Monday, August 07, 2006

Mumbai is the RUdest City..yeah Rite!!

My mom had recently come back to India after a short visit to USA. As usual whenever u come back from such a place there are always those inevitable comparisons between India and uncle sam's country. My mom referred to a very interesting incident. There was a physically handicapped person waiting at the bus stop. The bus arrives at the bus stop. However there is no way that this person can get into the bus. So the driver stops the bus. Get out and removes a plank from the bus and places it over the steps, assists the person into the bus. Again he removes the plank puts it in the bus and gets back into his seat.This whole process would have taken him about a minute. Yet the driver takes out the time to actually help the person out without even grumbling for once. Now the question is if there is a possibility to see such a kind of scenario in India. On the surface of it u would not think in a city like Mumbai anybody would have the time to spare for helping another person let alone a bus driver.However things work differently here in India. The driver is not expected to help them out. Its any passerby who can give a helping hand. I think what is so great about Mumbai or any other city in India for that matter is that all one needs to do is to ask for it and u are helped. In fact as I write this I can actually visualize the person in difficulty being helped by absolute strangers when the persons requests for help. People here cannot develop a snobbish attitude. I think its partly to do with the fact that it doesnt matter to which ever social class you belong you need to travel together sandwiched in packed compartments with hardly air to breathe. Although this is one of the mosty uncomfortable ways of travelling but the feeling of oneness is imbibed in such a kind of atmosphere. Also in case of a natural/manmade calamity people volunteer to help rather than u asking for it. That is the sign of oneness that u can see in a city in India. I think if u wanted me to trade between routine courtesies and such spontaneous oneness...give me oneness anyday...I think thats why the RD survey seems so phoney. They were just the wrong parameters to judge a city. Also what I believe is the biggest pull off of that survey was to qualify New York (of all places) as the most courteous city. Comeon guys you must have been really high while conducting that survey. Dont mistake me,I am not saying that Mumbai is the most courteous city around but all I am saying is Mumbai received a raw deal.

To think I really used to like this magazine a lot!!

p.s.: I read this book called Maximum City by suketu Mehtha (its about Mumbai). I believe its a must for people living in or have lived in Mumbai.Its all about things which you dont want Mumbai to be associated with and yet things which are as inseparable as any part of Mumbai.


Blogger Kavi said...

well said n very true :) never been to mumbai but the same can be said abt most Indian cities... Heres to India!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Sudarshan said...

Thank you and a warm welcome to the world of blogging:)

4:19 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Very true human sense lost its shine..You go to any western wil notice one peculiar thing..All the vehicles would halt if a pedestraian crosses in the road even if its not in the zebra crossing..We are in a world where we pass the signal even after its red..Very sad.. May be we need to develop some social sense

3:49 PM  
Blogger Sudarshan said...

You are right about the pedestrain crossing thing..Maybe one possible explanation would be that abroad its never a pain to drive...and the occasion that driver has to stop for a pedestrain are few and far between...but then again these are frivolous reasons I think we really need to look at ourselves and find out why this contempt for human life...and this eternal rivalry between pedestrains and vehicle owners :)

4:00 PM  
Blogger Santhosh said...

BTW, the driver is not doing it out of courteuosness and caring etc. Its his job to do it (otherwise his ass is on the line).

What it also shows is that certain things need to institutionalized. Always with India, people step in because the govt. fails to step in when it needs to - whether its disable friendly busses, or the floods or even the Tsunami!

You can glorify the spirit of Mumbai as much as you want, but is it ok to have shitty governance and GREAT PEOPLE. Think?

9:25 PM  
Blogger pithan said...

"Governance" is not by aliens from Mars. They are also from the same society where "GREAT PEOPLE" live.
The trouble is Poverty. Politics for the last four decades is viewed as a profession for making money.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Sudarshan said...

Hey seeing u guys comment i am reminded of a saying which goes something like this: Democracy is where the majority of fools show thier supremacy over the wise minority:)

no offence meant!!!

On a serious note I guess you should go through the link below:

its an interesting viewpoint abt why politicans are the way they are...

3:56 PM  
Blogger dkbhatter said...

Been there for half a year dude..And i can vouch, its definetly NOT a rude city...

8:09 PM  
Blogger Jaya said...

Mumbai is like my lifeline city.. I was born in it and once I am there, I feel like I am a part of it.. Though being brought up in Chennai gave me a lot to cherish, Mumbai still has that special place in my heart... And I can vouch without thinking that the Mumbai neighbours are non-gossip, genuinely helpful people... Cheers to our country!

10:06 PM  

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