I am writing this at a very sad moment for Mumbai. 7-8 blasts have happened in the local trains here. The trains have stopped running for now and there's chaos on the roads.
I was just walking around to see what's happening and found some crowding on the road. I approached it to find out more. Suddenly a man from among the crowd turns and asks me "Saab aapko kidar jaane ka hey. (Sir, where do you want to go?)" I found a Lancer stopped on the road and this man and others are busy ensuring everyone get's home in the absence of the local trains! Amazing how in an otherwise crowded and tough city, human values shine through.
I am new to Mumbai and had expected it to be a tough experience. I thought I would come here and spent an year or two just because life in India can never be complete without the Mumbai experience. But my short stint here has shown me a totally and unexpected facet of Mumbai.
Just the other day I bought some peanuts from a kid who was frying it besides some road. I gave him Rs. 2/- and walked away. This lad calls me loudly and in a "Sir you need to be more careful" way tells me that he gave me just Rs. 1/- worth of peanuts and hands me back a one-rupee coin.
Some days back, I felt the taxi-wallah who took me from the airport back home had taken me on a longer path and mentioned it to him. He explained to me in detail why this was not the case and I was convinced. I reach home and then pay him and leave. He calls to me loudly and asks "Saab aap naaraz to nahi hena? (Sir, I hope you are not angry at me.) "
Many such small and to a lot people unnoticeable incidents...
It is not that I didn't have any bad experiences at all. But by and large I am awestruck by Mumbai. This could be the beginning of a new life altogether! Tuesday, July 11, 2006
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