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.