I don’t know what it is about today – maybe it’s the work pressure, the birthday and holiday withdrawal symptoms, or perhaps the stress from a really tiring week, but I have this strong urge to leave the city. Of course, I’m also assuming that the city is to blame for how I’m feeling.
When you live in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, you have to move at its fast pace to keep up. You have to strive to be the first to get the rickshaw, the cab, the train, the bus. The city is moving forward and it has no qualms in leaving you behind. And it’s you who will ultimately suffer.
Living in a planned city, you’d think that you’d at least have peace during your commute. Think again! The trains are brimming with people, all of whom believe that they are the only ones who are in a hurry (yes, everyone is in a hurry in Mumbai). The roads are filled with cars in bumper to bumper traffic and don’t think a driver will end your traffic woes. Sure, the drivers will feel the pain of holding down the clutch in traffic, but you feel the bumps as you cross roads that have become nearly crater-like. The buses seem to be a good option, but then again you’re going to take a lot more time to reach your destination, albeit in one piece.
Another thing about a city like Mumbai is that it literally never sleeps! I can hear the party go-ers rejoice, but at the risk of sounding like a party pooper, there are times the city needs to rest too. The country turns 64 this year and I’m sure Mumbai is tired. She has a lot of weight on her shoulders – being the financial capital of the country. Of course there’s also the physical weight of carrying the weight of more than 21 million on her shoulders. No wonder the roads are caving in.
Don’t get me started on the population. Mumbai is seen as the place to make it big, to live the good life and to see the stars. You have people occupying every space there is in the city. But are there really making it big? Are they meeting the stars? Are they living the best life they could? Do they even have a chance – with the high prices, crowded spaces and rat-like races?
I, for one, would much rather live near the mountains, away from the pollution, with the privilege of being able to see the real stars every night as they dandruff the clear black sky.