Mumbai Meri Jaan

Being an Amdawadi, I had been brought up on its laid back attitude towards life. So after my wedding when I moved to one of the biggest metropolis in India, it was definitely an eye opener. I could see people running all the time, be it at 5 in the morning or 11 in the night. I was shocked to see ladies running in their navari sari to catch a local train and riding in a BEST bus standing elegantly even at midnight. And the condition of traffic in Mumbai is not unknown to the rest of India. I was overwhelmed to see the immense sea of human population everywhere; on stations, local trains, BEST buses. And if this was not enough, we had the all famous Mumbai rains to contend with. I remember once I was walking on the pavement outside Andheri station in pouring rain and maddening traffic. It was so overcrowded that I couldn’t even open up my umbrella, there was just not enough space. I came home all drenched and tearful.

In a just few years, this city of extremes has got under my skin. The crowds haven’t disappeared but now I am dissolved in them. I see the safety that Mumbai women enjoy commuting in late hours and I also see the quest for survival in people that keeps them up and running all the time. Now I have learnt to walk in Mumbai rains on overcrowded streets without getting soaked to the skin by walking under already open umbrellas. If the ever-rising skyscrapers and sprawling slums make me claustrophobic, I have learnt to look at the never ending expanse of the Arabian sea. I have learnt to smile in pain. Yes, I am one of them. So this blog is an ode to the quintessential spirit of Mumbai, meri jaan.

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