July 21, 2009

It Happens only in Mumbai

There are many reasons why I love Mumbai. But a major reason is that I love discovering and rediscovering things and Mumbai is never short of them. I have been lucky enough to be the first in quite a few new things that have come up in Mumbai. For example, I was amongst the first to try and take the sea link when it opened up and spent two and a half hours trying to reach office. The other day I was also one of the first to witness a change in Mumbai airport. They have finally introduced a pre paid system for taxis and autos and put an end to the haggling that would begin once we hired a cab from outside the airport. It’s no longer as horrible. Like so many other Government initiative this too was pretty autocratic and made the taxis go on strike but then things are changing, Even though Mithi will continue to overflow over the next few monsoons, Mumbai is changing for the better.

Speaking of Monsoons. I have a new favourite pastime. When I know from before when the high tides will hit the city, I stand in front of the sea with outstretched arms asking it to draw away the pain. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

I grew up in the Doordarshan age. When I was in school, I remember the cumulative excitement amongst students to run back to their homes by 3:30 pm so that they would not miss the latest episode of Swabhimaan. And I was at that time completely floored by Mita Vashishth. Powerful, intelligent and with shades of grey, her character had everything. So there I was shopping in Mango with a friend and I looked up and saw her. Now in Bandra, Khar, Juhu, meeting celebrities is commonplace and ordinary. Just staying beside Juice and Gabanna allows me to stand in my balcony with my cup of tea and watch the celebs zoom past in everything from imported cars to autos. In fact, often you would ask a celebrity to make space for you if you run into him or her in St. Andrews auditorium. (Yups I did it! I had no idea who he was!) So thanks to P who was with me, I mustered up enough courage to go and tell her how I loved her performance in Swabhimaan. It’s one of those childhood dreams come true. Otherwise shopping at Mango is a tough task. You have really good looking women coming towards you with open arms and as soon as you are also ready to hug, they would ask you, “Do you think I look fat in this?” And trust me; you would have never met them earlier in life. What answer would you give to such a person?

Mumbai also make strange bedfellows. Given the state of the real estate, you would not mind sleeping with the enemy even. So I have this friend who was looking out for a place to stay. But he wasn’t happy with what he was getting. So, finally he got an offer from another guy who gave him a really good deal. There was only one catch. My friend’s current lady love once had a soft corner for this guy with the apartment to share. Under normal circumstances or cities, one would walk off. But then, yeh hain Mumbai Meri Jaan. Last known, he had shifted.

The Mother took a few children to watch Hari Puttar. Puttar kafi bada ho gaya hain. Haan ji! Yeh toh bachho ka movie hain na. Isme badi kissing wali scenes dal diye hain ji.

Well, that is the problem with the movie. The awesomeness of Half Blood prince lies not in the action but in the buildup to the grand finale. And thus except the staunch Potter maniacs perhaps others would be disillusioned with the movie. But if you feel the sinister plot building around Hogwarts, you know the movie has got to you. But while her children voiced their opinion, the Mother was non committal.

Mumbai is a highly competitive city. We were talking about competition and this friend said, “I hate all competition in my sector.” I was stunned. Hate is too strong a word. I love competition. I mean it. I think competition in the marketplace ensures a better deal for the consumers. You can look at your competition in two ways. It is a war or it can be a game. In both you try to win and that is why we are paid. As far as I am concerned, I take it as a game. And I just have fun playing.


Pavan said...

I was a big time fan of Swabhiman too!! Doordarshan age was quite soemthing!

Sowmi said...

OH I used to watch Swabhimaan, Imthihaan, Kismat, Junoon along with my Grandma.... Lovely days.. I miss Doordharshan and My Grandma...

Wat-ay post about Mumbai... and especially I liked it when u said you'll stretch your hands towards the sea to take away all ur pains... I've been there done that :)and I am waiting to watch HARRY POTTER AND HALF-BLOOD PRINCE... liked your crisp review of that movie :) why don't you start a website exclusively for putting up crispy movie reviews??


Soumya Sen said...

Professor Snape...what a charming character :-) !

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Pavan - I agree. Whenever I try to write something on it, floodgates open

@ Sowmi - I write because I love to. As soon as I start making websites, I'll lose my love. So let's do what we are doing :)

@ Soumya - Really :)