7 Famous Mumbaikars

Mumbai – City of dreams and nightmares. Everyday hundreds flock here to realize their dreams, be it for success, fame, money and many a times as grim as feeding their hunger. Known to be ruthless in its ways, to succeed here one needs have two very important necessities on their side – the survival instinct and the Lady of Luck.

With a number as high as 15 million, there are only a handful among its population who have managed to standout and make a place for themselves in the hierarchy of our dubious society. And keeping in mind the “7 Things about Mumbai” theme, here is my list of 7 most popular citizens of this city, who in very real terms ‘Live Life King size’.

Bal Thackeray – When you mention Mumbai and Politics in the same breadth, the one name that immediately makes its presence felt is, Bal Thackeray, the man behind the now “tainted” political party, Shiv Sena. Often referred to as the ‘Tiger’ by his followers, the cartoonist turned politician has been a center point of many controversies ever since he founded the hardline Hindu party more than 35 years ago. Frankly speaking, I completely detest this man and his party’s so-called philosophy of “sons of the soils”. The reasons are innumerable – their intimidating and (often) violent campaigns, fanatic beliefs, self appointed moral police behavior, vandalism and last but certainly not the least, Mr. Thackeray’s role in sparking anti-Muslim violence in Mumbai, which led to more than 1,000 deaths.

However, no matter how corrupt and immoral his actions have been over the years, the fact still remains that even today Bal Thackeray is described as the uncrowned monarch of the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

The Bachchan Parivaar – Claiming the thrown from the Kapoor clan, Amitabh Bachchan and his superstar parivaar, without any hesitation be considered as Bollywood’s First Family. The elder son of Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Amitabh was a former stage actor, radio announcer and freight company executive in Shaw Wallace in Calcutta, before coming to the land of dreams, Mumbai. Despite early failures, in no time the Indian film industry was declared a ‘One Man Industry’, and Amitabh Bachchan its undisputed king. Later on, Amitabh Bachchan married actress Jaya Bhaduri in 1973 and had two kids, the now most sought after actor Abhishek Bachchan and up-coming television anchor, Shewta Nanda.

But as they say, “fame doesn’t come easy”, the Bachchan family has had its share of ups and downs – cold war with the Gandhis, (rumored) dispute with Shah Rukh Khan, ABCL failure, extra-marital affairs and the most recent, the Farmer’s Land controversy.

Regardless of such bad publicities, the Bachchan Family’s strong-hold in the Hindi Film Industry and their huge fan following has never been affected. Plus with the addition of the new bahu, the former Ms. World and Bollywood’s International Face, Aishwarya Rai – The Bachchan Family today is labeled as one of the most expensive brand in the country.

Ambani Brothers – The Fortune group magazine ‘Business 2.0’, just recently came out with the list of “The 50 Who Matter Now” – and guess what? Apna Ambani bhais managed to get a spot for themselves, which proudly announces them as one of the world’s 50 most influential people in business. The Ambani Legacy is no less than a perfect Bollywood Pot Boiler story of rags to riches. And what makes their story even more entertaining – is their inner bitter rivalry.

"These billionaire brothers from India are locked in a bitter intra-family rivalry, and each seems intent on leading the group of companies he inherited from their late father in a different direction," Business 2.0 said on why they matter.

While brother Anil maybe slightly rejoicing over Mukesh bhaiya’s SEZ trouble, one thing is for sure there can nothing that can stop these business boys from stacking their bank accounts.

Ekta Kapoor – She is bold, she is aggressive and is known in the television industry for her massive tantrums but the one fact about this young Kapoor is that “you” can never ignore her. Barely in her mid-twenties, Ekta Kapoor entered the television backed with nothing but few “innovative” ideas and the burden of her, (once) superstar dad’s expectations. And as they say…the rest is history. Ekta, without any doubts is the only woman who dominates and demands her way in the small-screen entertainment world.

Agreed, Balaji Productions have over-burdened us with their conniving in-laws, bitchy daughters, aagyakari sons, vampy mothers with visually painful dressing sense and never-ending sagas of joint families (that would put even the folks at Rajshri Productions to shame) – but in the business where high TRP rating is the ONLY goal, Queen Ekta is a pro at it .

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar – Probably the only cricketer in the history of Indian cricket to be widely considered to be one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He currently holds the records for the most cumulative runs in One-Day Internationals, and the most number of centuries scored in both One-day Internationals and Test cricket. 34 years old and still going strong….do I really need to say more!

Meeran Borwankar – A tom-boyish teenager for whom love meant nothing but her bike and whose headstrong attitude made her college lecturer’s think of her as India’s finest police officer in the making. And very soon she turned their dreams into reality, in 1981 Meeran Borwankar joined the Police Force and took over responsibilities which were primarily asserted as a “Man’s Job”. But this was just the beginning; soon she was made Mumbai’s Joint Commissioner (Crime), a portfolio one would barely expect a woman to hold. In 2006, she was presented with President’s medal for meritorious service, one of the most honored and prestigious award in Government Services.

In my opinion Mrs. Borwankar is definitely a positive role model for many young girls, who dare to dream beyond household chores, marriage, children and other womanly expectations of the society. Though last but certainly the most controversial of the lot,

Himesh Reshammiya – From production assistant to composing music to singing and now acting, this Mumbai lad has surely come a long way. Today his trademark style of sporting a baseball cap, stubble, fitting jeans, and a belt with an oversized buckle – has made him a house hold name but it’s his nose which has gifted him the stardom and others envious of his popularity.

If you ask for my two bit on His Himeshness, it would be – good musician, bearable singer and a pathetic actor.

11 Comments so far

  1. JayJay (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

    Dawood Ibrahim? Khans? Prime Minister Desai?

  2. IdeaSmith (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

    :-) Viva amchi Mumbai!

  3. Ashwin (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 5:16 am

    Most Famous Mumbaikar, “YOU” (à la TIME mag)!

  4. Mumbaikar (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

    Don’t you think Lata Mangeshkar is more famous than Kapoors, Bachchans and Reshammiyas?

  5. Sakshi (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    Well there are so many to choose from…and agreed the likes of Lata Mangeshkar, Khans, etc are also noteworthy however the ones listed are the ones I choose to go ahead with.

  6. Viewer (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

    Wow cool list… i think Rakhi Sawant also shud hve been there if himesh cud have it :D

  7. Bipin (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 10:23 am

    And so many Business ppls/ industrialist also can be in the list…

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  11. Andrew (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 4:57 pm

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