The Status Gap of Mumbai

Dear Mumbai,
           How are you? Feeling quite good being host to the favorite God huh? Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!! Everyone is at their peak, celebrating this grand festival while I am alone left to admire the magnificent idols, profile people going around and wonder about the City.

          Today I won't speak much about myself(Quite a Shock, huh?) Last week of observing the city has made me get more philosophical. The more I explore the city, the more it surprises and confuses me. Here is a small byte of my thoughts...
           Mumbai apart from being the Entertainment(Bollywood, mainly) capital of India also is the Financial capital of the country. Makes up above 5% of Countries total GDP(Gross Domestic Product) they say....I don't know about these facts and how they are attained. On the streets of Mumbai I get to see only a Gap and not the percentage of GDP. A blatant Status Gap which runs the catchphrase in my mind  "Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer"
Pic taken from a High Rise IT company
 On weekdays, I make my way through the City lolloping over puddles. As its rainy season yet, we have to mind our step and watch out for vehicles which could get you the taste of water in the potholes. So hopping and saving myself, I go past a few slums before I reach my workplace. Sometimes I feel, the whole corporate sector likes to look out from their glass windows in high rise building and feel content about how miserable other's life is. The Shopping centers, IT parks and BPOs have to be built around slums or the other way round. For those who don't believe me, go check out the Satellite view of Mumbai in Google Maps.

On weekends, the city gets some breathing space(even in the Mumbai local trains!!) People come out of their homes with their family and friends, and cram into Shopping centers and famous food joints. It all depends on "Are you Baade Baap ki aulad?"(Are you a Rich man's offspring?) I observe the difference in what people do. A rich couple steps out of a Merc or a Audi wearing branded clothes, and step into Food joints like McD, KFC or Dominoes. While the less fortunate, take their better halves to Pani Puri and other Chat stalls and go window shopping in malls. The extremely rich go around in chauffeur driven cars, while you see a whole family of 5 going around in a Bajaj Chetak scooter. 

After angry swearing frustrated common man, the stray dogs and crap, the next most easy to find on streets of Mumbai is beggars. Whenever you feel like donating or doing something good, you will never have to go very far searching in Mumbai. Tax free blessings and well wishes will be delivered near to your house or workplace.
After the stories I hear and read about the begging racket, it scares me to open my purse to the little toddlers who come begging to me outside temples. 

Amidst all this, me a New girl observing and making big statements about these wonder "Where do I fit in?" 
I am a girl who has not yet found my own identity in this city, but still I question
"Why the Gap?"
"Can this change?"
"How can I contribute, except for dropping a coin onto the child's plate and making him believe that this is what he was born for"

My Quest continues......

Sorry Mumbai, for being so harsh with you. I know the people you have here have got used to all this, but the place I came from was not so miserable. Yes! this state of imbalance in economy is a crisis all over the country, but Mumbai you seem to have the imbalance very much evident in you.

Yours, New Girl in the City

***next week will try to calm down and talk about less scary topics. 


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