Monday, July 25, 2011

A Callous Activity

I didn't want to do this. But a society in college wants to fill up its damn notice board, and its cover story is the Bombay blasts, along with other garbage on the sides. So instead of letting someone who has no relation to my city in anyway find some random article online and put it up, I'm writing the op-ed. This won't be a pleasant read, it might be insulting and so if you do want to curse me, feel free to do so.
So this is just another one in the blitzkrieg of headlines, articles, editorials, television comments and other such nonsense. After every blast, one of the most annoying things is the media assault which follows. No Barkha Dutt, you do not know my city, you do not care about my city and frankly speaking you should keep your moth shut. That and the 'spirit of Bombay' cliche which everyone keeps using.

What is this spirit of Bombay? People say its our resilience, our ability to show up the next day at work after a blast, our ability to crowd Dadar station after a blast happened not more than 5 minutes away. Honestly speaking, no one other than a Mumbaikar would have it, because no one else has ever faced this kind of trauma, over and over again. Our 'spirit' is in fact a tribute to the fact that we've given up.

Its true, we've given up. Lost our hope in the government, given up on the system. Just like monsoon flooding, crumbling infrastructure, lack of space, crowded trains, terrorist attacks too have become a part of the everyday problems that Mumbaikars face. But I think we gave up hope long before 13th July became another date in our blast calender. We gave up hope in the Maharashtra state government and the center when we realised it was thoroughly inept. The Maharashtra governments only news worthy achievement in recent history has been increasing the drinking age to 25. Wow! I salute my MLAs. So when they focus their amoeba-sized brains on preventing 'alcoholism', caring who smokes in cabs, and all political parties attempt to seem like the biggest champions of Marathi culture and Marathi pride, its doesn't come as a big surprise when three blasts take place in the city. If anyone is wondering where the police was, our pot-bellied and lathi wielding 'Pandus' were probably busy busting some night club trying to curb 'obscenity', because obviously arresting 20 year olds is easy as compared to even finding who caused the blasts. I'm actually surprised there weren't more blasts. It seems so terribly simple.

But Bombay still is, and will remain the greatest city in the world. No city is made great by its government, or its infrastructure. People, are what make a city what it is. And Bombay does in fact have amazing people. If 'spirit' does exist its not that Mumbaikars go back to work immediately. In a fast paced city, where time literally equals money, we don't have a choice but to go back to work. No the spirit of Bombay lies in its humanity. It lies in the fact that ordinary people, do their best to help each other out. So people can continue writing op-eds, Rahul Gandhi can continue to say garbage on national television, the government can continue to be callous and inept, because my city will continue to rise, flourish and prosper due to its people. And fortunately or unfortunately, in the case of Bombay, that's all what the city needs.


  1. Oh, this is so true.
    I hate the 'spirit of Mumbai' cliche too. Really.

    We're always taugh to move on, never to fight back. Hyderabad is famous for it's 'lite lelo yaaron' spirit.
    It's too deeply rooted in our system and we always choose the easy way out by focusing on insignificant things to get the feeling that we've conqured something.

    Bombay, nevertheless, will remain a great city.

  2. They keep talking about the city's resilience, why are they doing EVERYTHING and anything to test it?

    Good post..