Growing Up in Mumbai: Part Two

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The issue that upsets me most about Mumbai is that people here aren’t as flexible as they seem. Well, flexible is the simplest word I could use, I can’t come up with any other term for such a sensitive matter. Flexibility in Mumbai entirely goes to the people here, from a hardworking and ‘family freak’ individual to an open-minded gentleman; we tend to disregard the generation that was and is. A life that was 6-7 years ago is definitely not what it is now; people have become more unconventional. College and school life are no longer the same anymore, you tend to be very quiet and simple in school but as soon as you enter the world of college, you tend to become someone very different. You might have made many mistakes in school, regretted them to some extent and not made them in college, or the other way around. Mistakes are a part of life; you can’t make any mistakes without learning from any of it, and the lessons that are learned are from the mistakes made. A person’s life bursts with rules, mistakes, qualities, and personality; people don’t care about where you’ve come from, they care about what you’ve become. Wearing good clothes, speaking proper English aren’t the only points that people see in you today. Checking up on how many facebook friends you have? Are you a photogenic buff or not? Are you a social junkie? Are you popular in college or were popular in school? Some might not be able to say such questions out loud, but there have been instances where people do check up on such things. I am not saying that all of the people are like that, out of 10, I’d say 4-5 people think like that while the rest are open minded. Making friends in school was like a “group-forever” thing, once a group was made, it was definitely not welcoming for ‘outsiders’ to get comfortable with any of the groupies. They’d walk together, study together, play sports together, have food together and probably go to the washroom together; bunking lectures in school was only possible in the tenth grade, but until then it wasn’t really possible, unless some of you have done that too! In college everything changes, making friends is completely different, you meet new people almost every day and sooner or later you end up being really good friends with some of them. Having a group in college is possible but additions to the groups are always welcome; well, in some cases that also isn’t possible. The feeling of being neglected, jealousy, superiority, uniqueness, and comparison tend to spoil the entire atmosphere of meeting new people. People aren’t socially flexible enough to get friendly with others for an immature reason; you tend to make the other members of your “group” choose sides as to whom they’d like to spend time with. Now, no one wants to be in such a position now do they?

Imagination is still being discovered to make believe what was impossible to even think of some years ago.

My second example of flexibility would be the constant habit of staring. We have seen such advancements in the field of talent, fashion, architecture and creativity; imagination is still being discovered to make believe what was impossible to even think of some years ago. There is backward thinking process, a judgmental attitude, partiality, discrimination and no freedom of expression in Mumbai. You cannot do anything in this city without the constant eye of the people around you, you walk into a shop wearing something really unusual and people stare like they never have seen something like this before. This especially goes for the women out there, a girl cannot wear anything that shows skin without having a pepper spray or the feeling of being stared at all the time. Some families forbid their daughter to wear outfits that show some or little skin; while some don’t let their daughters go out at night for a dinner or maybe a sleepover at a friend’s house thinking that she might just do something that is shameful, whereas their son can easily walk out of the house in the middle of the night. Families don’t trust daughters but have blindly trusted their son despite him doing wrong. I don’t mean to offend any male out there, my intention here simply portrays the extent to which girls have been treated unfairly. Pregnancy in typical families means the birth of a son, not a daughter; a boy has to be well educated, fed, trained and sent for work, whereas a girl has to be kept at home after her school is over to make her deserving for her future marriage. Most of us won’t wish to tolerate a life full of discrimination, weakness, partiality and favoritism; most of us will do whatever if necessary to make our future generation’s life more apt, honest and respectable. Then why would anyone want to discourage someone’s life so brutally without any fault? Does education exist only for the ones considered to be the strongest or applicable? Is it not for those who deserve a certain position in this society, regardless of gender, health or religion? Nothing is ever impossible when the word itself says that it isn’t.

Mumbai is vast city comprising of diversity, sunsets, sunrises, sun-kissed drives and night-time gatherings.

Can it all be as fun and real if Mumbai wouldn’t have been the way it is all this while? Wouldn’t it be mental for everyone to get back home before 7 and spend their entire night just staying at home with their families? Would Mumbai be what it is now if every individual wouldn’t have a hip and happening social life? Or the streets of Mumbai would have been empty without any living soul insight? This is what creates Mumbai, things beyond imagination are what this city is made of. It’s not only the lights flickering or the tall glass buildings reaching out for the sky; it is the spirit of desperation, obsession, talent, love, laughter, appreciation, sadness, that completes this city’s existence. So why let all of this goes to waste? Forget what our ancestors fought so hard for? This is not what Mumbai was made for; it was made to shine even in the light.

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