Actually Bombay meri jaan sounds so much better!!! But I rather conform to the T family’s diktat. Or else…
You see anyone who doesn’t, is forced to apologise after being beaten up publicly or forced to leave the state. Sad isn’t it? Considering that Mumbai got to where it is because it always welcomed enterprising people from all over India and the world.
Ofcourse now you better have a birth certificate to prove you were born there before you think of setting up house or shop in Mumbai..I am not Marathi but I am a Mumbaiite…I haven’t been to Mumbai in about 9 years except for a 10 days trip in 2007. I saw little change but what change I did see made me happy.
Small changes like concretised roads, cement tiles at crossroads most prone to potholes, better buses and fast service. Efficient if you dole out the money.
I have now stayed in 3 continents, 3 countries and 8 cities. I wish I can add to this statistics, but then that’s another blog. I feel Mumbai beats any other city in India hands down in terms of efficiency, infrastructure and more importantly human resource. People are generally more helpful, more resourceful, more knowledgeable, and more receptive to new ideas than any other city I have been to.
Even the IT city Bangalore lags dismally in terms of roads, transport, water and even garbage disposal. Mumbai despite bursting at the seams is managing to provide its inhabitants a decent living (I talk ofcourse of the burgeoning middle-class).
But what do I read in the papers?? That the average Mumbaikar dies younger than any other Indian…Why? Because poor Mumbaiikar gets up in the morning, runs to catch the train, works, run to catch the train back home, eats and sleeps. The only holiday Sunday is then spent in socialising, family time, domestic chores, and other work. When does he get to just relax? Nope not even when he is retired. Because he is expected to look after the grand children. He is expected to be productive to the last dying breath else he is a big burden. Like an Amritsari had once told me, Mumbai me sab hamesha bhaagte hi rehte hai.
The poor Mumbaikar scrambles to save money to buy a match box flat, the flat TV, perhaps a semi auto washing machine and hopefully the nanoest of the cars. If not a bike will do very well. He motivates himself with his small dreams and small achievements.
He tries not to fall foul of the authorities (thats everyone in the government from the chaprasi to the chief minister), tries to avoid any road bumps and to drag his life over all potholes till a bomb explodes in the train or a car rams into him. Ofcourse he doesn’t even dream of a fast & efficient medical aid. He knows he will die on the road or on the way to the hospital. And probably the ambulance driver will haggle with his harried family for bakshis to get his body back home.
Why should he not die sooner than the others? What incentive does he really have to live till 90 and live well at that? What support will he have? Everyone else will be keen to see him dead anyways.