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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The spirit of Mumbai

Much has been said and discussed about the flagging spirit of Mumbai.
What in effect is the spirit of Mumbai? After any calamity, natural or forced, the headlines next day talk about the spirit of Mumbai and Mumbaikars. Over a period of time, the aam junta or the common man has realised that this is just a ruse used by the bureaucracy and police to hide their inefficiencies. The feel good factor no longer works now. "Enough is enough". " We are resilient by force, not by choice".

The average Mumbaikar has now gotten used to these ups and downs. He has taken these in his stride and moved on. So much so that he has now developed a  I couldn't care less attitude where he generally turns a blind eye towards petty disturbances in his vicinity and carries on forward.

My last night's incident has given me back my pride in calling my city AAMCHI MUMBAI. Riding my 2 wheeler late yesterday night for a medical emergency, I received a sudden jolt when the chain of my bike gave way. I was stranded in the middle of the road with my bike refusing to budge a centimeter. Somehow I managed to get it near the pavement and was frantically trying to get in touch with some mechanics who could bail me out of this situation. When nothing seemed to work, I decided to get the vehicle towed to my place.
Nearby, a cabbie was patiently watching the drama unfold. He then came up to me with some suggestions. He got some instruments and tried to free the jammed chain. A few other bystanders offered to help. Suddenly there were 5-6 amateurs working on my bike with an aim to get the vehicle mobilized. Lo and behold! They managed to do the needful and my bike got moving. The unimaginable had just happened. Few Mumbaikars had selflessly helped an unknown Mumbaikar in times of distress. I thanked them from the bottom of my heart. While returning back, my mind was in a dilemma. Should I have offered them some money as a token of appreciation or were their efforts so magnanimous that my offering would be too menial and demeaning to their efforts?

Truly, I salute the spirit of Mumbai.