(Above Photo by Akshay Bhoan – http://akshaybhoan.com )
Mumbai or Bombay is widely regarded as “The City of Dreams” where the common man makes it “Big”. People flock to Mumbai as if there were a Gold Rush here . The commercial capital of India is widely held in acclaim all across the country for the only Metropolitan city to be truly cosmopolitan too. What is it that makes the city so special?
By Mihir Bhagat
The Mumbai-Bombay debate is always mugged up with politics, sensationalism and what not. However, being a true Mumbaikar or a Bombayite, I believe the names showcase two contrasting sides of our city, each of which are known for their own peculiarities.
It all started from being the birthplace of Goddess Mumbadevi being referred to as Mumbai. Mumbai comes from the Marathi nomenclature of our city. Mumbai to me, signifies the Indian bond with our ancestral culture and heritage. It reminds us, no matter how much we progress, we should always remember our roots. Maybe that’s why Mumbai’s Ganeshotsav, Gokulashtami, Diwali are given so much of importance in society.
The British with their impairment to adapt to anything new, even local names, modified it to Bombay. To me, Bombay feels glamorous and conveys the message of our beloved city going international with an ability to adapt to an ever-changing era. Anyone can visit it, live it, enjoy it.
Exploring our city from a different angle, one gets to know that people irrespective of caste, creed, race, economic background, region, and profession , we all live together. No one cares about such trivial things while having a chat with a fellow passenger in a Local Train. We connect more to Sachin Tendulkar and his centuries rather than our Gods and Rituals. We give due importance to Ganeshotsav, Eid and Christmas. I’d rather not say, but hardly any other city in India enjoys such diversity. Maybe that’s why it’s rightly said, Mumbai represents a mini-India.
Another thing I appreciate about the Mumbaikar is their Down-to-earth-ness. We brush aside the Bling and belive in simple living-high thinking. Everyone understands that in Bombay you’ll always find someone wealthier than you, so keep the gloating to themselves. Much unlike Delhi, where a conversation will commence with how powerful their Dad is and how they can spend tons of money.
Mumbaikars are the most hardworking sub-species the Homo sapien has encountered. Women work for over eight hours only to come back home to cook food. Local trains are packed at midnight. Shops remain open till wee hours of the morning. Even the rickshaw and taxi-drivers, despite being cursed all day, ply throughout the night. After all, It’s rightly called as “The City That Never Sleeps”
That’s what an 18 year old inhabitant feels of his dear city. It’s the best place to be in once you find your feet.