Given the hardships, is it worth living in Mumbai/Bombay?
A lot has been said and written about her. Her beauty is all encompassing, her embrace so warm and her selflessness so motherly. People call her Mumbai, I still call her Bombay. In all these very many years, the city has tolerated innumerable terror attacks, floods, gang wars. And, the list goes on. But, what has changed now? Why is the city, which has been a shrine to most of us, uninhabitable now? Here, we decode.
Living in Bombay was never cheap. Back in the day, however, it was justified as the opportunities were many. But, now that similar opportunities are offered elsewhere too, the math doesn't add up. To put things into perspective, renting even an old, cramped 1 BHK apartment would cost you somewhere between Rs. 25,000-80,000, depending on the part of the city you decide to stay at. Owning a place is, obviously, out of question.
Bombay, with a population of almost 2.2 crore, is the 4th most densely populated city in the world. By 2030, it will have an estimated population of 2.8 crore. It doesn't require rocket science to establish that increasing population is directly proportional to problems. I can deal with the problems by wearing the indomitable and rather abused 'spirit' of Bombay as a badge of honor, but why should I?
Let me say this out loud - I am a fan of Bombay's transportation system. The ubiquitous kaali-peeli taxis, the 24*7 auto-wallas, BEST buses and the local trains - you don't even want Olas and Ubers there. But, there is always a but, Bombay's traffic kills you. It gulps your aforementioned 'spirit', cuts it into a million pieces, and does not even burp. I, much like you, don't deserve that.
Rains are pretty when you are not a hostage in your own rather small 1 BHK. And, when you have to step outside, you don't smell that intoxicating smell, instead you count the number of potholes. Indescribable corruption of BMC, poor drainage system, water-logging issues, fragile bridges, blame-shifting and the cycle continues - nothing changes, nothing will change.
Like any other Indian, I have listed down all the problems, and offered no solutions whatsoever. The fact of the matter is - I don't know how to fix it. What I know is that my beloved city does not deserve this. We don't want it to become Shanghai or Tokyo. We want it to become erstwhile Bombay. Make Bombay great again?