As I mentioned, the class war changed the face of the city- gradually but surely.
I stepped out of the airport expecting an onslaught from the auto wallahs and taxi wallahs. But I was in for a surprise. There seemed to be no rush. The taxis were arranged in neat queues. There was no hard bargains. The drivers carried a fare card which he shows you before quoting the charge. This is a luxury compared to any other city in India.
The drivers might have been taught passable English. They mumble thank-you and welcome. May be its to please the angrezi customers. Once we learnt there's a place with fabulous sizzlers. We asked the driver to watch out for a sign board 'Yokos'. He said 'padna likhna nahi atha' . We had to rely on our Google maps.
The old black and yellow Premier Padminis, with sofa inside, were another landmark which is giving way to stylish Santros and Nanos.
Still the driving in Mumbai roads are atrocious. So is the pedestrian crossing. But I never ever heard people losing their temper when a fat Bhabhi jumps in front of your vehicle or when someone unnecessarily takes a rash turn. Living dangerous is a part of life and they have peacefully accepted it.
I found it out while crossing over to the Marine drive. My bro simply jumped into the speeding traffic. The fast traffic gracefully brushes you by. If you fear and take a step back the speeding car will hit you.
The so called resilience is inbuilt in a Mumbaikar from childhood. Where in other places, you have your mothers hovering over you, dropping you to your classes, feeding you quality food ; here the an average kid might not get these luxuries.
One morning I walk into a hotel and see a bunch of kids in their school uniform munching on their breakfast. Personally, the dried Idlis there are a horror. I couldn't figure out how these kids could stand them, and that too at a time when they had to have the best meal of the day.
The famously overcrowded suburban trains were another stark example. No considerations were given for your age or sex. It's your responsiblity alone to jump in or out of the train in time. You absolutely have no privilege for questioning the intention of the man smothering your ass or the guy standing on your feet.
Life's a struggle and there's no place for pseudo moral science classes