As a school going kid, one essay that I remember writing was ‘My neighbours.’ Although there was nothing truthful about that essay (and it wasn’t even ‘original) as I brought in flavours of nationalism to it. In the essay (if I remember correctly), my neighbors was a Southie who spoke too much, a Northie who ate too much, an Eastie and a Westie who am sure did something too which I don’t recollect.

This post may sound jingoistic, but then just couldn’t help but notice the diverse nature of India while on my way to office in the local train, bringing back memories of that not-so-original essay that I’d written about a decade and a half back! 

Sitting next to me was a Sardarji with a pagadi and two smart-phones, checking out all the news and events in the news websites on both the phones. 

In front of me, towards the right was a gentleman with a skull cap and a smart kurta-pyjama, also checking out his phone! 

Facing me was a guy who had the last traces of paan in his mouth with his eyes closed reciting some mantras (I guess!).

And me, a Christian, saying a word of prayer, as the train reached close to my destination – renamed (around the time I wrote the essay) after a famous Maratha King from a famous English Queen!

That’s Mumbai. That’s India. At the end of the day, it’s all about existence (read co-existence) and earning one’s bread. Not about any nonsense like ‘spirit of Mumbai.’

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