The Spirit of Mumbai


“I say this Congress Government is corrupt” I declared.
“I understand” said Lulu, my parrot who was munching fruits.
“And it is very inefficient; there was perhaps no previous Government which was so inefficient.” I said emphatically.
“I see your point” said Lulu, who was now looking at the huge billboards in front of a Mall.
“It is impossible to live in Mumbai. It is the dirtiest city in the country, huge slums everywhere and filth on the road.”
“That’s unfortunately true.” Lulu.
“Just take a look at the suburban trains; they call them ‘Local train.’ There is no place to get in, forget about standing all the way to destination.”
“Hmmm...I’d never been inside, but you must be right, those trains are so crowded.”
“When you get down from the train the hawkers make it impossible to walk on the street all the way to your office.” I said angrily.
“Even Malls are crowded on weekends. No place to park your car there.”
“Yes, yes. Parking is a huge problem in Mumbai. And they tow away your car!”
“Right.” I said. “The traffic moves in absolutely undisciplined manner. Sometimes they move through one way street in banned direction. And breaking signals is becoming so common that they better not operate them.”
“Very unsafe. I see your point. It is an unsafe city even for parrots.” Lulu agreed.
“If you want to eat in a good restaurant you have to wait for at least half an hour before you get inside.”
“Now don’t talk to me about unhygienic conditions of their kitchen. I have seen it all.” Lulu said.
“Road side ‘thelas’ are also very unhygienic. But poor people - they eat their food there. What will they do?”
“Poor souls.” said Lulu.
“People will die by dozens in Bomb blasts, but Mumbai will move on even if no action is taken. Actually no action was taken as we know. And no action about so many problems of this city!”
“tut tut tut tut” Lulu sympathised. “But why does Mumbai get into situation like this?”
“Because they have perfected the art of ignoring everything that goes on around them.”
“You mean that’s the spirit?" Lulu asked, nibbling chillies.
“Yes, that’s the spirit!” I answered.

Vivek

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