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Mumbai - The City of Dreams and Dust

Mumbai Rocks! Mumbai Sizzles!

A colleague of mine said during one of our official trips. We were on our way to office quarters from Delhi Station. It was 7.30 a.m. in the morning. The roads looked deserted and calm as compared to our buzzing Mumbai roads.

Mumbai roads are bustling with activity all the time.
Even during night, one may find people on the road having a rollicking time. Bomb blasts, floods, communal riots - nothing can ever deter Mumbai's spirit. It is the city of dreams where thousands come in a day from different cities, states and villages to become something in life, to be successful. They have dreams in their eyes and hope in their hearts. Some are very ambitious and come here to make it big in the filmdom. They get so addicted to the fast pace life of Mumbai that they drop their plans to go back to their hometown. They might not get a job initially but the city makes them tough. They might even sleep on the roads for days for they have the faith that they can survive here or say an uncanny attachment to the city.

   

Mumbai is also known as the tinsel town of India. The city has a glamorous side to it. The who's who of the film industry and industrialists can be spotted at late night parties and become Page 3 celebrities. These same people are in the news for the wrong reasons as well.

However, the real heroes are the so called middle class of Mumbai. They travel by the crowded train and go to work. They juggle a lot of things in a day. Even if they are tired at the end of the day, it is the enthusiasm and energy in them that keeps their life kicking. The trains are the lifeline of Mumbai. They carry millions of people to work and back home. If the trains are disrupted even for an hour, the city comes to a halt.

If you are not traveling by train then you would be missing out on a whole lot of filmy hot gossips, daily soaps, the latest trends in dresses and accessories, office politics and so on. The city respects people for their hard work and sincerity irrespective of class, caste or status. Have you ever heard of dabbawalas giving speech to management students? It happens only in Mumbai. They give lectures on time management, as they are famous for delivering lunch boxes at the right time at different places and are never late. Their time management kissas are so famous that they were even invited for Prince Charles wedding.

 

When you meet a Mumbaikar, you will not be able to make out where he or she is from. It is a cosmopolitan city. A Mumbaite is a mix of everything as they imbibe the culture and traditions of everyone. One can learn all the languages right from Tamil, Malyalam to Urdu, Bhojpuri, Nepali, Bengali and even know their culture and traditions.

The financial city of India is divided into two parts- South Mumbai and the suburbs. In South Mumbai only the rich and famous live while working class people dominate the suburbs. The difference is due to exorbitant real estate prices. Then there is the third area where people live in small and dilapidated huts near railway tracks, in large grounds and near building sites - the slum area.

The largest slum area in the world exists in Mumbai - Dharavi. There is no proper sanitation, not enough supply of drinking water, and the surrounding area is very unhygienic. Still people lead their life there with a smile on their face.

The governments dream to transform the city into Shanghai might be very difficult but it is not impossible. It might take a decade for the city to change, as it has to wipe off poverty and provide accommodation to thousands of people who enter the city everyday. For this, the citizens of Mumbai should lend a helping hand and provide support to slowly eradicate poverty and keep the city clean.

Contributing Author: Lakshmi is a freelance writer and has been working as a Sub Editor for the past three years. lakshmi.p24@gmail.com

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