All said and done, I love my city. I love Mumbai. I love my home for what it is and more importantly what it can become (No not Shanghai). I love it for everything it has to offer for the ones who are ready to take in on the experience.
But it kills me within to hear people (read : visitors) commenting only either on the glamour and "chaka chaund" or on the poverty and dirt. I have seen this glamorous and many times, lonely lives and I have also seen the poor yet happy smiling lives. They say you can't live anywhere else, after you have lived in Mumbai. Well, I don't agree completely. But I can say for sure, you can't know what this city truly is unless you have lived here. You have to travel in the local trains and eat Bhel Puri from Juhu beach. You have to smoke that cigarette at Marine Drive and look at the "Queen's Necklace". You have believe in yourself or atleast pretend to. Even if you are beggar, you have to exude confidence.
When you spend that 250 rs for a beer at Hawaiian Shack and on your way back, a small child taps on your window, you feel a sense of guilt but then, you also know that you do your bit. Very few of us have that capacity and the capability to change the world all by yourselves. And we try to do it by whatever we can. Does it mean we are not good people? I really don't know. I, in fact don't know what makes a good person.
I don't know what makes Mumbai special. I will defend it both ways. I will not agree when people say that it is the best places to live in and I will totally oppose when people say anything bad about it.
I hate it when people stereotype. Mumbai is about a place that I call home along with many many others. It is special because people come here with dreams like any other place. Because people live here and people die here. Some eat on the roads and some in posh restaurants. Everyone calls it home just like any other city.
It is just another city.
(I haven't re-read this post because it is an emotional outburst and I might not post it if I do. Excuse all contradictions of thoughts and more importantly all stupid spelling/grammar errors)