Driving past Worli Sea face after a late night film, I see something heart-warming and reaffirming about Mumbai. Something that reminds me why Mumbai in some ways remains such a great city.
There at 2 AM, out in the open, amidst the drunks and cops on patrol duty, were couples hand in hand; even small groups of women hanging about enjoying the quiet and balmy weather. Not a sight I am quite sure one would get to see in too many cities in India.
It’s been nearly thirteen years since I moved to Mumbai and this is one facet of the city which I value the most. Especially because I moved here from Delhi where I lived eleven years. Delhi has great parks, roads and better weather. But it’s also rather unfriendly towards women. I remember during my college years my friends and I felt lucky if we were not groped every time we used the public transport! I believe some of that has changed after the Metro.
Having said that, life in Mumbai is tough – the overcrowding, long commutes and crumbling infrastructure grate on the nerves. Like someone told my husband, “In Mumbai you sweat the small stuff”. And it’s not that Mumbai is completely safe. You do have crimes against women, and they seem to rising. But if you had to choose among the big cities, it’s the most open towards women. And among the better places to raise two young girls.