Saturday, November 26, 2011

Amchi Mumbai

On the way back to my Karma-bhoomi, I stopped at amchi Mumbai for few days. 

I landed on a Thursday. Took some effort to get adjusted to the change in weather. ( I must confess!)

Next day turned out to be one of the’ hottest November-days in over seven years’, as a local daily reported. Sun chose to shine brightest when I was around, I guess J

Talking among newspapers, I still cannot understand why do Times of India has so many pages! They may consider it as a very hot product ! But, it is more 'humid', than that ! Fourth Estate deserves to maintain certain amount of consistent quality! Why waste paper/environment, reader's valuable time ( though he/she can choose... but do we choose really?)

At Mumbai, I could chuck the mineral water bottle & drink from the (filtered, thanks to Acqua Guard!) tap water! Felt good, for reducing the pollution to that extend, however small! Tender coconut had become more expensive ! But the vendor in our township extended a warm welcome... my son & me used to be his valuable cusotmers, once upon a time in Mumbai!

The overall quality of life surely has improved. One visible change was the number of dish antennas on the slums.  

Does that meant more couch-potatoes? It is confirmed more Indians suffer from life-style related ailments, compared to previous decades.
The number of people taking morning walks has seen a drop. The exception was the area around Shivaji park. There were people from all age groups, profile sweating out there. Thank God, people still care for their fitness & health.

Darshan, very early morning, at Siddivinayak was truly blissful. Thereafter went to ‘Kochu-Guruvayoor’ in Matunga. Break fast at one of the south indian restaurant… food for body, after the nourishment of the soul.

Taking an early morning drive to the temples is something we started, to beat the traffic. But as we drove past Aarey colony, Sun just coming out, the scene looked so serene & beautiful. Thank God we still have few green pockets, such as Aarey colony.

Mumbai, like rest of world, was obsessed with the date, 11.11.11 ! There were reports people tying marital knots, artificially ensuring child-births, etc. Of course, lot of news bites on the arrival of a child into Bhachchan household ! 11/11 was yet another day... a gift from God. But we forget the spiritual aspect of a new day & focus on the other side of the coin!

Of course, lot of discussion on Sachin’s 100th ton ! There was a joke going around, who would win the race to hundred – petrol prices or his centuries !

There was more aggression on Mumbai roads. Every one seemed to be in a hurry, lot more than it used to be earlier. Even drivers of taxi/blue cabs were aggressive & at times, abusive to others! Auto-drivers would be more pick & choosy about the route they would they would take, not what a customer wanted! The traffic sense, or lack of it, hit a new low, I felt. While lack of basic driving discipline was sad, total insensitivity to others on the roads was depressing.

I was in the city after a gap of over 2 years. But I sensed a perceptible change in the character of the city.  The residents may not observe the subtle shifts. An NRI friend, who just returned for good, has opted to move to Blore ! He was critical to see the infrastructure remains at same levels, as almost 5 years ago, when he went abroad in search of financial stability... and shockingly, nothing much has changed !

If physical infra was sad overall, the spirit of Mumbai took a dip, I felt. I hope, I am wrong !!


B V S said...

I was hoping to read that the Mumbai spirit has only bettered. Going down is not going anywhere. I wish, hope and pray you are wrong too..

SUBS said...

I shared the thoughts, as it was disturbing to note e shift... Not out of any personal, unpleasant experience. But observed over the stay... Mumbai should wake up... !