Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Traits of a true MUMBAIKAR

        They say USA is the land of opportunities. I say, Mumbai is the land of opportunities in India. With a population of 21 million and still growing by every day, it is a city that gives food , clothing and at times shelter to everybody who comes up. Just less than one third of the population would be natives in a metro like Mumbai. People keep flooding in Mumbai, some with an intent to go back and some do not.My dad was one of those who came to Mumbai 33 years back with an intent to get his job transferred back to his home town soon. Such is the city that he could not leave Mumbai and that is how I became a Mumbaikar.

          Now for those who are unaware, Mumbaikar is a term which is used for the people staying in Mumbai for more than 15 years. It means you are a person staying in Mumbai and gives no clue if you are a native Marathi or some one else. I said 15 years cause that is the official time required to get a domicile.The people we term Mumbaikar have a different caste, different religion and a different class in its own. In this post I would give you a few common traits that will help you identify one.

    It is a snack that portrays the life in Mumbai. Life here is fast with hardly any time to waste. So Wada-pav is a food that you can hold i one hand and eat it on the go. Like the place, it also comes in different rates and would satisfy the hunger and ego of all the class of people. Someone who does not like it , is not truly a Mumbaikar. And mind you all, we do not take anything negative on wada-pav lightly.We will fight back and abuse you like no one else has ever done before.

2) Time is Money
   If you want to know the value of time, ask a Mumbaikar. A 7:42 train comes at 7:42 and a Mumbaikar will catch it for more than 350 days in a year. We value every minute. We would come at 7 PM on a 7 PM party and not 10 PM. A minute used well is a penny earned for us. With the fast and hectic lifestyle of the city, a person who does not value time, will never be valued in Mumbai.

3) Prefer trains over Car
 Again since time is money for us and we are a bunch of modest people , a person with an annual income of a million would also be travelling by trains to avoid the traffic and to reach his destination faster. We hardly believe in showing off.

4) Think of Parking when we buy a car
 In a city that is crowded and cramped the biggest trouble in the life of a Mumbaikar buying a car is to find a parking place. This is the biggest concern for any place that we go. This does not happen often but there are cases of Murders because of fights started with parking places. the selling point of certain malls or societies is that they have ample parking space. We value space.

5) Least MTI in English
   If compared to people all over the country, Mumbaikars are the ones who would have the least mother tongue influencee in their English. We will not have a thick accent nor will we pronounce English words in our mother tongue. So this is also one of the criteria to distinguish a Mumbaikar from the rest of the country

6) Impure Hindi
 A Mumbaikar's Hindi would be comic and the worst in comparison. The term uses is Bombaiyya Hindi for the Hindi we speak. It is a mix of many languages and terms. This was not commonly know to people from other parts of the country before some very hit bollywood movies made it famous in the other parts of the country

 These are a few common traits that will help you identify a Mumbaikar from the crowd. There are few others like we will be least likely to complain about crowds and that an hour's journey daily for work would be very common.
I am sure you would have some more too. Feel free to add them. After all Mumbai and Mumbaikars are very accommodating :-)


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Valentine's Day Special!!!

       Thanks to Archies and many other companies, these days we may not know our Republic Day but we all know when Valentine's Day is. And you truly cannot blame the young generation for this. They are just learning with what they are exposed to. No greeting company or any shopping site makes such a propaganda for our national language Hindi Diwas or for any other day for that matter. So very frankly it is we who are creating the culture that is been created.

 Anyway this post was not to blast on the day. After all it is a special day. This day makes even a person like me to write about Love. The last year on this same day i wrote my post 'Love is all about you'. Maybe the more popular post 'That One Person' was not timed perfectly but that was just an example that guys do think about Love even without the Valentine day being near.

 I have always liked the day. It just forces you to express your love towards your loved ones. And for most of the common people who spend 364 days earning their daily bread and getting no time neither the motivation to show their emotions, this day gets the better of them. I still remember my first Valentine. She lived in the flat below ours. We called her 'Laksmi Aunty'. We shared Valentine cards and gifts for many years. Later We left the place and could not even keep in touch. I guess I will see her again either when I get married or if her daughter gets married earlier than me. For those who did not understand she was a lady with a daughter as old as me. She was my first Valentine.

