Monday, November 22, 2010

Amchi Mumbai...

People who haven’t been to Mumbai often wonder what it is like. Some notions and presumptions often noticed are concerned with drug-lords, mafia, swanky cars and film stars. Three years back when I first reached the city, I too had some pre conceived notions. I thought that I would have to pay hafta to the local goons, that if I roamed the streets at night, the drug mafia would catch me and use me for drug trade, that I would have to wait for hours in traffic due to a cavalcade of some film star. None happened.

My first breeze of the city was a full blast of hot July weather at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The first thing that I noticed was that everyone was in a hurry. I couldn’t understand why everyone except me was in such a frantic frenzy. Even the beggars were begging faster that they do in Delhi or Kolkata or Chennai. I was also amazed of the fact that I was not harassed by gundas or drug dealers or the police. In fact a nice but loud police officer helped me get a cab. I asked the cabbie, as one would do in other metros, “Goregaon tak ka kitna?”, and he answered to my utter disbelief “Meter se jitna hoga”. I managed to get a good place to stay in two days and started venturing out at night, shedding all my fears.

Slowly as I assimilated the culture of the city, I understood why Mumbai is what it is. In spite of some political parties goofing around with people’s minds and some idiots trying to terrorize the aam aadmi, Mumbai knows that from the beginning of the day till the end of the day, not a single second is worth wasting. That is why Mumbai swarms with people “running” in every direction, working and making money.

When you see a city where people don’t care whether it is flooding or it is scorching hot;

When you see a city where people don’t care whether madmen are shooting around or blasting off trains;

When you see a city where people don’t care whether politicians are practicing dirty tactics or trying to disrupt normal life;

When you see a city where no one, from the rich and influential to the police, from the politicians to even the mafia dares to come in the way of people going for work;

When you see a city where the chant of Ganpati Bappa Moraya mingles rhythmically with the sounds of laughter and the buzz of work;

When you see a city where people toil hard not for petty issues, but for prosperity………

Be absolutely sure that you guessed it right; that city is the financial capital of India, that city is where dreams come true, that city is Mumbai…..