Thursday, October 29, 2009

They Don't Believe!

Genre : India

After numerous “my city vs your city” comparison talks in the last two months with students from all over India (including many who have never been to Mumbai), I find it hard to believe that they don’t believe some common facts about Mumbai:

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, auto-rickshaw drivers actually charge by the meter and not in multiples of 10 (Their city : “50 lagega…chalo 40 de dena!”)

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, you cannot evade traffic cop by bragging about your family (Their city : “Jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai?”)

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, local trains have a First and Second Class and all passengers strictly follow the distinction (Their city: “Ghus jaane ka na kidhar bhi…kaun dekhta hai”)

They don't believe that in Mumbai, male passengers never travel in coaches in trains marked as 'Ladies' (Their city: "Voh sab toh likha rehta hai. Padhta kaun hai". See Proof in photo.)

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, if you are caught travelling in First Class with a Second Class ticket, you will always be charged a fine of Rs 250 (Their city: “TC ko Rs 20 chai-paani de deneka. Baat khatam”)

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, city bus drivers actually follow road rules. (Their city : “Jahaan passenger dekha, vahaan road ke beech me bus khada kar denge”)

They don’t believe that in Mumbai you have to stop at all traffic signals and follow all road signs. (Their city : “Itna sab dekhte baithta toh paagal ho jaata”)

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, you can hail a taxi just like an auto-rickshaw and pay by the meter reading. (Their city : “Taxi ka fixed rate lagega. Rs 200 se kam kuch nahi”)

They don't believe that in Mumbai, you have to always wear a helmet while driving a two-wheeler (Their city: "Koi nahi pehenta. Police wala kitne logo ko pakdega?")

They don’t believe that in Mumbai, you can get everything from Pav Bhaji and Vada Pao to Pizza and Noodles on the roadside carts (Their city : “Pav Bhaji aur Pizza koi road pe thode hi bechta hai!”)

I always knew Mumbai was well-behaved, organized and different from other cities of India, but didn’t know the difference was so stark!

Proud to be a Mumbaikar!

PS : The above facts have been compiled from subjects coming from Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vadodara. Discerning reader should be able to distinguish comments by cities.

My apologies to readers who do not understand Hindi. Translating the comments into English would kill the fun!


  1. I totally agree! If i am not wrong Mumbai is the only city in which ppl have to pay according to meter in rickshaw. I was so shocked when the auto rickshaw fellow gave me back 2 Rs when in other places he would have charge atleast 10 Rs extra. Hats off to Mumbai!! I sooo miss that place :|

  2. Very true...Mumbai rocks...Proud to be a Mumbaikar...Missing Mumbai a lot here

    Just to add one more, Mumbai is one of the safest cities in India to roam around in the night

  3. @freeSpirit

    Nice to see you here after a long time! :)


    *High fives!* Yes! Mumbai rocks! \m/
    You are right - Mumbai is the only city in India where you can pay odd amounts like Rs 13 or Rs 27 to the rickshaw driver and also he will return the change if required. In all other cities I have been to (Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Jaipur etc), least count is multiples of 5!

  4. @Adil

    True! Tell a Delhi girl that she can roam on Marine Drive at midnight alone and nobody would do her any harm... she may probably die of shock!

  5. Completely agree with u after seeing the points 2,6,7,8,9 when comparing Mumbai to Vadodara

  6. Jeez! Karan :D I got goosebumps. Man, I so wanna go back to mumbai. I feel like taking a flight out, right now. xD Every point you mentioned was true. Some of us just try to act fancy saying : Nahi nahi. Aisa waisa kuchh nahi hota. Aisich rehneka. =)

    And Mumbai Local Trains ko mera salaam! xD

  7. Would you not be proud of Mumbai if every other city also qualified your golden facts?

  8. @Ana (why short form? I like 'Anamika')
    You live in Dubai with amazing cleanliness, perfect discipline and the most unbelievable architectural wonders around you, yet what excites you are Mumbai locals! I can so relate to it sitting here in US! Nothing like Mumbai meri jaan, ain't it? :)

  9. @Anonymous

    Then I would be doubly proud of Mumbai because it played role model for the other cities!

    And come on dude/babe... Anonymous postings are cowardly! Why be ashamed of giving yourself an identity?

  10. I'm sure that amongst other cities u mentioned, ur mates from Hyderabad outnumber the rest!

  11. @Vrij

    Did you conclude that because a lot of the "Their city" comments relate to reality in Hyderabad? ;)

    Yes, there are many Hyderabadis and in general a disproportionately large number of South Indians around here!

  12. haha...'their city' sounds suspiciously like delhi :P

  13. One more. Gents do not complain when they are asked to vacte a "Reserved for ladies" seat in BEST buses. Dunno what is the case in other cities.

  14. @Nikita

    Deja Vu? Well, quite a few of those are true about Delhi, but its not JUST Delhi!


    In this respect, Bangalore was ahead of Mumbai when I went- there male passengers do not occupy Ladies seats in the first place (even if bus is packed), so question of vacating doesnt arise!

  15. Well, I also have been following the "Bangalore pattern" in the three years of commuting by bus, but that is purely optional :) According to rules, male passengers can sit on ladies seat if there is no lady in the bus, on the condition that you have to vacate it when asked to.

  16. I know one city - Kozhikode where auto drivers charge to the nearest 10 paise & give u the balance change. I am sure this tradition continued atleast until five years back (from both my friends who livee there and my own personal experience)...10 paise coins are no longer in cirulation.......But today they charge the amount only upto the nearest 50 paise.

  17. What you've said about Mumbai is perfectly true...

    Though on the downside, instead of other cities learning from Mumbai, Mumbai seems to be degenerating into the same kind of lawlessness... I mean once upon a time, people in Mumbai were known to board buses even in mid-stops in a proper queue (you'll have to see old Amol Palekar movies or read books set in 70s for that)... today queues only exist at major bus stations.

  18. @KK

    Yeah, Kozhikode is one town that really impressed me. When I had gone there, due to language barrier I could not understand what amount the rickshaw driver was asking for - his hand gesture suggested either 5 or 10, so I gave him Rs 10 and walked away. He promptly turned back and returned me Rs 5 trying to explain that fare was Rs 5 only! Any other city and the driver would have happily pocketed the Rs 10 note!


    True! When I saw those Amol Palekar films, this is one thing I always noticed! But still, we are better off than most cities where standing in queues at bus stops is non-existent phenomenon.

  19. @ Karan

    U have been to Kozhikode ?

  20. @KK

    What a question, macha! :|

    When I wrote such a long story, you thought it was fiction?

    Been there long back, on my way to Ooty (If you are wondering, why would any sane person go from Mumbai to Ooty via Kozikode, then that's a long story!)

  21. This is so very true.. Being in Gujarat most of my life, I was in Mumbai for just three years but I did fell in love with the city for the type of common people I met there. I was very new to mumbai when I wanted to hire a Rickshaw to go to Vile parle Station from a hotel which is very near to Station. Would you believe it, the Rickshaw wala showed me the shortest walking distance from that location to the Station and it was really just a 5 min walk. The whole apprehension about mumbai being a city where everybody is fooled died then and there itself. Now after moving to Pune, since last year, I really miss the mumbai auto and mumbai public so much. Here in Pune you have to be a millionare to travel in an auto daily, literally. If you have to ask for a particular thing you want to buy in Pune, the shop owners will not help you. But, if same is the case in Mumbai, the shop owner will give you the complete address where exactly you will find it.
    The people of mumbai are just too good. Hats off to them...


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