Monday, March 13, 2006

The City of Dreams

A new boy in town. Don't know anything about the city. In a train he asks a stranger
about an address. The stranger tells him the address but the boy don't understand. When the train reaches the station the stranger comes out with the boy on the street. He directs the boy where to go. Then the stranger went back to the station to catch the next train on the route.


The boy is me, the city is Mumbai. But I don't know the stranger. Anyways it doesn't matter because most of the ppl in Mumbai are that helpful.

Now after my recollections of Calcutta, the post abt Bombay was forthcoming. But what prompted me to write this post during exam time(Yes I do study yaar, atleast during exams) is a message floated by Junglee which said:

12 March, 12 blasts rock Bombay.
13 March 93% attendance in Office.
Salaam Bombay.


This really shows true spirit of Mumbai. In any other city, such an incident would have led to 7 day leave from offices. But not in Bombay. Ppl here are not shrewd as in Delhi, neither laidback as in Calcutta, but they are hardworking and enterprising. You just have to see kids playing in Shivaji stadium to realize it.

Bombay is a true cosmopolitan city. There are ppl from all parts of India there. And a number of festivals are celebrated here with enthusiasm. And since there have been so much discussion on culture of Delhi and calcutta with Saha, well Mumbai is true cultural capital of India as well. Ppl are modern here but not in rebellious or showy sort of way, but simply in their ideas and spirit. And thats what matter, not continuous bragging either abt your wearing modern dresses and uttering some English words in Punjabi(read Delhi) or cultural heritage(read Calcutta).

I wanted to avoid this, but Saha would sue me if I did. The taxiwallahs and Autowallahs in Mumbai are extremely disciplined. They never charge you beyond what meter reads and mind you there meters are never rigged. And nowhere else have I seen ppl following traffic rules with so honesty as in Mumbai. Infact the role of Traffic Police is redundant there.

Also the intellectual leaning of common ppl surprise me. You can see local ppl in trains solving crossword puzzles, reading novels and Economic Times. And they never talk nonsense.

The only problem with Bombay is its population size. Ppl from all over India come to the city of dreams. There is shortage of water and electricity but it is true of any other metro in India. Anyway Central Govt is contemplating a comprehensive plan for development of Mumbai, so something will happen soon.

What I miss most abt Mumbai is its night life. The watching of night show at some VT theater and then missing the last train. But spending a night at railway station is not at all bad if you are in Mumbai. Anywhere at any time of night you can find ppl on streets. And these are not some shady buggers but just common ppl. Still miss nights spent by Gatway of India and Juhu Beach. Even in Hiranandani there were a few places open till very late in night.

Now the part that I enjoy most. Rankings. The idea is offcourse taken from Vivek's Post. I have not been to Madras so wont include it here.

Attitude of Ppl Mumbai>Delhi>Calcutta
Girls Delhi>Kolkata>Mumbai
Traffic Delhi >Bambai>Kolkata
Air Quality Delhi>Bombay>Kolkata
Culture Mumbai>Kolkata>Delhi
Malls and places to hang out Mumbai>Delhi>Kolkata
Night Life Mumbai>Delhi>Kolkata
Overall Mumbai>Delhi>Kolkata

What else to say. Aamchi Mumbai roxxxx. Something abt Delhi soon to follow.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Devvrat said...

nicely tried to capture the spirit of mumbai.. truly a great city (have spent some time there)
but whats with the comparison of cities.. dekho mummy, mera shehar uske shehar se better hai!!
first we had enough 'mature' articles on Bschool comparisons and rankings. and now we move on to rank cities across the country.
and we come up with a nice objective list of parameters to do that.
wonder if the CM's will soon announce that their city will now abstain from taking part in any rankings... or start some PR work.
mumbai is a great city. delhi has its own stuff. and yuor one year spent in iimcal hardly qualifies you to judge calcutta as a city.
for someone who hasn't been to the city.. most points would seem very shallow.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Mohit Bajpai said...

CAM on the idea bombay being modern in ideas and spirit...there are the typical dilli ways of being modern too of which there's not much to be spoken about ;-)

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Guess Who?? said...

