Bombay, Mumbai, Bombay

Bombay Meri Jaan - Anna & Arko

My thoughts on the city and why we should think of voting as a civic duty rather than a right.

“The problem with democracy is people who press the wrong button to call the elevator also have a right to vote.” - Pradyut Roy

Mumbai is probably the only place where you can smell the successes of some and the failures of others in the same zip-code. The city where the ratio of the Audi’s and the slums is in proportion to each other.

Bombay Meri Hai - Uma Pocha

Mumbai is the most populated city in India and yet one of the safest one’s. The city doesn’t force you to learn a new language or encourage you to wear sunglasses indoors. Plus, you know for sure that there won’t be a dude at McDonalds asking for a paratha and saying “Tu jaanta nahi mera [redacted] kaun hai?” with a gun pointed at the staff.

“The thing about Mumbai is you go five yards and all of human existence is revealed. It’s an incredible cavalcade of life, and I love that.” - Julian Sands

The highest tax is collected from Mumbai and yet the infrastructure is in shambles. Mumbai is kinda like a kid who tops the class only to come home to an alcoholic parent everyday who beats him up for no reason. It is the only city which gets to hear — “Mumbai bahut bada shahar hai to aise ekadh hadse to hote hi rahenge. Voh 5000 logon ko maarne aaye the lekin us hisab se kam nuksaan hua hai.” after a terrorist attack.

“Mumbai may not be my city. But it is my kind of city.” - Vikas Swarup

Mumbai is the rich, the poor and everything in between. It’s love at first sight and it’s heartbreak the other hundred times, but what really keeps people here is the feeling of being accepted, the feeling of coming home. I’ve been away from Mumbai on countless occasions and the main thing I miss is the chaos: the chaos of being in a real cosmopolitan city. Mumbai doesn’t judge you, it just let’s you be; yourself, whoever that is.

“In this city, every deserted street corner conceals a crowd. It appears in a minute when something disrupts the way in which the world is supposed to work. It can disappear almost as instantaneously.” - Jerry Pinto, Em and The Big Hoom

Mumbai is known as a city of workaholics and in the midst of our daily routine, we as a city tend to forget our civic obligations from time to time. One of the benefits of living in a democracy is our right to vote, which we hardly ever exercise. Underage people try getting their hands on alcohol and cigarettes almost every other day but they never think about trying to slip in a vote. Screw that, even the people who can vote — don’t. The cynicism in us reaches a whole new high-point during the elections. Our long-weekend plans start popping up with our old high-school buddies and obviously that’s more important because “Nothing ever changes anyway, what’s the point of voting?” Obviously the construction of highways, the Sea-Link, the Monorail, the Metro and opening up the Indian market and making India a more global economy is not change. Nope.

“Mumbai women don’t abuse the cab-driver in their high-pitched tone when they refuse to go to Matunga. Mumbai men don’t letch at every girl they see. Yes, Mumbai is truly next-gen.”

Things might change overtime but it’s pretty clear that we won’t change. We are too busy on a public holiday. Who has the time to take care of something we are a part of? But our right of expressing about how bad the position is for the next 1400 days is obviously completely justified. Right?

How does that work? You disinvest and now you care about how the stock is doing? I don’t even…

Unaccounted votes are the worst thing you can do to your city, worse than diesel cars which give an average of 3 kmpl. Choose “None of the above” if you are a hipster but atleast take the trouble to actually DO something.

“Elections are around the corner and what are we doing? Binge-watching Arnab Goswami’s debates?” - Anonymous

I am the first guy who will point at Delhi and make cheeky comments about the city and the people whenever they screw up, but I do (kinda) respect them after 70% of the registered voters there decided to show up and cast their vote this year and even though they voted for a communist who wants everyone and everything to be dead including Foreign Direct Investment in Retail - the point is that, they did vote. I honestly hope Mumbai does better, this year around and hopefully we don’t end up voting for someone who quits within 48 days and blames every corporate entity in the world for it.

“Antilla, dude. What was he thinking?” - Shit People Say In Mumbai

Yes, this was a clichéd “I-love-Bombay-but-seriously-wake-up” post. Maybe this time around you could take the trouble to go out and vote instead of reading blogs which tell you do that exact same thing. (You can even take selfies at Starbucks after it with your friends and use hashtags. Flip dem’ middle fingers!)

This. Year. Bombay. Will. Vote.

/hope

 
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