Now that I have spent 8 months in
Mumbai is a vibrant city with a strong sense of detachment. In a way, it is truly metropolitan as this detachment allows it to give similar treatment to it's own “Marathi Manoos” as well as the outsiders. It is, thus, a city in Maharashtra yet not a Maharashtrian city - just like
Added to this, Mumbai has a strong “process orientation” about following a set of standard rules. Something like "the rules of the game" I am not talking only about the legal rules but also of certain commonly used practices. Quite like the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – a set of universal accounting principles which are followed by most of the farms world-wide), Mumbai seem to have its own unwritten GALP (Generally Accepted Livelyhood Practices) which everybody seem to follow. Thus the apparently maddening Mumbai locals also have some set rules and codes (including codes about how you should board the train at which station; the technique followed at Andheri Station will be vastly different from the technique followed at Virar Station). Once a person masters this GALP, he is as comfortable in Mumbai as any seasoned Mumbaikar.
The main principle of Mumbai is “live and let live” – a clinical isolation from ones surroundings. One lives truly like an island, with boats and bridges built strictly according to ones own rules. Added to this is a sense of urgency in one’s thought and action, a constant throbbing of pulse, rapid heart beat about getting the things done “asap” and getting over with it!! Mumbaikars like to work hard and play harder. They would work till 8 in office - then travel for an hour to attend a party lasting till the midnight and yet be in office at 8 am in the morning. It really makes you burn the candle at both ends but it certainly gives a lovely light and thus Mumbai, for most outsiders, is a “love at first sight”.
Another tradition of
To conclude, Mumbai focuses on "being alive and staying alive" while