Mumbai teaches patience…

The city of dreams… the city of lights….. The commercial capital of India… so many titles have been accorded to our dear Mumbai. Today while I was waiting for an auto rickshaw, it dawned upon me that Mumbai is also our teacher in patience. Wondering why I am relating such a noble golden virtue to the super stimulated metropolitan – where your status is decided by your unavailability… all in the city are busy and like to be that way. Still amidst all the chaos, I caught a glimpse of patience…

When I saw a headphone clad teenager who was sweating due to the heat and heavy traffic. Suddenly he shakes his head and takes a spring, because his favorite track played.

I saw a middle aged woman, rushing to catch her office bus. There comes a temple on the way, she gestures her colleague to hold the bus while she takes a statue pause to pray for not more than 10 seconds.

The school van arrives and one of the kids has not reached. The driver is continuously looking in the direction from which the child comes, the moment he spots just a corner of his uniform, he shouts, “Come fast!!!”

My husband travels for 2 hours every day (one side) for work but comes home beaming. Occasionally gets goodies too. What does he do en-route, listens to music, pj’s on radio and yes does all his surfing work…

A teenage girl stepped out, wearing a red gown with dazzles in her ears. She is waiting for her cab to come and in the meantime it rains, she runs towards the shade below the tree, calls the driver again. People around are noticing her as she is all decked up, and all she does is gives a faint smile.

At the mart, the billing queue is long. I saw a man with 5 items in his cart, standing behind another who had 2 full carts to be billed. He thinks and requests the man ahead to let him bill first as he will take very little time, the other one willingly obliges.

I was down to fetch my son. An old man and a boy both were waiting for an auto. The boy, dressed in formals, looked hassled as if he had to be somewhere and was running out of time as he checked the time thrice in a span of 10 minutes. After a long wait, one auto arrived, the boy immediately reached for it, but wait a minute, what did he do next? He stepped back and asked the old man to board the auto.

The fruit vendor while pushing his laden cart toppled over a stone on the road. His pile of fruits spilled all around. A car coming in his direction abruptly stopped and all the nearby people and vendors helped him by picking the fruits that had fallen near them.

I had a doctor’s appointment and I reached 50minutes late due to an accident that had occurred on the highway. I was feeling pathetic and that’s when the doctor said, “It’s not you alone, many of my patients are late. Please its ok!”

We visited a popular restaurant in Parel. We were waiting for a table to get vacant. A family had finished their dinner and was casually relishing their dessert. The woman noticed that we were waiting since long and she seemed to insist to her family to vacate as they were done with their meal.

I am sure even you must have come across a few such incidents while you wait for your turn practically everywhere be it roads, malls, theatres, play areas, ferry rides, restaurants, stations, airport, hospital – our city leaves us with no option but to remain patient and poised.

Visarjan

The aura of Visarjan

I am born and bought up in Mumbai. At the age of 34, for the first time I visited Girgaum Chowpatty on the eve of Anant Chaturdashi, and I discovered a new meaning in the process of Visarjan. To the world the relevance is that Visarjan is when Lord Ganesha leaves for Kailasha and takes the misfortunes of his devotees along with him. To me, it appeared as something bigger, something more magnificent.

I and my family chose to park our car at a distance and walk the streets to witness Visarjan. I was a part of a stream of people, belonging to different castes, each with unique physical attributes and of course from different financial statuses. But, there at that point all were together, in one flow. Visarjan unites….

We enjoyed the simplest of foods like berries, star fruit, corn, tamarind and Mumbai’s very own Vada Pav. Through our casual stroll, we relished these and so did my children. Visarjan helps enjoy small and simple……

I saw two kids, of a local labor family, poor but dressed to their best. As the music started rolling, they danced without any fear or intimidation, while their parents clapped and encouraged. Visarjan let them open up and seize the moment……

All were walking, all pedestrians – no two wheeler, no cars, no rickshaws, only feet to feet. No inhibitions about heat, distance and fatigue. Visarjan made us ecofriendly at least temporarily…..

An ordinary annual fest, appeared like, the world is celebrating. From where I could see, I saw only colors and a diverse crowd. From what I experienced I felt a gush of energy and inclusivity. It was as if I understood an unsaid message from God himself that humility is the only religion and camaraderie the only celebration…