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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mumb-high!

Back from a short visit to Mumbai, and reminded starkly of what makes it the commercial and entertainment capital of India, while Delhi/Gurgaon remains....er....just a shithole! It's hard to describe the joy of seeing the people on the street not wearing that blank, stupid yet arrogant expression that i've grown sick of; the joy of seeing a people who have the brains to understand that red means stop and green means go, and the class to abide by it; the joy of seeing honest cab drivers, sane bus drivers, attentive customer-service, queues for elevators, lane-discipline, Harvard Business Review and Amartya Sen at traffic signals, strawberry milk-shake at Canteena, kites at Haji Ali, the considerate chaos of Zaveri Bazaar, the stunning beauty of the queen's necklace, the buzzing, throbbing, commerce of Nariman Point, hot-buttered apple tea at the Tea Centre....hmmm.....you get the drift....I miss Mumbai, I miss civilisation

7 comments:

Mayuri said...

Hi! Good to see u back...was jus reading ur post on Bombay and i cant help posting my comment on that one....i understand ur feeling abt delhi/gurgaon..i felt the same when i came here a year and a half back and even now the stupidity and complete lack of etiquette of the delhi crowd really pisses me off but i still feel u r being a little too harsh. Think abt it...wud u get a half decent place to stay in Bombay for the prices u pay in delhi/gurgaon. I mean in Delhi I can atleast beleive that some day i can have a decent house of my own without having to pay astronomical prices for living close to my work place....How abt the weather in bombay during the summers/monsoons....EEEEWWWWWWWWW!Its muggy, constantly raining and wonder how the ppl survive really....how abt the idea of travelling by train everyday..and the crowds ofcourse...OH MAN! I mean i understand that most of them are really nice and friendly unlike the Delhi crowd but tell me dont the sheer numbers daunt u??? And the food...hmmm.....now be honest abt that one vinay....u cudnt possibly get that butter chicken anywhere else...if u still dont beleive me, i think we shd make a plan for dinner at Punjabi by nature...As for the cultural scene...i beleive theres some stuff happenin out here too...agreed its not as big and happening as Bombay but there are nice little things like 'Music in the Park' etc which i quite njoy..
In any case i think comparisons r a bit futile.I mean when i came down here from b'lore i hated it coz and for me delhi was never goin to match up to b'lore...but then i guess it wud be a little stupid to look at things that way and not njoy stuff for what it is...

Smith said...

My issues with Delhi, if you notice, are strictly people-centric, Delhi would be a great place if you took out the Delhi-ites and put in say, Mumbaikars or Bangaloreans. I love the wide open spaces, the availability of affordable accomodation etc., but the sheer stupidity, arrogance, belligerence and inconsiderateness of the people make it Crap City No. 1.

Then again my perspective is from Gurgaon, which is a few notches below in Delhi in all respects (but the advantages are also amplified, much better accomodation, much more choice).

I am firm believer in the philosophy that one should not fight with one's environment, but when you catch a brief glimpse of a far far superior environment that you once enjoyed, you can't help but a feel a little done-in!

Smith said...

and before i forget, butter chicken can go to hell, that's not the only kind of food in the world, if you consider variety and affordability mumbai kicks delhi's ass any day. I agree delhi has good expensive places where you get great food, but Bombay has good cheap places where you get great food, and a tremendous number of them...at least Gurgaon doesn't have ANY, except the bloody dhabas with their dal makhani and butter chicken. There are better South Indian places in Bombay, there are better Goan places in Bombay, there are better Mangalorean places in Bombay, there are better Italian places in Bombay, and there are better Chinese places in Bombay, so like I said, delhi's national bird can go to hell!!

Boomsa said...

I also want hot buttered apple tea. And it's Your Fault that I can't have it. Sniff. This November looks so bleak.

And I love your description of Mumbai. Rohinton Mistry will be proud of you.

N said...

I miss Bombay too. NIce read.

shivani said...

chauvinist!...is all im thinking.
dont be disappointed though..you HAVE succeeded in arousing very violent feelings..chauvinist!or shall i say the denizen of "a shithole"!as for the expressions of the people on the road-youll forgive me for not having condescended to notice them,i am a Delhiite after all!and..
if im not mistaken,i have seen you misunderstand the red light as well!
come on vinay...i know exactly where youre coming from because i know how much you miss bombay/bangalore..but this is really coming down a bit too strong!im not saying i belong to the garden of eden you know but in your analysis of bombay theres just a hint of paradise,dont you think!
i have nothing against bombay but you have obviously not lived in delhi long enough to appreciate it.and how can you if you keep looking for bombay here!
anyway,your opinion is your own,and i have to stop airing mine somewhere...but give delhi a chance,and more importantly the time..ill grant you this much that it isnt the kind of place you fall in love with immediately but it has its own addiction,its own charm...
"i miss civilization"!!!!!CHAUVINIST!!!!!

Wunderkind said...

Hi..chanced upon your blog today.I understand very well what you mean, I hated Delhi too when I came here initially.There's a lot about this city that I never got used to and never will.But hey,it does have some redeeming qualities.It isnt fair to compare Delhi with Bombay/Bangalore.Every city has its own pros and cons,its own soul or lack of it....
Anyway, nice blog.Will be back.