Thursday, September 10

Its back to Mumbai vs Delhi

HT Brunch has an interesting cover story comparing the cities - Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. As usual the funniest piece is the best - Ruchir Joshi on Cal. Sam Miller writes a pretty boring essay on Delhi. It should have been written by a first generation immigrant. That's what the city is about today - the millions who came in in the last decade have changed how we live and work.

But the silliest piece is on Mumbai. Jerry Pinto protests about how one cannot make schemes for a tribal girl sitting in Sujan Singh Park. Never Mind that the in financial capital of India a handful of people decide how the country's economy should be run and 3 directors(or is it 5) Bollywood have been deciding the colour of our dreams for decades.

Then he goes on to laugh at the concept that Delhi will ever give up its power without actually realizing that the comment is as much for Mumbai - like all urban centres power is centralized in Mumbai. That is what cities are about. But then the writer starts to get depressed about how cities are "artificial constructs" and are built when people are tired of farming.

I love this kind of pop analysis from Mumbaikars. I have another simplistic example to match their argument.

Take a ride on the 9:45 metro with me. And you will see democracy at work. I do not know about the 21st century. Dilliwalahs do not think that far ahead. We are in transit and ready to move to the next opportunity.

But let me tell you this. The next 20 years this is an exciting place to be.

But it might be difficult for a Mumbaikar to come on the ride. He has to wriggle out of the suburban train first and jump over the portholes in his city before he can catch the Metro.

1 comment:

Kunal Bhatia said...

Quite cliched, noh? Lets see if the Metro changes things in Mumbai.
- Mindless Mumbai