Vantage point

Thursday, May 29, 2003

The last few posts have been very serious and political. As a great Marathi sage once said 'Tikal tey politikal' (whatever lasts is political). Okay, maybe it wasn't a sage, but is the name of a TV series on some channel.

Point is, it is time to lighten up. So let us talk about something else.

Let us talk about.....Mumbai!!!

The past few days have made me realise that of all the blokes who had their heads screwed on right, Einstein was the finest. The dude spoke about relativity without realising what an immensely deep concept he had introduced. Okay, maybe he did realise it. But did he know that it can be applied to non-physics scenarios too? I have realised that in the past few days.

I was coming to Mumbai with Ameya, Vallari and Shalini, all of whom told me how they soent their last Pune-Mumbai journey (that is 3 hours) criticising Mumbai. Now the Gaurav Sabnis of one month back would have joined in with gusto or even conveyed my approval. But one month in North India and I am a changed man! I was actually appalled that the three of them were actually badmouthing such a fine city.

Then Einstein kicked in. These people had lived in Pune for the past few months. Hence it was obvious on their part to lambast Mumbai. But when you have lived in Delhi for almost a month, Mumbai looks like the closest one can get to Utopia(sorry, second closest :-)).

Following are the few things I have noticed about Mumbai vis-a-vis Delhi -

- A public telephone is more ubiquitous than a slum dwelling. And a local call costs just 1 rupee, even if you make that call from a normal handset instead of the coin-operated one.

- The buses have bells which the conductor will ring to indicate to the driver when the bus should stop and when it should go.

- Hawkers don't climb into buses peddling coconut slices or some such weird things.

- A netcafe is always closeby

- There is a lot of traffic...more importantly cheap public transport, even at night.

and last but not the least