Everyone talks of the spirit of the Mumbaites ( folks of Mumbai or erstwhile Bombay –the commercial capital of India). I, being one of them, would of course agree to the existence of this undying spirit, but not without asking a question ‘ Is it slowly dying, bit by bit?’
There is a bomb blast and the very next day, the city is back to its feet. It never comes to a grinding halt. But the question is ‘is there a choice at all?’ Folks come to Mumbai to eke out a living, and ‘necessity to work’ is all powerful and consuming.
But the other part that I have been observing recently, which really demystifies this undying spirit, is the intolerance observed in the day to day life. Road rage, impatience, quarrels, bickering, fights, fisticuffs and so on seem to be increasing by the day and the ‘live and let live’ accommodative spirit seems to be waning. Smiling faces, earlier seen, have turned to scowling, and externalising issues seem to be the order of the day. Reasons may be galore but what does Mumbai really need to do.
I am reminded of a mother who took her daughter to the departmental stores. The little girl saw some expensive toys and was uncontrollably weeping so that the mother buys the toys. The mother was heard saying ‘Jennifer, relax, Jenifer relax ….’ The girl continued weeping and the mother continued saying ‘ Jennifer, relax, Jennifer relax.’ Some others watching this asked the mother ‘Do you think, the child would understand whatever you are telling her …. after all she is small?’. The mother replied ‘ I am not talking to the child. My name is Jennifer.’
So Mumbai, revive the spirit and say ‘Just relax, just relax.’
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5 weeks ago