The city of dreams. Where thousands set foot every day, with hopes of making it big; to carve out a niche of their own, only to be lost in the crowd again. Where people come, to become stars, but end up driving auto-rickshaws and opening up chaat stalls at the Juhu beach. Where people, are treated as objects; and objects, are worshipped. Where reckless BEST drivers knock down children, drunk celebrities mercilessly drive over pavement dwellers, and cowards loot and murder senior citizens. Where friends turn enemies, and enemies, well, are enemies. Where meeting friends implies justifying who is better than whom, partying refers to drunkenness and protesting refers to putting up facebook statuses. Where everyday, is a struggle to fit in; be it travelling by the local trains, or going to a mall. Where lives are spent trying to prove our supremacy to people who hardly matter, and forgetting those who really do. Where terrorists destroy its oldest babies, the Taj and the CST station, kill its people, and get away with mere death. Where hundreds of childhoods are unknowingly lost, in the black hole of reality shows and movies. And, ironically, where most people die, not knowing what living life is all about.
The city that never sleeps; and unfalteringly looks after its people day in and day out. Where, a bhel puri is preferred over a Thai green curry. Where, the sight of a dabbawala is synonymous to a mother cooking for her child. Where the locals are our supermarkets- everything from clothes to vegetables can be bought at the cheapest of rates. Where even a humble constable, has the courage to not only confront, but also single-handedly detain a deadly terrorist.
Where a Maruti Suzuki owner is as happy as a BMW one. Where the fisherwomen are as entrepreneurial as the diamond merchants. Where even a bomb blast does not succeed in bringing the city to a halt.
Where festivals, are an excuse to drop down all barriers of caste and class, and selflessly spread more happiness than one has ever got. Where school kids spend their diwali vacations, painting the walls of police stations and adding colour to their lives. Where even slum dwellers display rare determination, when their shacks bounce back an hour after being razed; mirroring the steadfastness of the city. Where women protest in sweltering heat, for the victim in Delhi. Where everybody celebrates Diwali with the same fanfare and fervour, as they celebrate Id, and Christmas.
Where the journey, is the destination.
People don’t live in Mumbai; Mumbai lives in its people.
Article by: Rashmi Shankar.