or small. The feeling of oneness surfaces at such times. I saw a lady with a lot of plastic bags trying really hard to get a rickshaw. I inquired where she was headed. Realizing we were both headed in the same direction, I offered her lift. Her happiness knew no bounds and she hopped in the car with her husband.  We discussed about the sudden strike and commotion that it brought along.

        After they got down my mind got back to what it did the best, talking to itself! This is why I love this city. The common man makes it such a paradise to live in.  It’s a city which has seen the worst terror attacks, floods, political scandals, heinous crimes but has always shot back. This city is best known for the people who live here. They demonstrate the true ART OF LIVING. People from diverse cultural and economical backgrounds sometimes fighting but at the end living together sharing this city of dreams like One Big Happy Family.


  1. MUMBAI a place not for the weak hearted. Maximum city maximum DREAMS.

  2. Jara Hachake.. Jara Bhachake...Ye Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan...:P

  3. You have said it all. Brilliant post describing life in the Maximum city!

  4. very true, I do not belong to Mumbai. When I came here years back,intially I was petrified that I would be lost in the crowd. But I didnt realize when I got dissolved here and became one amongst the familiar crowd.Crowd of unknowns yet familiar faces. It was like a natural process, how sugar dissolves in milk and becomes one. And then you think, how tasteless the milk would have been without the sugar.I do not what I would have been if I were not here.

    And today I am so proud and contempt to be one amonst the crowd.I respect the city and the people.