Thursday, July 12, 2012

Living in Mumbai !

Its been three long years... and I still find it difficult to comprehend that I am a full fledged Mumbaikar...I should say we are more than settled now and the pieces have slowly fallen into place, but there's always this nagging feeling at the back of my mind .. God only knows about what...

Honestly.... Mumbai Rocks !
                The city literally never sleeps. you will be amazed to find scores of people at Juhu Chowpati at 2.00 AM happily gorging on the Pav Bhaji  and trying to wade through the waves dunking the police patrols, or "Bade Miya" behind Taj Hotel being packed with people giving food orders  till so very late, or traffic jams on roads even in the middle of the nights.
               If given a chance, I would probably call it " More than a Maximum City", 'cause, I cant really figure out how so many people, vehicles, sky scrapers and languages can fit into this limited space. Every where you go, you are bound to bump into people any where, any time.  You cant really find a place of peace or silence, unless you close out all windows and lock yourself indoors at your home. ( Even then, you might hear an occasional honk and roar).
                Another amazing thing that I noticed at Mumbai is that, people don't seem to be measuring the distance at all, as they always talk about it in terms of time.  You go about and ask anyone how far do they stay from office and 99% of the time their answer would be in terms of time and occasionally if you are lucky, you might get to hear the place and the route they take... Distance doesn't matter :)
                You really need not worry about who is watching you and what you are wearing, what you talk and what you eat. Quite honestly, no body cares. More so because they don't have time. You will hardly know your neighbours and no one will even get to know if somethings happens inside your house, unless and until you have police and journalists find something of major interest which might help them with the headlines.
               Everything in Mumbai is taken with an essence of time. because life is always running .... from morning till night... as everyone and everything plays a major and critical role in your daily schedule, right from spouse & children and all other family members, friends, water, maids, vendors, school buses, autos, taxis, trains, buses, fuel stations, traffic,rains, nakabandis, vehicle break-downs, office lifts, bosses, teams,  telephone lines etc etc etc... and more so if you can remember and add to the list.
              That brings me to another topic that's been coming to my mind for the past few days. While in Mumbai we not only lead a vertical living, half the life goes on roads. Not just because the roads are bad, rains are bad, traffic management system is bad, but more so because people are insensitive and unsympathetic towards others. Thousands of Auto drivers, taxi drivers,bus drivers and truck drivers probably lack the educating system that might make them understand  the importance of not breaking the traffic rules. We even see the urban educated zipping past Red signals, taking the wrong Right/Left/ U-Turns which makes the life miserable for all others. The lack of time probably also contributes to the lack of maintenance of vehicles which invariably break-down and hold up traffic for hours together. Everybody is in a hurry to reach somewhere on time, that no one even cares if they jump lanes or scrape past our vehicles.  More importantly, I am not sure how many are actually thinking of all the fuel waste apart from the time of life that is getting wasted away on Mumbai roads. If everyone were to follow all the rules and put in their bit of efforts to run things smoothly, I am sure we can all save on everything and that might be better than protesting against the fuel price hikes
                 Before you start doubting my good intentions, let me quickly come back to the point of easy life in Mumbai. You get everything here.... from across the country to anywhere in the world.  Right from different cuisines to different languages, schools, colleges, temples, shops that sell your favorite and traditional south indian items , hundreds of malls which can help you loosen your purse strings, mega stores which might make your forget your long lists while travelling abroad.....Theres nothing like you cant find here and the best thing is everything will come to your doorstep..  pizzas,  eggs, tailors, beauticians, medicines you name it you got it.... :) some small mercies in the time lacked lives...
              The City teams with glamour, not just in the countless movie stars, TV stars,  Superstars and their houses and vanity vans and hospitals, models, Ad makers, Journalists, Fashion shows, but in the fashion streets, to the neighbourhood stalls which dish out fashion wear to college students , to the malls that get filled on weekends with walking divas... everyone is a star in their own right... In Mumbai, you get to see a wide variety of colours, fashion and glamour walking past you even if you fail to notice.
I am also not sure how far it is true that people age faster in Mumbai... So.. all you need is the energy, spring in your feet, penchant for pushing forward, and a heart to enjoy life as it comes... rather what ever life that is left for yourself in the small wee hours !


Manish Raj said...

I liked the post a lot. Honest and factual.

I don't like Mumbai. It's a city of opportunities and opportunists. A simple person can only survive, not live.

You Know Me Very Well said...

Thanks Manish....Its not like I don't like Mumbai, but I do feel that unless you have a jest for handling so much of action around, it does become very difficult. Somewhere somehow you tend to lose yourself, so take it as it comes is the easy option.

Quite honestly, my son likes the place so much now that he doesnt want to go out and I dont even know what the husband feels as he's become like a hardcore Mumbaikar running for time and life..

and you know me..I can probably survive any where :)


Good One Yam! In one year of my pronounced existence in this maximum city, I have concluded that,

"Mumbai has the elements of fashion-trend of Milan, crowd of Banaras, skyscrapers of Singapore, road infrastructure of Addis Ababa, multi-ethnic culture of Koula Lumpur, glitz & glamour of Las Vegas, snooty people of Manchester, underworld of Karachi, entrepreneural zest of the silicon valley & the socio-economic imbalance of Nigeria - All roled into one..."

Saurabh Chakrabarti said...

Good one Yamini. Its actually quite paradoxical about Mumbai- One one hand you get sick and tired of the daily rush and mechanical, routine life and on the other hand you probably miss it when you are away from it! And you really age fast in Mumbai - and after 15 years I can vouch for that.

How do we know said...

u know... more than anything else, I am just so happy to see a bubbling, happy post from you.. more like the Yam we know!! Loved it!!

Srila Ramanujam said...

Nice enjoyable read!