In the movie 'Dhobi Ghat' aamir khan goes " To Bombay..my muse,my whore, my beloved"....interesting line ( aside from the fact that he used BOMBAY..'m surprised that Shiv Sainiks are not all up in arms)...I don't know about the first two..but yes mumbai is a beloved...not just mine...but for the millions who live in this metropolis..of the millions who have ceased to call mumbai home since forever.
For the nondescript man, wearing threadbare shirt and pants, leaning out of the 8 A.M Virar fast to the Girl opening her laptop attired in designer clothes and luboutins about to make a business presentation at the Hilton, New York...mumbaikar is the thread which binds these people together...As they say you can take a person out of mumbai etc.
You might say people who live in other city's have the same love for their city as mumbaikars do...perhaps so..lets see why me and a million others call mumbai our beloved...
The rains. Yes there is no getting away from it. The rains in this city are something else. The upper middle class, the rich can afford to romanticize the rain, for they will be cozily enclosed in their multistory apartments asking shanta-bai to " go make a cup of chai"..for the poor ( oh I am sorry socially underprivileged..is that what we are calling it these days?)its another bag of troubles all together. The mumbai rains bring out the filth and waste that forms the underbelly of this city. Still the rains are all encompassing all powerful and a great leveler.
The mumbai spirit. Its done to death. After every bomb blast, every calamity...that's what we get to hear...Its the resilience, the mumbai spirit, which keeps mumbai running. You must be f***ing kidding me. There is no spirit. The common man in mumbai is as scared as the common man in any other city. He just doesn't have the time to stand and breathe, to feel afraid because every second wasted is money lost. Still that is something uniquely mumbaiite as far as I know.
There is an energy that resonates within mumbai. Its the comfort with which they talk to each other in hindi, the way they swear at vehicles and pedestrians alike, the non stop chatter in local trains with subjects ranging from the stock market to sabji mandis to school education. Someone said if you stand in times square you can see at least one person from each country in the world pass you by. pahh I say :P...try standing at churchgate station...its an experience in itself. ( ermm try not to stand in anybody's way though..you might get pushed,shoved and even get a taste of those mumbai gaalis I referred to before :) )
And last but not the least mumbai has a special place in my heart. Its my darling,my calm place and my home.