Friday, November 28, 2008

The Resilience Of Mumbai

This nonsense has been bandied about in the media for almost a decade and it is insulting to every body's intelligence. I am surprised Mumbaikars don't take insult to the constant reference about "mumbaikar spirit". I would if I was from Mumbai. So dear idiots who keep going on and on about the mumbaikar spirit - have you ever stopped, paused and wondered about just one question.
Do mumbaikars have an option?
You praise them for going back to work after terrible terrorist events. Do they have an option of not going back to work? Middle class life is about paying back loans, feeding children, feeding dependents, paying for medical charges, paying for old parents livelihood, paying school bills etc. None of that can wait because a terrorist happened to hit your city. If you don't go to work you are screwed. Screwed beyond belief. So this livelihood is hard enough as it is. Terrorist events make it harder and this talk about spirit when they really don't have an option is mind-numbingly stupid. They would love to be able to not go to work. If they all had 10 crore ruppes in their bank - they would just not go out at all. They have to go to work because they are not rich. Most factory workers and hourly laborers can't wait to go to work because they are in desperate need for money. They will go back to work even if half the city is blown away. That is the mumbaiker spirit for you in a nutshell.
Poverty.
So shut up with all this. If terrorist happens to hit some old town in Bihar or Gummudipoondi or Iraq - people there still have to go to work and they will. There are many other professions where workers get slapped and abused by "clients". They go back to work the next day. Nobody talks about "spirit" or "resilience".

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. That's all i have to say to those idiots raving about mumbaikar spirit like it's a soccer match.
Sandhya

Gradwolf said...

as much as I love bombay, I have to agree with this post.

As a matter of fact, it would have been better not to show resilience, stay home and let things die down for a bit. That too with some terrorists on the run in the city, there should have been curfew all over, especially, the major three points. But I see jerks waving and combing hair behind the reporter. WTF!

Karthick Prabu said...

Totally agree with this. Have always thought about this line whenever I hear about the Mumbaikaar spirit - "Obviously people will come out the next day itself, to goto work, where did someone find spirit in it?".

jeffjose said...

Cant agree with you more.

Vijay said...

It is important to note that the apparent "damage" (death of people etc.) from terrorist attacks is really collateral.
The mail motive behind terrorism is to create terror in people.

Any effort that mitigates the terror in people is fight against terrorism. I believe such news items that strives to increases the morale of people (and it does), as fighting against terrorism.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. If it has to be said at all, I prefer to say it like Kamal in Pammal K sambandam - "Mumbaikar Uwe Spirit"

Rastafari said...

Vijay,
That was the dumbest comment i've read in a long time. Even more stupid than the 'Mumbaikar spirit and resilience' thing

Stuck in a moment said...

I'm from mumbai...and i DESPISE being spoken to abt the "resilience" and "spirit" of mumbai. It SUCKS that we are all expected to grin and bear all the crap thrown at us....its really sad that as "resilient mumbaikars" we are never given time to mourn and come to terms with what has happened..v're zombies...with no heart, feelings, emotions whatsoever...one thing good that has come out of the terrorist attacks this time is that the general junta is sick of this spirit of mumbai bullshit...we want ACTION...and v're not gonna let things be this time...

Ram said...

Hawk,

This is from a devout Mumbaikar. I see this as an encouragement to people. Yes, everyone has to get back to work. Mumbai has by far gone through so much, so much trouble. It is also India's biggest city and a matter of pride, unlike Bihar or other parts you mentioned. I see this is a way to encourage people to cope, keep going, and importantly keep living in Mumbai, coz Mumbai is what it is due to the people that live in it.

But on the counterside, it has at some level acted as bait for terrorists, who want to break down this Mumbaikar spirit. That is precisely what I expected in this post of yours, reading the headline.

After all, what can the media do to prevent these acts of terrorism? They are Mumbaikars too. People that were supposed to stop this were busy counting money they made and resigned promptly when their ass is on fire.

India has issues and we need to go on the offense both in terms of defending against attacks and obliterating sources that do. For this we need a big time facelift to national security.

Raghu said...

soooper BR...!! history has proved time & again...that life goes on regardless of where these tragedies happen. too much hype for mumbaikars...sounds like sterotyping to me. makes ppl in other cities look like they don't have the 'spirit'.

antbrain said...

I don't know if it is a Mumbaikar spirit or an Indian spirit in general, but in contrary to any other country, it is only us who go towards the violence instead of keeping away. When violence broke out in CST and when it continued to last during those 62 hours, folks here went towards the incident to see what was going on and even chant 'Jai Hind' and 'India Zindabad' instead of opting to run away from it. And some how I don't feel like saying it is stupidity. It is 'spirit' or 'resilience'. The 'mighty' Australians or 'hardened' Americans can only think of running 20 miles in the opposite direction to cover up their ass I am sure.

12th Man said...

It is just another cliche like the overused 'Vanmaiyaga kandikkirom' thing.

Hawkeye said...

sandhya,

soccer match comparison - very true.

aditya,

/* But I see jerks waving and combing hair behind the reporter. WTF! */

this habit of wanting to be on TV is deplorable thing.


KP, jeffjose

thanks :-)

vijay,

/* I believe such news items that strives to increases the morale of people */

there is an assumption here which I vehemently disagree with.

anon,

konjam over.

stuck in the moment,

all the best

ram,

/* It is also India's biggest city and a matter of pride, unlike Bihar or other parts you mentioned. */

people in Bihar and all those places will hold the opposite view with much the same conviction as you hold yours.

/*it has at some level acted as bait for terrorists, who want to break down this Mumbaikar spirit */

1. I disagree at several levels. To start with I disagree with an assumption that there exists this thing called "spirit" (as yet undefined as to what this thing constitutes). And this spirit is shared by millions of people without concerted effort - when it is hard to make a company of 50,000 pople to share a same spirit inspite of a targeted effort.

2. These people are terrorists but i can't imagine they'd launch a risky operation just to dampen a spirit.

raghu,

stereotyping is the crrect word. just because it is positive stereotyping doesn't alter the fact that it is.

antbrain,

/* it is only us who go towards the violence instead of keeping away. When violence broke out in CST and when it continued to last during those 62 hours, folks here went towards the incident to see what was going on and even chant 'Jai Hind' and 'India Zindabad' instead of opting to run away from it. */

my god. i am embarassed by these idiots who shouted zindabad stuff. shame on these poeple.

/* And some how I don't feel like saying it is stupidity. It is 'spirit' or 'resilience'. The 'mighty' Australians or 'hardened' Americans can only think of running 20 miles in the opposite direction to cover up their ass I am sure. */

very sensible people. i wish your version of indians could learn common sense from them.


12th man,

:-)

Anu Russell said...

Gosh...you stole the words out of my fingers...

http://anurussell.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-can-i-write-about-something-that-is.html

repeatedly I have fought with my in-laws and my husband about how an average indian does not have too much of an opportunity or time or money to sit and mourn the loss of people around him, such is the nature of our country...but pat the reply would come telling me that only Mumbaikars are cool like that...

I would still fight a loosing battle with 5 of them towering over the small me...but I knew what the truth was...and your blog spoke them for me.

Manju said...

Hello,

I am a regular reader of your blogs and love reading almost all of them. Powerful thoughts. Love your writing style.
I came across a very interesting blog about Mumbai terror attacks being aired live nonstop for 60 hours on tv. wanted to share that with you. you might enjoy it.

Author: Gnani Shankaran
source: http://www.gnani.net/
Topic: Hotel Taj: Icon of whose India?