You may have heard the name of ‘Mumbai’, it is the city that has the highest GDP among most cities of Asia, and is also the financial capital of India. But a city always means something different to its resident – an ordinary man living with it. My story dates back to over a decade ago, when I was a teenager going to school, when I traveled by school bus. The old myself, staying at the comfort of my home, would have not expected what I get to see, today. For the four years that I was away, I enjoyed my time elsewhere.
Fast forward to 2017, I see a shockingly different side to the city. This time, I was staying on my own, and had my workplace 25 kilometers away. Well, if the city is said to be one of the most populous urban regions in the world, I did have an idea about what it would be like.
It is surprising to know that Mumbai’s suburban rail systems carried a total of 6.3 million passengers every day in 2007. it is also known for being overloaded and over crowded, that leads to accidents. Needless to say, each one everyday, has to fiercely fight to get a seat. Through the journey, one will be be pushed – weather seated or not, and when not seated, one struggles to place their body parts in a stable position. The experience is coupled with getting rubbed by sweaty body parts of others, along with getting stepped on by people’s feet, and that will leave you wondering, for only a second though – was it heels? Ouch!
The place shows me several faces, everyday; Tall towers right next to shady slums, beggars asking for money outside the window of shiny sedans driven by chauffeurs, a road with posh localities, only to be followed by a series of shanties, and buildings that are under maintained.
There are not just elements that surprised me, but honestly, there are few aspects that I found quite unique to the city of Mumbai. People take pride in this city for it being active during late night hours, with pubs being open till 4 am, and few train stations being crowded even at as late as 1 am.
However, due to rise in crimes in almost every corner of the otherwise beautiful world, one has to take care of himself, and being cautious is crucial for every citizen in the city.
There is always room for a better tomorrow, and a brighter day. The city does celebrate, and celebrates in huge number and energy, to pray to God Ganpati, and also on the occasion of the nation wide famous festival – Diwali. Seen in the picture above is one of the most iconic train stations in the city being lit up beautifully.
Our cities have deep stories to tell, and we, its residents have deeper ways to convey those to others. What lies within us is the initiative to observe, analyse and articulate the essence and elements of the city – that is the step towards making the move for positive change, that is possible by the community. Say it with a line, or share a small incident, or in anyway you would like others to know about your story, a story from your city.
Hi, my name is Bhavana and I love to meet people, have new experiences and share them with you! Join in and get Happening to be Happy!