The first thought that comes to our mind when we hear the word “Mumbai” is Marine Drive, finance capital of India(Money), Bollywood, Food joints, Dream City to put all of it in one. Almost every Mumbaikar, just like me, has this thing in his mind that “I love the city more than anyone else can. There is no city where I would even think of shifting. Jeena Yahan, Marna Yahan, Iske Siwa Jaana Kahan.” Many outside Mumbai, dream of shifting to Mumbai to earn plenty, live life and fulfill their dreams. Mumbai has seen a major transformation, and what I am looking at majorly is the Bombay to Mumbai transformation.
Now, coming back to reality, reality to what Mumbai is today. The charm of Mumbai has by far decreased rapidly since the past few years. Population has increased to the extent that there is hardly any place to sit quietly even at night 2:00am. Mumbai being so huge, many Mumbaikars in general spend 2 hours a day travelling in mad rush of trains, buses and extremely slow moving traffic between home and college/office. With the traffic comes pollution, air pollution than can make you sick, with a running nose, cold every second day, Noise pollution that will mentally just make you feel dead tired even if you are really doing nothing. The pot holes on roads of Mumbai, well known throughout the country, thanks to news channels, worsen the travelling experience all the more. Water Logging that happens every year during monsoons, they can literally halt the city that never sleeps. Education here has changed from Education to Business, dirty business, which involves only money and no quality. Dirty garbage, pan spit lying on every corner of every lane in the city, makes even the beautiful city look ugly. The number of slums in the city have risen, in-spite of all the ‘so-called’ slum rehabilitation measures that are at work since past few years now. Not to forget the infrastructure quality is far below the standards of any other Metro in the world. You look at the local trains, stations, bus stops, many streets, this is not the class of a Metro City that pays huge amount of Income Taxes for the country.
Mumbai airport has not changed much since the beginning, while the traffic that the airport takes has multiplied N number of times. To get business, this is a basic requirement to be able to communicate, travel with ease. The new proposed airport at Navi Mumbai has been in the planning stages since ages now. Work has yet not started. The idea behind Navi Mumbai was to ease the pressure that Mumbai is taking all alone, but again lack of quality transport facilities between the two neighboring cities have not let Navi Mumbai grow to an extent that we really need. To solve this issue, Metro was considered almost a decade back, and work on just the first phase of Metro has been on since the past 3 years now, while New Delhi on the other end have planned, built and implemented successfully many phases of Metro in the same amount of time. Similarly, Bangalore has been very good with getting IT into the city, with having some very good infrastructure facilities, a better lifestyle. Pune is on the growth rate too, especially in the education front, though not yet at par. Gujarat overall, specifically Ahmedabad has changed drastically in the last decade, and is soaring high, taking away business from Mumbai slow and steadily. None of the cities have yet reached the level of Mumbai, but they soon will. Mumbai is losing its charm. A common man cannot even think of buying a flat, not even in the suburbs of Mumbai, forget South Mumbai. So, after all the hard work, struggle that a man does here, he gets nothing but poor health due to the stress.
Talking about what Mumbai still has with it, is the people who still love the city, the land that’s created memories in their mind of their childhood, of the stories they have heard about Bombay. The city still has Marine Drive, just that now the beauty has decreased a little with the number of couples all over it. This city still has many age old businesses, joints that yet maintain the same quality, same environment that Mumbai is known for. Mumbai has changed, Mumbai has changed from Bombay to Mumbai. What we love, as mentioned in the first para, is Bombay, and not Mumbai really. Bombay needs a come back, else Mumbai will keep on losing its charm and one day shall become just another city in India. The little that is left in Mumbai is because of the past, which will soon make way for the future alone. All of it lies in the hands of the governance that Mumbai has. If it was led well with the right set of people, this wouldn’t be the case today. Vote for the right people and not those who plan to change the city from Bombay to Mumbai. Also, do your part in every aspect to not let this city down. Make Mumbai grow, with it’s values that it’s known for.