The 'Spirit' Of Mumbai

I have been living in Mumbai city ever since I was a child. A vivid memory I have, is one of me standing on my second floor balcony year after year, religiously praying to God for the floods to happen on a school day. And sometimes God answered my prayer, and at other times the floods happened after school or over the weekend; but all said and done, the floods did happen. Isn't it ironic, for such an advanced city, fast paced, savvy, international and hi tech too, that year after year after year nothing changes? But who do we blame? We all accuse the politicians, the government, the BMC, the police and the whole system of being nothing but selfish and corrupt. That 'they' are ruining things for us. All said and done, however true it may be, I think if I had to pinpoint the blame, it would be targeted at you, me and each and every citizen of Mumbai.

We are angry and then grumble to each other. We crib endlessly about how we do not have decent footpaths to walk on, how we never get a smooth bump free ride on our roads, how the city lacks need open spaces and parks, how don't have clean air to breathe, a clean environment to live in, there are encroachments, hap hazard infrastructure, no concept of preserving the environment, no parking spaces, floods and the list goes on and on. When we all not only know but go through it day after day, year after year why why why do we not take a stand? Why do we sit pretty in our pretty home waiting for someone else to do something? Why do we say 'chalta hai'? Why do we say "kya kare?" These are things we deserve to get for the money we give as tax year after year. We pay our taxes in order to get something back and what exactly are we getting back? We are just sitting idle and giving up our rights as citizens! Wake up Mumbai!!! You are paying thousands and lakhs of rupees each year and just saying 'chalta hai?' NAHIN CHALEGA! Enough is enough!! How many more years of suffering do you want to endure? What kind of a city are you making for your children? Its still not too late. Nothing happens until you do it yourself. And this is something that affects each and everyone of us poor, rich, celebrity, businessman, peon. So why don't we all come together and ALL unite and fight together for things that are OURS to begin with?? Let 'foreign' places not be the only nice ones, lets make our home, our city a nice one.

If we all rave and rant about the 'Spirit of Mumbai', how the city comes together and people help each other in times of crisis, maybe the time has come for us to realize that everyday that we live here, is a time of crisis. This 'Spirit of Mumbai' needs to be channeled into a spirit that fights for justice, fights for a cause, fights for our basic human rights! Mahatma Gandhi silently fought and fought until he won freedom for our whole country, and we the citizens of Mumbai cannot unite and fight for what is rightfully ours? Its not just about these ridiculous annual floods its every single thing!!! Lets stop blaming, lets get cracking, lets find a solution and lets clean up. LETS GET TOGETHER.

Excuses will be there eternally and endlessly. I leave you to ponder over the words of famous songstress Joan Baez "You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now."

- A Wannabe Proud Citizen Of India, of Mumbai.

Copyright © 2011 Ramona Arena. All Rights Reserved. - Check Copyright Here