Under the sun

Friday, September 09, 2005

Missing Mumbai

Ganesh Chathurthi or simply Ganpati if you're in Mumbai just went by. As it came and went, it triggered off some nostalgia about The Great City. Putting aside the sqalor, the congestion and the stink for the moment, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with the city.

1.Anti-depressant: No matter how low you're feeling, you might even contemplate suicide or worse, homicide but the moment you step out on the street, you don't feel it anymore - a momentary lapse of depression, if you will.
2. Energy(?): I've heard people rave on about the Bombay buzz and the notion that you can't be idle in Mumbai - bullshit. Depending on the distance between your residence and workplace/school/college, you can still manage to be the laziest bum around this part of the world (like me). The point is, it can acommodate everybody
3. Infrastructure: Rock solid. Don't mention the havoc caused by the recent rains. Anyother city would have been history under such an onslaught. UPS is unheard of in this city. Water (unlike for a lot of those poor folks living in slums or in peripheral areas) is very much available and sweet. The trains are legends by themselves and everyone who has travelled by a Mumbai EMU (and lived the 'ride') would have a tale to tell. I've managed to take a few rides and come out unscathed or thrown out. Never mind the outright stupid way of not numbering the buses in English, the bus network compliments the railways quite efficiently.
4. Auto-rickshaws: THE BEST. These guys not only give a free ride for "delivery" cases like our Manick Baasha, they are also honest to the H (A recent study by the Gartner group shows that 93.47% of the auto-drivers are honest and don't cheat). Let me squeeze in a little incident here. I was returning home from an office party late one night from Andheri to my house in Chembur, in a typical "post-party" state. I struck up a conversation with the driver who was actually from U.P. I told him to stop by a "petty" shop on the way so that i could buy a pack of ciggies. Destination reached and he had forgotten to remind me of my smokes. I gave him a good piece of my mind for failing to do his "duty"! He duly apologized and took me to the nearest shop to get my cigarettes and dropped me back home. He took Rs.15 less for failing in his "duty". Had this been singara Chennai, i would be writing this piece from the "oil wells" of hell!
In Mumbai, an auto driver is a man's best friend. Dogs come second.
5. Cosmopolitan: All kinds of people live here but all speak with the same beautiful accent. The only grouse i have is with Tambrahms brought up in Mumbai. They would put an ABCD to shame!
6. Safety for women: By far, the safest city in India for women.
7. You-mind-your-business-i'll-mind-mine attitude: Neighbours don't unduly bother you
8. Night Life: If you haven't seen it in Mumbai, you ain't seen nothin yet. I've left office with my team during "releases" at 4:30 AM and still managed to find a decent place to drink.
9. Size: It goes on an on and on.....
10. Ganpati: Where else would you find such an inspiring Ganpati "drum roll"? Where else would you see a Muslim brother show the aarti to Mr.Ganesh?

Never mind the absolutely horrible Mangalorean or Udipi food, Maumbai's DA BEST (after Singara Chennai, of course)


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