Saturday, November 07, 2009

Why I love you as I love you..

I was having a long argument with P (who loves having long arguments over everything on Earth), about why everyone should love Mumbai. Ok, that is a tall claim. Not everyone can love Mumbai because, like he says, it is too crowded and too expensive!

P says that I love Mumbai only because I have good memories from there, because I have had the right set of people there. I vehemently disagree.

P says that we have a Marina for a Marine Drive, we have a substitute in Chennai for everything we have there! Again, I vehemently disagree.

And, I decide to list down why I actually love Mumbai, beyond just hanging out with friends, walking along Marine Drive and shopping till I drop down dead.

Here we go, all over again, about Mumbai Meri Jaan.

  • The crowd thronging VT station and Elphinston bridge, focusing only on the train, not caring about what you are doing and where you are going ‘cos it is just too busy running on its feet.
  • The city that never sleeps, literally! The sheer independence and security that Mumbai gives its dwellers at 2 in the morning – I have no more words!
  • The infectious spirit. In my Manager’s words, “I land at Mumbai airport and something gets in to my blood. The adrenaline rush is faster, the mind asks for challenges. I just want to keep going, on and on, unmindful of the road blocks and the speed breakers.” He stole the words from my heart totally!
  • I take a rickety cab from Lower Parel to Matunga, the meter shows 3.5. The cab wallah is old, he is wearing a pair of really old looking, dull spectacles. He flips out a card slowly from the dashboard and we check how much 3.5 is. It says Rs. 48.50. I give him a Rs. 100 note, apologetically stating, “Bhaiiya, mere paas change nahi hai”. He says, “Koi baath nahi Beti”, takes out his wallet gives me 5 ten rupee notes and a one rupee coin. I take it and turn around to leave when he says, “Ek minute beti” and fishes out a 50 paise coin.

I rest my case.

14 comments:

Vignesh said...

I am not sure about the adrenaline rush etc as I've never been to mumbai... But the exact change by autowala is unbelievable!!! yet to see such a decent autokaran in chennai! :(

Slave Of the Dark said...

I strongly agree on the point about the city that does not sleeps bit and also about the auto experience...I am not too much of a fan of the crowds though...Also I am completely uncomfortable with the fact that the city moves on too fast for my liking...somewhere its losing the soul aspect of life in its eagerness to move on! But yeah, the outings in Mumbai have always been fun and with some very fond memories!

Kavity said...

@ Vignesh: Yes, it is unbelievable but true. I am yet to come across a single cab wallah who does not tender exact change, that too, sans grumbling!

@ Manoj: Yeah, the damn city is too full of fond memories! I don't have as many even in Bangalore and definitely not many in my "lovely" hometown either :)

Rajasekar Carves HERE!! said...

'the average life expectancy of mumbaikars is 7 years less than others in maharashtra' is a fact..but,who cares..,with pace in their gene,mumbaikars get their return tickets soon too.

Shreya said...

Mumbai is in my blood. Mumbai airport has a banner which says 'Welcome to Mumbai' and the sight of that is - magical. It really puts the spring in my step. Having said that, I do believe that you have had mainly good memories here. I have met many cab wallas who are thugs, auto wallas who would fleece you in a second. It is a very cruel city. You have to drill deep below its surface to detect soul.

Kavity said...

@ Rajasekar: IMO, twas a poorly conducted survey :) But, even if they had done it rihtly, I would not be surprised if they come up with the same result. Mumbaikars seem to be racing against the time almost always!

@ Shreya: I am from Chennai where all auto wallahs are thugs, fleecing money from anyone who looks remotely gullible! No wonder I find Mumbai to be heaven on Earth!

Ramya said...

I've never been to mumbai to comment on tht.. and I love my city way too much to not comment on your post as such... but for the autowala point, I fail to see any clear cut negative point for chennai that you havve clearly brought out.. rest all seems to be a personal opinion...

and the adrenalin rush .. I feel tht when I land in Chennai airport form Kol... and if you wanna see how bad a city can be, West Bengal capital welcomes you :P

Kavity said...

@ Ramya: One should work in Mumbai and then, in quick succession, work in Chennai. One would know the difference in the adrenaline rush I am talking about! And, many people do share my opinion on that, personal as it might sound!
And one cannot travel alone in Chennai at 10 in the night, forget 2 in the morning, if one doesn't own a vehicle (which I do not). I guess that makes quite a big difference to anyone who likes being independent and on their own.
As to the crowd which does not bother about you, I do agree that is my own personal opinion! Many people do like being bothered about, and not being knocked down and tramped up on by, without as little as a "Sorry", which might most definitely happen in Mumbai.
Oh, hell, I did not want this to be a 'Chennai - hate' post, how much ever I might hate it, 'cos that is definitely a bigggg personal opinion which I do not intend to thrust on anyone :)
And, by the way, I do know of more than a handful of people who like Kolkata, even working and living there, despite not being Bengalis :) So, yeah, going by your definition, that is also quite a personal opinion :P

மணிகண்டன் (Manikandan K S) said...

1. Remember something called Ranganathan Street, a stone's throw from where you live!!
2. Chennai is one the safest cities in India!!
3. If Mumbai is full of adrenaline, Chennai's laidback style is enjoyable too!
4. There are good autowalahs still in chennai too!
But finally favorite city is a subjective thing!!

Kavity said...

@ Mani:

1. No, I don't remember it anymore :D
2. Not for me! I am never let out to stay beyond 10 unless the person with me as a car. And, in Mumbai, no one ever bothered what time I got back home. Understood the "Independence Issues"?
3. Yes, agreed. That is something I get back for my argument always. Some of us like the adrenaline, some of us like the sane pace. Very true.
4. I hate Chennai auto wallahs. They charge me 40 bucks everyday for a 1.5 km ride! I am yet to come across one decent one. And, if they, as a whole are nice, they should be using the damn meter!

Overall, Mumbai is my fave city, much to my Mum's disgust! And I like disgusting her every now and then driving home the point :D

Bihag Bhatt said...

@Cribbita - For once, we agree. Mumbai is a sweetheart city.
@Manage - I disagree on the soul part. Mumbai takes every crisis in its stride. The city-dwellers opened their houses for complete strangers during those torrential rains. It is not apathy that allows them to start normal life after these mishaps. They just know where they can make a difference and where they can't.

Kartik said...

Well the likeness of a city is dependent on two things - a) how the city has welcomed/offered you and b) how you have adapted to what the city has to offer.
Mumbai would win hands down to any city in India on the first point. The very professional nature that permeates across different layers amongst the Mumbaikars blended with the right mix of warmth and friendliness increases to the likeness:)
Point b) is very subjective and definitely Kavity has published very strong reasons for loving Mumbai.

Shreya said...

A couple of links to previous posts - http://for-public-consumption.blogspot.com/2009/01/tale-of-many-cities-tale-of-just-one.html (last para)
http://for-public-consumption.blogspot.com/2008/04/city-speak.html

Kavity said...

@ 'Butt'ah: You agree to something I say, finally! :)

@ Katrix: Yes, Mumbai just adopts and absorbs anyone who walks in to the city, despite brimming already!

@ Shreya: Loved both of them! She is definitely an enchantress! With a steely embrace!