 I cannot exactly remember how it started but I do have a faint idea. I and my elder brother used to play cricket at home when my mother was not around. Ya, that's right, guys do everything when parents are not at home. And the sound of the ball and we running used to disturb auntie alot specially cause she had a newborn kid as well. She kept complaining about us but we did not stop. So one day to please her I decided to send her a Sorry card. That never happened but when I was still 11, my mother gave me the idea to send her a card on Valentine's day and that is how it all started. Those years were fun. What was also worth noticing if you are a college going kid that every year on this day all the single guys and gals would try to look their best. Best clothes On. And all the committed people would bunk the college. So this day actually tells you if the girl you like is single or committed ;-). As for me, I always liked to create a mystery, so on this day I used to attend college only for half day. lol

 Later also Valentine day gave the unromantic guys like me an opportunity to express our love through gifts. Now I do not want to go into details that I do not feel Love is only about romance. And the reason why I don't want to start on it is cause I already have a full post on this topic on last year V day. I and my brother also started forcing my Dad every year to get Mom a gift on this day. Later it became his habit. So however busy he would be he would still get a small gift for my mom. At times a single rose but that would still make my Mom's day. And this is the reason why I like this day. It gives us an opportunity to express our love towards all our loved ones. Though a few people do not understand that V day is celebrated among all the loved ones and not just a single relationship.

 And for the politics behind it, it is more fun. The same guys who oppose this day forget that it is because of this special day alot of farmers in the village earn alot of money. The demand for roses in this week supersedes the demand in the entire year. The poor farmers grow roses and get a chance to make a good living. So all those corrupt politicians trying to save them should rather make a point to propagate this day even more.

 With this I would like to urge all to use this day as an opportunity to tell all the people who love you and take care about you that you love them too. Your parents, your siblings , your grandparents and even your teachers everybody who cares or loves you, go to them, wish them and tell them that you love them.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Surviving without social networking sites

 Practically this is my first post of the new year. The one that shows 1st January as the date was actually written on 31st December. So like most of the people I do not want my first post to be the new year resolutions or what should I do now and what I did before. I missed writing in the last one month as I lacked time and the enthu. I do have 4 or 5 topics on my mind already that I want to write about but I thought I would start with something that is on my mind from a long long time.

 In US and now I know even in India social networking profile is a must. We have something called as SSN in the US. Without this number you have practically no identity in US, you will not be paid , no benefits nothing. It is mandatory for everyone to have one if you want to stay here for more than a month. Similarly having a facebook account is a must. Without it you have no identity.So for most of the people here I do not exist. And I know the situation is same in India too but then there are places which do not have electricity or water and still people survive so FB account is no big deal.

I have been asked this question like an infinite amount of times that why do I not have an account on FB or Orkut? Rather some people do not believe that I do not have one.Sorry if I have created a suspense, but no , this post is not about why I am not on any social networking sites. That will still remain a secret. But I do have one answer for all which was actually given by one of my good friend Amol Joshi. Once in office when someone asked me why I do not keep an account Amol replied for me to him that 'Kapil do not like to keep traces behind of what he has done.So you know he just came back from UK and he does not want anyone to know where he is now'. The way he said that and the spontaneity with which he did made us laugh for practically 10 minutes. So I still go by the same answer to everybody who asks me the question.

But to speak on the topic , to survive without one is not really very difficult. People or friends always kept in touch way before these sites were created. So if someone wants to stay in touch, they still can. Maybe the method involves efforts but then they will find you if you are worth the efforts for them. These sites have just made things easy and trust me more than half of the people in your lists are the one you never even care about. I think of myself as a social animal but I know that I cannot stand many people and I lack the power of patience and diplomacy which people have used to very good effect these days. So when I do not even see such people on my account it actually helps. I agree that as i have moved a few countries in last few years, keeping in touch has become difficult but friends who wish to stay in touch can always e-mail. They do not really need FB or Orkut to do so.

To have an account for TimePass is the biggest reason to actually have it. But again there are other ways you can pass your free time and are as effective in time wasting as these sites.Try looking for things on Amazon and I bet it would cover 60% of the time that you want to waste. :-) .Yes I do miss it when I actually miss a few of my school friends but that missing feeling was not mutual. Had they missed me too we would have kept in touch definitely. The biggest reason why I miss these sites are when I want to spread my blogs far and wide. I need more people to read my thoughts and these sites would have been the easiest way to do so.The alternatives are really very time consuming and takes alot of efforts. Now I know that more people actually read my blog than the number of followers and the lesser number of people who comment. So I wanted to take my blog to people who are more into commenting so that I do not lack the enthu to write as I Just did for last month. But I leave this on your hands.

Surviving without these sites is now becoming a fun challenge for me. Some of you can try it too or share your experiences about them.