Amchi Mumbai * Thumbs up*

It’s my 7th day in Mumbai and I’m loving it. I flew into this city with lot of uncertainties and worries. Having lived in various metros I was expecting a hostile first week. You see if you new to a Delhi or Chennai you are bound to be tricked at some point of time early in there. People can get into your skin, be intimidating, dodgy and rude. This is where Mumbai provided the biggest surprise. It might be little early to make a judgment however, Just wanted to write in my experiences.

CUT 1: Airport: “Bhai Saab Taxi Chahiye kya” quizzed a taxiwala, I said “ Pre paid le liya hai”. In Delhi or Chennai that would have earned you an aggressive response or a cold smile but you see in Mumbai, this guy helps me push the trolley all the way to the pre paid taxi stand, helps with the luggage and directs the pre paid taxiwala to take the shortest route to the destination I was heading to. All this with a pleasant smile and energy, not looking to pull me into his cab or talk nonsense, That was my first interaction with a Mumbaikar. As they say first impression is the best impression, this guy stole the show.

CUT 2: Hotel: I was supposed to check in to a budget hotel. When I reached there the receptionist informed that all rooms were full, I was in cold sweat but to my delight he immediately got me a room in their partner hotel which was bigger and better at absolutely no additional charge plus they gave me complimentary breakfast & Taxi ride [ Now that’s what I call CUSTOMER DELIGHT, brilliant stuff ]. The hotel staff was extremely courteous and friendly.

CUT 3: The Autowalas: These gentlemen in any other metro are usually the most hated lot, especially in Chennai they look for every opportunity to swindle more money. In Mumbai I found autowalas to be the most respectable people. Friendly, helpful, cheerful, honest it’s hard to believe but I traveled with more than 20 different autowalas and none of them were rude or abusive. The worst gaali I heard someone yell in traffic was “Arey Kachdde”. No one charged me a paise extra for waiting at any joint [ in 1 case he waited for almost 30 minutes ]and they returned exact change. Huge surplus for me. Three wheeler transport is my life line and with such wonderful people here I am sure the trips would be enjoyable.

CUT 4: General Public: By far the best public versus all the metros in India. People here are quick, real quick. Everyone is moving at a brisk pace however, the moment they see you need help, it’s right there you don’t even have to ask. Like the shop keeper at the near by store, he sent a boy to help me carry the stuff and guess what the boy won’t take money in return “bhaiya saab daantega” [ kya zamana aa gaya hai, log paise ko mana kar rahe hain ]. The traffic is chaotic here thanks to the construction and endless rains but I see motorists do respect the pedestrians. Most people are cool headed and their is a air of calm when you stroll around in the crowd.

To be honest for me it was little odd as in Chennai we aren’t used to polite and generous people. I was like “Hey, what’s going on here, is this all real or they upto something”. Well, it’s all real, people are quite genuine, you can feel the positivity around.

Really happy to be here, there’s lot more to come, many more weeks and months to go. For starters Mumbai city is brilliant thanks to the fantastic people. Mumbaikars- You people rock [ soft rock ].