To my understanding, there are not many things here, which are ends in themselves. In other words, most of the things one does here are means to some end. And more often than not, that end happens to be money or the power that comes along with it. Having said that, though one could argue that this is true for any other metropolitan city in modern India, I doubt that the intensity with which people pursue this end here can be matched anywhere else. Mumbai is all about work. For in Mumbai, one lives to work and not the other way round. Another facet of Mumbai which keeps people focused on earning more money is the fact that unless you are very lucky, no amount of money is enough to guarantee you all comforts of life. You may own a couple of luxury sedans, but even those wouldn’t prevent you from getting stuck in those traffic jams for hours together. You may have enough money to buy a chopper to avoid this, but unless you are very lucky, you’ll never find a place to land it!
Perhaps, it is this characteristic of Mumbai’s culture, which makes it value merit more than any other place in the country. Be it a beggar on the street, a working professional or even a film star for that matter, the competition to do well is intense. The systems of this city inspire/ force one to give his/her best. Irrespective of what school of thought one belongs to, sooner than later, one usually gets or has to get adjusted to the systems of this city. And how do you realize that you have adjusted? When the snarling traffic jams, the maddening crowds, and those noisome smells leave you unfazed, you have truly arrived in Mumbai!
In the last one year, the city and its people have given me a lot. And no matter how the coming days turn out to be, I'll always be grateful to them and the city for the year that was. All in all, so far so good.
Looking forward to my vacation, which starts at the end of next week. Watch this space for all the action.
Work hard, and party harder. Adios!