“Where In Bombay Do You Stay?”

errr, i live (not stay) in south bombay, thanks for asking.

it might be patently obvious even to those who ask the right questions for the first 5 minutes of a conversation. fine. i’ll admit it myself: i talk the talk, i live in a skyscraper, i went to “those schools”, i went abroad to get an undergraduate degree, i strive to speak impeccable english (and most often succeed in doing so), and i truly consider going anywhere beyond parel an anxiety-fraught schlep that in many cases is not worth the travel time.

but being “from somewhere” is really not a crime, people. especially not south bombay. and don’t make me feel guilty or naive for it. it’s the life i know, the life i am comfortable with, and you cannot tell me that the “true bombay” is in the burbs, and that i should make the trek out more often, because

1) who the heck are you to define the “real” city? every window in a metropolis has a story, so don’t presume to tell me that another story is more valid than mine, or another area more “real”
2) have you SEEN the roads in andheri? and the traffic? why would i subject myself to this kind of torture on a more regular basis?!
3) infiniti mall is really. not. that. impressive. landmark books in infiniti mall, yes, resoundingly so, but infiniti mall itself? errr…. no.
4) even though bombay may be a safer city than most others for women, i still don’t feel comfortable travelling on trains after dark.
5) the buses have cockroaches (i speak specifically of the A-2 A/C bus, which although it is a great service, is not one i could use every day), and dude, seijo and the soul dish has cockroaches, too.
6) the dust i’m exposed to when i travel to the burbs ruins my skin. no, i’m not saying all of south bombay breathes clean air and drinks ambrosia out of pearl cups, but you have to admit — it’s simple science — that being out on the road for longer exposes you to traffic fumes for a longer period. (and no, the A/C bus is not my sole method of transportation, so it is a matter of concern to me.)
7) who’s to say that with quality spots like the bombay gymkhana, salt water grill, indigo, moshe’s, barista, bade miyan, ming palace, regal, basilico, colaba causeway, the tasting room, trattoria, nature’s basket, gaylord, theobroma, cafe churchill, inox, pizzeria uno (or whatever they’re calling it these days), mondy’s, the ghetto, new yorker and cream center, bachelor’s, prive, polly esther’s, noodle bar, atria mall, and the new china garden (dim sum, yum yum!) to choose from, i really *need* to go exploring?

i’m quite happy where i am, thank you — and be it said, in public now, that i don’t feel the need to apologize either for my origins or for my choices.

8 Comments so far

  1. Utsa (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

    Hi Sim,

    Any reason why you are trying so hard to be condescending in this Article?You sound like a big ‘wannabe’ to me.anyway..just my thoughts after reading your article that’s all,nothing personal.

  2. Akshay (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 11:49 pm

    It’s not a crime being “from somewhere” and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – but then again that shouldn’t stop you from exploring (I don’t mean restaurants) I’m sure skin damage is not life threatening. Anyways, if I say anymore I would be making assumptions or generalizations and I stay away from both. All I’m saying is that be who you are but also realize that everybody you lives in the city the 16 million people or so are not so different from you no matter where they come from – on the contrary we are much the same. The only difference is that we see them as different.
    Empathy is the key.

  3. arZan (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

    All commenters

    Personal attacks on Metblogs is not allowed.

    If there are any more personal comments, the commenting on this post shall be turned off.

    If you do not have something “constructive” to add to the discussion, please do not comment.

    Any more personal attacks will be deleted.


    Captain, Mumbai Metblogs

  4. Utsa (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 11:51 pm


    I don’t wish to have my comments seen as a personal attack to the author but I thought if an Article is posted and there is a Section which allows us to make a Comment then we are able to do so. This being our prerogative, just like the author of this post feels that it is Ok for her to make points she has in this Article.


  5. aha (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

    [comment deleted for personal attacks]

  6. Dadoji (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    This gives rise to the interesting debatable point of what is worth posting on a personal blog and what is worth posting on metblog. The way I see it, this is excellent personal blog material.

  7. Neetij (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

    I wasn’t planning on commenting but after reading the feed and seeing all this stuff about comment deletion (none of which I’ve read), I thought I’d toss my kernel into the frying pan. I do question the comment control. It isn’t spam and unless it’s a troll I think it should remain visible. I agree with Utsa. I thought this was a collaborative journal, of sorts, that went beyond the ‘personal’ blog. But, then it all comes down to one point – post-level access. :-)

    I’ve got nothing against the post nor the author – I’ve been in similar situations several times, and like pretty much everyone I’m still biased towards ‘my area’. Akshay’s spot on about the exploration and the need to justify one’s origins.
    I’m not sure the ‘roaches tip is a nice one, but the new China Garden does indeed beckon.

  8. sumana (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    Hi Sim,
    I totally identify with you- but on a slightly different note. In fact I find it very interesting that your seemingly snobbish story is actually quite a humble one, wherein at one point it seems as if you are rather apologetic about your ‘hepness’- which is so starkly opposite to what a south DELHI ite would do!!! Thats one on the many things about Mumbai- it keeps you firmly grounded.

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