Why do I love Mumbai so much when I have so many reasons to hate it..!!
Mumbai, the Mayanagri, as it is called, is rightly so. You can know it only when you live it, absorb it and enjoy it. Mumbai rains, drains, clogs, riots, blasts, sleepless, it is fatigable, encouraging, and boosting and also boring at times. But I don’t want to judge it on these scales.
Its monsoon and Mumbai rain is like no other city in the world. There is water clogging all over, traffic jams, train blocks and Mumbai finally stops. No schools and colleges, but still the office works. Business never stops. People try to reach their offices by personal vehicles, government bus, autos, taxis and mumbai’s lifeline Local trains. It’s pathetic to even think of travelling at least 10 km to office in such heavy rain, but its Mumbai and rain is a part of living here, you cannot be on leave for the whole monsoon season.
What happened today was ferocious; Mumbai got the highest rainfall in 24 hours of the decade. There was water all over the roads, traffic jammed, train halted, most of the people stayed home fearing that the similar days of 2005 would return, but I went on to go to office and on the way back I saw few incredible humans. They were on their shots, and a raincoat, standing at the centre of the road to guide the traffic. Don’t get me wrong, they were not from traffic police department, they were mumbaikars, the common people, who wanted to help everyone to reach their respective homes. May be they were doing it in order to avoid repeating the same scenario as in 2005, but they could have left this work to the government and stayed home, rather they came out to clean the garbage near the drainage, to make a glib path for the water to flow off the road, and surprisingly they had a big smile on their face. This smile was not only on one person, but was prevalent across every person I saw, and they were wide spread across Mumbai.
Walking further ahead, I stood in a queue for an auto, where the auto driver refused to take a single person to a particular destination. Out of anguish I raised my voice at him, complaining for taking advantage of the situation, but I was stunned when I learnt that the auto drivers knew that trains were not functioning and busses were running full, so few of them mandated the sharing system. They didn’t allow a single person to book the whole auto in whcih three people can travel. They were getting the same money if one person had traveled or many, but they considered themselves responsible and tried helping, and indeed it worked. It was hard to believe that the auto unions thought so maturely.
It’s not just the night life, marine lines or Bollywood flavor which forces me to like Mumbai, but these small initiative by the people makes me passionately fall in love with it.
Love you Mumbai and Mumbaikars…!!
Shiv Kumar Thakur