Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Salaam Mumbai

What a week it was! A week that re-defined India's landscape on the global map and left scars deep in our minds. India will never be the same again. How ironic as I write this given that Mumbai was the hot spot for various cowardly Sena's to tell us who belonged to this city. A city that was torn apart on the basis of which state you belonged to. And now when we talk about the ghastly act perpetrated by the bastards of a perverted faith we don't talk about it as an attack on Mumbai but one on the Indian state.

Answers to "Why Mumbai was attacked?" are fairly simple and ubiquitous. Mumbai is India. It's been the melting pot of the country. It represents aspiration, hope, struggle, joy, culture above of a spirit iof resilience(will still defend it). Unlike northern cities such a New Delhi where the migration is from places such UP and Bihar or Kolkata where it would be the not so fortunate North east and people across the border, Mumbai has always had a potent mix of people from all over India. Be it Gujaratis marwadi's that dominate various businesses or the shetty's that occupy the reins to India's own fast food chains. Be it the sweat and blood of the labourers from the southern parts of India that build the dreams that we live in to the drivers that yes do ensure that we get home safely.

This city is India. Period. It represents what we are as a nation. The organised chaos of Mumbai's transport is reminiscent in the way India functions. Chaotic but still manages to scrape through. Here rains are enjoyed each year despite the havoc it brings in. Our gods are celebrated despite having failed to protect us. We still move on... Is that a good thing???

Yes. Lot has been made about the "Spirit of Mumbai" (cliche as it may be) and the passiveness its brought about that everything in this city will be endured. The spirit is important and has nothing to do with passiveness. Its also has nothing to do with inaction. They are mutually exclusive. Every city has a flavour that makes it what it is.

It's the strenght on which the city lives and moves. It's the oxygen towards hope of a better tomorrow, the fire burning in you despite all odds. To move on be it besides the lack of choice.

Yes I concede that the "spirit" has been made too much about but cannot be rendered as fodder to those who wish to do nothing. But its the same spirit when all else fails, seems to overcome our sorrows.

11/7 was a prime example, where people did take to the streets to help commuters, slum dwellers looking to rescue the faith of people who they have never known. Surely when the basic amenities fails you it boils down to its people and how they make the best of a bad situation. Its the spirit that pushes strangers to help each other when all hell breaks lose, In city where the infrastructure will short, governance will succumb to populist pressures and security is next to impossible.

Though yes a lot of it has been made as an excuse to bear the brunt of the that goes wrong with the city one cannot belittle its importance. It something which every city needs and I know only one city that has it. All be it shattered but still moving on....

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