Mumbai, My Mumbai.

I was born in Mumbai when it was known as Bombay and other than Pune, I have spent the maximum number of years as an adult in that wonderful city.  I have family and innumerable friends there who have been part of my life from the sixties of the last century.  If only the traffic there can become about half of what it is, I would happily return there to live again among those lovely people.

Yesterday I heard a story from a very dear friend which brought back so many memories of the kind of city that it is and I want to share it with my readers.

My friend is from out of our state and had to fly in and out of Mumbai on the odd occasion to attend weddings etc.  His younger brother had been in all kinds of troubles and leading a nomadic life and has now got into a home for the aged being looked after by strangers because he is ill with his memory totally gone.  His two children are in Australia and New Zealand and had come to arrange for a passport for him so that they can take him with them and requested help from my friend as they were afraid of handling the bureaucrats in India.

My friend simply shared the story with the Passport Officer who thought for a while, waived some formalities and said that the passport will be issued if the police verification report can be speeded up.  My friend went to the police station where the home is located and the official there too was very helpful but said that the home would come under the jurisdiction of the neighbouring area’s police station and guided my friend there.  My friend on reaching there was pleasantly surprised to be met the officer in charge who was awaiting him.  All cooperation was extended and the formalities completed in no time and now the passport is on its way to my friend’s brother’s home.

The children will come again to escort the father to Australia where a home has been found for him and so hopefully a stressful situation faced by my friend will now resolve itself.

The point made by my friend coming as he does from a different city however, is that both at the Passport Office and the two police stations, the officials concerned were humane, efficient and did what was expected of them without any fuss or expectation of quid pro quo.

I have had similar experiences in Mumbai both at the passport office and at three police stations during my various stays and can vouch for the character of the people involved in these places to be proud of.




Sometimes fate seems to ensure that I do not miss out on good things of life. For the past ten days or so my partner in crime as he is affectionately called by our mutual friends, Ramesh has been wanting to see this movie Ugly and for some reason I was not very keen. Ramesh is a very persistent fellow however and finally persuaded me to go to it with him earlier this afternoon.

I was not very keen primarily because, I had not read any review of it anywhere, though many friends said that it has received very good reviews and moreover, the only name that I could recognise in the entire lot in the film was the director Anurag Kashyap. Since the names were unfamiliar, I was not keen to see the film as I thought that it must have been a low budget art film or something like that.

Was I in for a surprise or what! It opened my eyes to the guiles of Anurag Kashyap who has produced a masterpiece. It is a suspense thriller picture depicting quite a bit of reality of Mumbai’s life in relation to its police force and many scenes are what I have seen in some police stations in real life. Its depiction of some seedy characters associated with Bollywood too comes out beautifully and the icing on the cake is the sheer twists and turns that the storyline takes till the very end when one realises what cunning characters have been portrayed without our realising it. I was totally zapped for the sheer brilliance of direction and editing to keep the viewer on edge. I am so happy to see such a film being produced in India!

I have no hesitation at all in giving the film a [rating=6] rating.  Don’t miss it.