Maximum City

(Above Photo by Peter Adams –

“If you don’t have the exact change then check with us before you order your tea . We offer a bank where change is held in trust – until next cup for regular customers.” The only place on earth where one would find such a signboard on a roadside tea stall is Mumbai.

By Eeshani Godbole

F. Y. B. Chem

A sleepless city, yet the city of dreams! Mumbai has so much to offer to every one of the hundreds coming here every day to ‘make it big’. Let’s take Shahrukh Khan’s example, who said “When I came to Mumbai, I didn’t even have a penny in my pocket.” And he’s just one among the many people who came, saw and conquered. This is a city where you can’t snooze your 6’o’ clock alarm for even a minute. Even a minute of extra sleep means you will be welcomed by a huge queue waiting for the 6.50 am 461 BEST bus. A minute late means you will miss your 6.58 am Churchgate fast local. The city makes you disciplined; it makes you value time. What makes Mumbai Mumbai are the people. This is the city where inspite of the several gory terror attacks, everyone goes to work; where during the floods people come out of their houses with vada pav and tea to feed their fellow Mumbaikars who are stranded far from home.

What makes Mumbai exciting for most people is her ability to invoke a passion for life in everybody who calls it home.The city teaches him to be a survivor, to be independent and resilient. In Mumbai beats the heart of Maharashtra, in Mumbai beats the heart of true secularism. People in Mumbai learn to live, breathe and thrive in the present. Renowned author Shobhaa De rightly puts it, “Mumbai is a magnet and a serpent. It can save and destroy, nurture and reject, caress or bite.”

The ” maximum ” city as Suketu Mehta calls it, is the only place on earth where you would find a random roadside Sai Samarth Dosawala earning so much money that he starts a dosa ‘plaza’ on 12th street London; where ” mucchad ” pan wala drives a Mercedes E – 250 and you wonder why you bothered becoming a graduate ; where a road side “dheeraj vada pav” owner sends his son abroad for further studies – despite the fact he can’t even spell the word “study”; the only place where you pay 100 bucks for a plate of panipuris on the roadside at ELCO , with a board saying ‘Made in MINERAL water only’ !. The Dabbawalas who ensure your lunch reaches your office in time even though it’s 25kms away with just a colour marking system. These same dabbawalas can beat any IIT graduate in logistics and are probably the only ones invited to Prince Charles’s wedding.

Every person coming here is welcomed with open arms. It seems to be bursting at the seams; yet, there is still place for more, more and more….


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