Why Visit Mumbai?
By Heeru D.

Niece: Hey Uncle, it’s been such a long time, why don’t you want to visit Mumbai?
Uncle: Nah! What’s there in Mumbai? No mother, no brother, no sisters in law, no family and none of my close friends too!  Nothing much, it’s rather depressing visiting Mumbai now.

So, I began to wonder WHY people really visit Mumbai.

The NRI’s from the US dramatize their visit. They get all excited, become dreamy eyed before they leave the US, making loud announcements about visiting family and this is what they actually do:-

• Whine about customs
• Complain about the stink
• Moan about the garbage
• Criticize the locals for not  being proactive citizens
• Nitpick about the machinery of how things are done in Mumbai
• Discuss the dirty politicians
• Condemn the entire  mechanical system right from traffic, education and substandard lives of their relatives
• Get a stomach bug and promise never to visit the country again

The NRI’s from London, Spain and other European States are rather practical. They love to visit Mumbai for a short while. They come to:-

• Enjoy the Big Fat Indian Weddings
• Flaunt their imitation or real Jewelry
• Relish the delicious greasy food
• Party and shop till they drop, since the UK Pound and Euros takes them a long way
• Appreciate the domestic help that is available
• Value the relatives that hang out with them when they are in Mumbai

The NRI’s from the African Sub-continent are rather different. They visit Mumbai only in December.  The weather is cool and they:-

• Enjoy the freedom that Mumbai offers them
• Hardly complain about politics or dirt
• Enjoy the paani puris, tikkis, kebabs, kulfi’s….
• Socialize at brunches, luncheons, kittys, beauty salons, mehandis and bachelor parties
• Brag about the nova riche in the society circles that they recognize in London and Hong Kong
• Flaunt, match-make couples, and parade


The NRI’s from the Asian part of the world visit Mumbai to catch up with family since they think the ones back home country aren’t family but when they get here, they aren’t satisfied either, I wonder why? While in Mumbai, they:-
• Try and get the original food they miss (often they cook better than the Mumbai counterparts)
• Try and get the latest music and clothes for their family
• Catch up on a Bollywood movie
• Bargain, bargain and bargain because now Mumbai isn’t cheap anymore – the dollar doesn’t get stretched like before.

Now, I know why my uncle doesn’t visit Mumbai.  He is from Australia.  NRI’s from Australia hardly visit Mumbai. The only temptation I can extend to him is the consideration to walk down memory lanes and to reminisce about how good Mumbai used to be and recall all the memorable days he had with his family in Mumbai.  If the main family apartment walls could speak, he could just lay back and listen to all the sounds of happiness, music and sometimes sadness of the past occasions held such as prayers, births, weddings, mehendis, and deaths to name some of them.

Do not forget that we, the new young generation are still around and ticking away well in good old Mumbai.  The Clock is ticking away too, so take up the opportunity and come on over and visit us, Uncle!  Time waits for no one!

 

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself". Lois McMaster Bujold