A “Dozen that Doesn’t” make sense to ask a Mumbaikar

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Shruti Barot
Shruti Barot is a young, dynamic mass media undergraduate with a flair for writing and photography. She is a music enthusiast who enjoys singing and playing the keyboard. She loves to travel and explore what meets beyond the eye. Shruti has a vibrant zest for life which is clearly transmitted through all that she does.

Don’t say you weren’t warned as this is one necessary piece of item that you’re about to read if you’re new to Mumbai. Ever experienced someone meeting you at the shopping mall or cinema hall and go all “What are you doing here”? All you feel like saying is “I’m planning to launch a bomb attack” but sadly your answer has to be the obvious and stated fact. On similar lines, if you’re new to Mumbai, Shruti Barot  gives you the much necessary guide to, let’s just say, not make enemies in the city.

1) Don’t you get bored of Vada Pav? 

Mumbaikars will never get bored of eating Vada Pav. It’s something that represents the essence of the life in this city. Mumbaikars who are always in a hurry, find it convenient to stop their BMWs at a Vada Pav stall and grab a bite. It’s their on the go snack or monsoon time comfort food. So do us a favour and do not ask something that’s more of a rhetorical question.

Dumb-questions-392) Do you meet Bollywood celebs often?

Yes, I live in Mumbai. No, I’ve never ‘bumped’ into celebrities. Yes, that’s normal. Although it’s cute, at times, to meet people who think that living in Mumbai means coming across celebrities time and again, but it can often get frustrating. Mumbaikars, moreso, aren’t so much star-struck or at least aren’t on the lookout for celebs 24*7.

3) Do you hate Delhiites?

Now that’s putting me on a spot. Do you want me to be honest or do you want me to be polite? We certainly have nothing against them in a major sort of way. Just the little nitty gritty like the loud talk, the haanji and the superiority complex that comes free with the whole deal. Just because you’re from the capital doesn’t mean you can come here and give us your capital punishment by telling us how to live our lives. I guess a little bit of healthy competition is fun to have in life.

4) What’s the big deal if the maid bunked a day?

Big deal? Did you just say that? Maids are the lifeblood for Mumbaikars. It wouldn’t be wrong to call them the queen of the house. As it is them who know the schedules, whereabouts and locations of everyone and everything. A day without them is like a day when the Sun forgets to rise. So, brother, 99.99% of the times be prepared to receive a shell-shocked reaction from a Mumbaikar upon asking him the same.

5) Do all Mumbaikars ‘party all night’?

Ma’am you do realise some of us have jobs, kids and families apart from the enchanting “night life” of this city? Just because the city is flooded with clubs, lounges and bars which experiences crowds most often, it is not fair to categorize every Mumbaikar as a part of this party crowd. Having said that, Mumbaikars do love some sort of celebrations every now and then. So, partying? Yes. All night? Umm, never mind.

Dumb-questions6) Can you teach me to speak Marathi?

Sure why not? I’ll teach you as soon as I learn it myself. Marathi is the language of the state and although Mumbaikars pride themselves for their Maharashtrian culture very many do not speak it well.

7) Are all Mumbaikars hot?

If you think you’ll walk to Marine Drive, Bandstand or the streets of Lokhandwala and Juhu and witness people as hot as the ones on Miami beach then I’m sorry to burst your bubble, the answer is no. Though some Mumbaikars can get really hot, especially in the months of April and May when the temperature goes through the roof; the city does have a mix of all types. Mumbaikars have special distinction of being hot and cool at the same time. Keep calm and love Mumbaikars, hot or not.

8) When will Mumbai turn into Shanghai?

When will the frog turn into the prince? You don’t know? Neither do I. And to be honest I really don’t care. Mumbai has a lot of state of the art facilities and a charm that sets it apart. We don’t want to be like anyone else, because we have our distinct identity. And come what may, Mumbai rocks!

9) Have you tried your luck in Bollywood?

One second, can I just laugh? Not all pretty faces that you see here have their eyes glued to the glamour of tinsel town. We also happen to have a life that doesn’t revolve around Bollywood. So let’s not even go there!

10) What was it like during the 26/11 attacks?

What do you expect? It wasn’t a Bollywood shoot but a real life one. It’s easy for you to talk as an onlooker but we Mumbaikars went through hell for those hours as our city was held hostage. So don’t trivialize the episode and make it sound like a daily soap.

11) What is so special about ‘Mumbai ki baarish’? Does it taste different?

This is something only a Mumbaikar can enjoy and express in their own special way. The bhutta on Marine Drive, the chai on Juhu Beach and the hot bhajiyas at Bandstand is the reason why every monsoon is a magical experience for us. The flash floods even with a drizzle is another angle that adds to the fun and frolic.

12) Is the cab driver really your “boss”? I just heard you call him that.

LOL. While you’re here, its better if you get accustomed to the slang of this city. Words like boss, jhol, bantai, chiller, jhakas are some words you should be familiar with and even be adventurous enough to use. The ‘bambaiya hindi’ is something you cannot take out of a Mumbaikar. So deal with it.

This was just a humorous attempt at providing you with a list of FAQs which should NOT be FAQ. No offense to any individual, community, state, minority, religion…you get the idea!
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