Ah, the spirit of Mumbai. I’d heard of it when I was in Delhi. I would watch on television with utter horror the travesty that was the city’s transport system which came to a shuddering halt every monsoon. I would wonder what cosmic rails does the city run on? Why haven’t people moved to a different city?
I would never continue to live in such a city.
Then, two years ago, I moved to Mumbai. This is my second monsoon. I am still asking the same questions. And yet, I haven’t left the city.
The city has a raw, magnetic charm to it. Full of magic and mayhem, Mumbai is a bustling cornucopia of ceaseless wonders. A coalescence of petrichor, the smell of seafood, salt, plastic, dust, sweat, metal, blood. If Delhi is a dustbowl of a Lynch-esque dystopia, then Mumbai is the drowned world of Ballard. Delhi is static, ancient, in no hurry. Mumbai shrugs and moves on, only finding itself repeating its own mistakes. The rains are proof. A week ago, a plane crashed in Ghatkopar. Two days ago, a bridge collapsed in Andheri. There was some hue-and-cry. And then, a lull. Like nothing had happened. BMC probably heard about it, probably not. They don’t care. Neither do the people it seems. The spirit of Mumbai is only for social media brownie points.
People have lost their lives. But there are just too many people for the city to even give a fuck.
Shrug and stay home, people. Let the rains do their thing. Because when the rains will be gone, Mumbai will start again.
Until next time.