12 March, 12 blasts rock Bombay.
13 March 93% attendance in Office.
Salaam Bombay.

Just refresh my memory a bit...where exactly did the Bombay riots happen? If it happened in Kolkata, I must have missed it.

Culture:
Maharashtra has doyens of cinema like Dadabhai Kondke with immortal classics like Andheri Raat Mein... The stupid bongs have just Satyajit Ray. He just won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars, what do these commies know about culture anyway.


Crosswords, newspapers cool!! Man the bongs just came up with Rabindranath. Nobel prize? Don't bore me. Mumbai rocks.

93% attendance after the blast? Wow, I was just discussing with friends, and they told me about incidents when people fall off trains and nobody does anything coz they have to rush to work. Salaam Bombay!!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous guess who?? said...

So Bombay is cosmopolitan, eh? Remember the Mumbai riots? I can understand why the people may riot when a train burns in their own state, but why whould people in West India riot because of disturbance in Ayodhya. Remember the recent forced eviction of Bangladeshis? Dunno if you read this, but all the evicted people were being checked for was whether they were Bengalis. Do you know what plank the Shiv Sena came to power on - "Mumbai for Mumbaikars". read that as Mumbai for Maharashtrians. Mumbai currently supports one of the most virulent communal parties in India. In Mumbai, there was recently a slum clearing drive. Hooray!! But where do these poor people go? Is Mumbai only for the rich? In Delhi, the most happening demolitions are in the poshest colonies. Recently showrooms of rich designers including Ritu Beri and rohit Bal were razed to the ground. Do I smell hypocrisy, Mr, Gupta?

1:51 PM  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

@devvrat
Yaar it is not about going and exploring the city. The impression is created when when you land out of the train at the station. And the number of times that I have gone out in the city, my impressions have been same.
In case of rankings actually we just talked abt rankings on vivek's blog and I gave my rankings on my blog. It was continuation of Vivek's blog only. But I agree with you that bein a B-School Grad and seen the bitter rivalry b/w IIMB and IIMC I should have abstained from Rankings. Point well taken :-)

@mohit
definitely bombay is modern in ideas and spirit.

@saha(hope i guessed right)

Do you know that last yr a Marathi movie "Shwaas" was India's nomination to Oscars. And frankly speaking most of Bollywood stuff is Bombay cinema. So Mumbai is anyways hub of Indian theater. Just talking abt Dada Kondke shows your lack of knowledge.

And the point you mention comparing local ppl solving crossword puzzles with Nobel prize winning of Tagore is precisely the point I don't like about W. Begal. why do u always bask in past glory. Come on live in present.

I dont know with whom you talked about ppl not caring abt ppl falling of a train. Mumbaikars are the most helpful ppl I have encountered in my whole life. There are a number of incidents I can quote when they have gone out of the way to help me or my friends. Just discuss it with some more of your friends and you will get the true picture.

Well so you want to sat that W Bengal govt is not evicting Bangladeshis bcoz of some humanism or cosmplolitanism?? Dude they are just doing it for their vote bank. And this has been said on record by number of acadmeciand on various forums.

And in Bengal you don't find many ppl of other regions of India. So Calcutta is definitely not a cosmopolitan. So no point in taking this cosmp discussion forward.

And believe me, the kind of diversity that Bombay has, the number of riots taking place there are very minimal. If so many outsiders have come to Calcutta, I dont know what hell might have broke loose. And the kind of surprise that ppl have shown on our ip on my calling "Aamchi Mumbai" even when I am from Jaipur simply shows the aversion of common Bengalees towards outsiders.

Just a hypothetical example. When Dravid was captain he declared the inning when Sachin was at 196. Ppl of Maharashtra were disappointed but nobody foresaw any ulterior motives of dravid behind it. But imagine if Dravid had declared innings when Ganguly had been at 196 ppl in Bengal would have gone for a 7-day strike.

Aamchi Mumbai roxxxx

3:31 PM  
Anonymous cleananglingpledge said...

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1:52 AM  

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