Mumbai – A City Of Dreams Yet?

Marine Drive in South Mumbai seen during the n...

Aerial View - South Mumbai

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.

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14 thoughts on “Mumbai – A City Of Dreams Yet?

  1. aspirantentrepreneur October 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM Reply

    WOW! Impressive blog post. Its ironic and funny that I am the first to read and comment but somehow that had to happen :D.

    On a serious note, the issues you’ve brought up are serious issues and not only for the people of Mumbai but everyone who is concerned with making “India” a better place to live. The personal “likes” or “dislikes” may vary but the issues remain the same. We talk about being the “world leaders” in the near future but if the issues within the country aren’t dealt with, then how come we claim to make it that big in the future? We need a good and strong governance for every state, city or lokayuktas and in every field in order to get things right within the country. Because at the end of the day, no matter how bad the conditions are, we love our hometown and our country with all its discrepancies and we hope to make positive changes and contribute towards making our place a better one! 🙂 Kudos to you for this amazing post!!

    • Mohit October 14, 2011 at 1:06 PM Reply

      Exactly! I haven’t mentioned much about the solutions to all the problems mentioned above, it would just get a bit too big a post. But, I guess next post will be on the solutions. It’s sad, what they could have done with this amazing city and what have they transformed it into.

  2. Zankhana October 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM Reply

    yay..its no more the dream city now :-/

    • Mohit October 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM Reply

      What yay! It yet is.. Buss ab thoda kamm. And, it will soon bounce back. Don’t you worry.

  3. Shweta (@shwetamz) October 14, 2011 at 1:13 PM Reply

    True..we need to have that aura of Bombay back.. but we have shoddy infrastructure, rickety governance, and a thoroughly corrupt system.. the babudom of the people ruling has to be drastically changed. the potholes issue.. how long does it take to fill it with good materials once and for all.. but every year we spend money on it and still no change. God knows when the Metro will finally start. But yes we have Bandra-Worli sea link.. an engineers marvel and only of its kind on our country.. that says we need private and exp players to build this infra as these govt contractors are bloody useless.. what Mumbai has become is a “Concrete Jungle” . Now is the time where we should truly live upto the name “Bombay / Mumbai – A city of Dreams” and we will have to play a role in its development.. now dont ask me how?? 😀 ..

    But whatsoever , i an blessed to be born and live in this city .. I Proud to be a Mumbaiite 😀

    • Mohit October 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM Reply

      Seriously! This corruption has killed Bombay..
      Well, solutions are many, none of them simple enough. None of them quick too. It’s all going to take a lot of time, but things need to change. definitely.

  4. sydneydxb October 14, 2011 at 11:01 PM Reply

    This was a good read Mohit!

    It made me very nostalgic about a city that I too love.

    • Mohit October 14, 2011 at 11:16 PM Reply

      Glad that you liked it, let’s just hope things get better with time. 🙂

  5. Ankita Garg October 14, 2011 at 11:41 PM Reply

    Lovely touching post Mohit. I beleive literally nobody can do anything unless people realize the fact about population and strict measures are taken. I can literally feel the pain of Mumbaikars who miss their Bombay.

    No doubt the spirit of the city never fails to surprise each an one, but the quality of life is worsening by the day. I just hope the government atleast provide better facilities to the people. To say the least, to be honest, its impossible to go back to the old Bombay. Just keep the good memories and start liking this new city :))

    • Mohit October 14, 2011 at 11:53 PM Reply

      Yes, population is really a big issue here… Infact I remember, I had read somewhere… That every 672 Indian is from Mumbai. That is the amount of concentration of population in one city. A city too has it’s limits to expand.

  6. Aishwarya October 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM Reply

    Hmmm i guess i am the only non mumbaikar commenting here 😛

    The post kept me absorbed and i could picture most things, as i read it. Well i have only looked at it from a visitors point of view, and i absolutely love the city. But yes, during my short visit it was hard to digest the fact that people can actually wrap their heads around the idea of LIVING in a city bustling with SO MUCH activity.

    Hopefully the government takes some steps soon and steers it towards becoming a more livable city.

    If that doesn’t happen soon, i think several people will consider moving to other cities like pune. How long can they compromise on quality of life and peace.

    • Mohit October 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM Reply

      True true… Absolutely! Quality of Life in Mumbai is what this post is all about.

  7. Mumbai – The Next Step « Random Me! October 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM Reply

    […] This post is more of a continuation of my earlier post – “Mumbai – A City Of Dreams Yet?“.  […]

  8. Balasaheb Thackeray « Random Me! November 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM Reply

    […] in subtle ways, for which you can view my blog post on Mumbai written a few months back,  Mumbai – A City Of Dreams, Yet? Balasaheb may have been linked to violence a lot many times, most prominent being the one is 93. […]

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