Now that Maharashtra Government has officially banned selling, eating, possessing, dancing with, etc beef, I think it is an awesome move – one that looks at the future; one that is extremely well thought out. I mean, think about it!

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It has been ages since I blogged for Malluisms, primarily because of my own laziness, and also partly (and this is a good enough excuse) because I have been trying to launch a ‘universal-unified’ site for a year or more. And finally, that day has come to pass! As I begin this second innings, I sincerely hope that I will be more regular at what I like doing – no, not cooking snake meat, but writing.

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Mumbai is selfish. Very selfish. The culture of ‘Yeh mera hai. Tujhe isme kya lena dena’ (roughly summarized and translated to ‘Mind Your Own Business’) is very much imbibed, if not already born with, into every second Mumbaikar’s genes. That is seen everyday in our fight for a breathing space in a local train or on the roads, when we don’t wait for a signal to go green. Or worse still, it is seen from the ‘Priest and Levi’  (from Jesus’ parable of Good Samaritan) it shows attitude while someone’s bleeding to death.

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 Mumbai will never be short of stories. And each Mumbaikar will always have one every hour. Here’s mine represented in the form of a collection of tweets during my three-hour local train journey to office today (produced in chronological order so you can get a feel of the ‘ordeal’):

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The Wait…

There I waited for her with bated breath. Thought she’d come, for surely, she knew my time, and she knew where I stood. The wait seemed longer than usual. I was tired, what with a long hard day at work! But with that hope in me, the tired body seemed secondary.
Was I too late? I don’t think so. I’ve seen her before at this hour too. Negativity begins to reign at an hour like this. Was she asked out before by someone else? Is she already taken? Has she become somebody else’s already? Suddenly, hopes begin to fall off, one after the other- like a pack of cards. Slowly, I start my walk of failure, or at least that’s what it felt to me! Slowly as I began to tread back home, the last of those cards seem to have fallen within me. I wished there was someone to hold me. Someone to comfort me. Someone to walk with me. No. Alone I always was in this walk, and alone I always will be.
Wait a minute. Is that her? And she ain’t with anyone! Wohooo! Here was my chance, and I wasn’t gonna let it slip. She stopped right beside me. Almost breathless with my little walk and nervousness combined, I finally popped the question, “Bhaaisaab, Patharli jaaoge?”
“Nahi boss. Aaj rickshaw strike hai!”

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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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