I have been living and working in Mumbai for more than five years now. While Mumbai may not be one of the greenest or cleanest city in the world, there is something in the spirit of Mumbai, which touches your heart every day.
The first and foremost attribute of the Mumbai spirit is the professionalism displayed by almost everyone living in this city. When it rains in Mumbai, it really pours. One day of heavy rain and it impacts the suburban rail system, the buses, cabs and almost all modes of transport. The city is sometimes paralysed. However, I have never seen my maid at home or my driver give me an excuse of rains and hence their inability to report for work. Work is worship and “Life goes on… ” irrespective of rain, sun or wind. People find their way. They may have to take a train, then a cab and a bus and may travel more than 40 Kms one way but they never have an excuse not ato discharge their duties conscientiously.
The second attribute of Mumbai, which I adore is the ability to bounce back. The city witnessed one of the world’s dastardly terror attack in November 2008 but it bounced back within days to normalcy. Subsequently, I have myself witnessed a few terror attacks in Zaveri bazaar, Dadar and other places but this does not lower the spirit of the common man here to bounce back and get back to his work. The city saw one of the worst floods in 2005 but it took just days to bounce back. I have lived across India but have not seen such a spirit anywhere else.
The third quality of this city is the co-existence of the rich and the poor with equal respect and space. The city is the host to some of the richest people in the world and they live in skyscrapers and own some of the costliest homes themselves. Next to these mansions are the slums, where the common Mumbaikars may be residing. Everyone is happy and content with what they have. There is no artificial attempt to show off their richness or hide their poverty. You cannot make out by the life style of anyone if she is rich or poor.
It is these attributes of Mumbai, which we can be proud of.
“Life goes on”,come what may. This has a lesson for each one of us to never give an excuse for anything, bounce back and be content with what you have in life.
My salutations to the spirit of Mumbai and to her citizens.
S Ramesh Shankar
4 thoughts on ““Life goes on… “”
A nice read. Brought up in this city I have lived here for more than 2 decades now and I am proud to be a Mumbaikar.
I have had many instances when I came across individuals showing such spirit that you can’t help but wonder how someone can act in such a selfless manner in unusual circumstances. I have grown up listening to and reading accounts in newspapers of individuals who have gone out of their way to help people in need or distress. The way everyone helped each other during Mumbai floods of 2005 by forming human chains and giving drinking water and food to people who were stranded was exemplary. Also stories of how Taj Hotel staff lost their lives while trying to save their guests moves me to tears even today.
Some may say this city has many problems – pollution, poverty, pot holes, filth on roads, water logging,but that doesn’t stop any common man here from catching that 6.30am local train to travel to work.
(A small correction: You mentioned floods of 2007,the actual year was 2005)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the correction
It is indeed a very deep insight about the fabric with which Mumbai society is woven. The examples given are well known and appreciated by one and all Indians, across the country. I agree with every bit you said.
Another unique thing about Mumbai is that it gives the utmost freedom to all its inhabitants to exercise their respective choices in life and lead life in their own manner. One example is that it does not differentiate between males and females when it comes to participation in events and external programs like festivals at any part of the day or night. This is unique about the city, it gives every mumbaikar, his or her space. This is just an extension of your third observation of co-existence of rich and poor.
As always, I am an admirer of your ideas and writings. I wish you luck and hope that you would keep enriching us with your insights and reflections about life.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Indeed true, life goes on
LikeLiked by 1 person