In this city of dreams, I have witnessed events and thoughts which were unprecedented. Every other person who visits Mumbai is usually enchanted by it’s over shadowing aura. But not me. I would be flowing against the tide for subscribing to such an opinion. For me this city is a prime arena for identity loss. With the humungous number of avenues for consumption one can easily face an identity crisis. This is manifested through psychological pressure exerted upon oneself because of the modernized and fast paced lifestyle. In this city of dreams I see not the dreams but only darkness. Mumbai expresses itself to me as a world with a place which relies highly on consumerism. The way of life is not living but consuming. This is quite visible in the everyday life of individuals. Everyone is too busy. Well, I do not blame them, the hectic competitive world has submerged them into the perpetual ocean of nihilism. They are caught in the sea of complications with no escape route. It is said that it is only in Mumbai that a person can avail all the opportunities to rise in life. However, this proposition seems untenable because life is not all about rising without understanding the means. Often we are judged by the ends and overlook the means. It is the means which should justify the end. But in Mumbai all I saw was a rat race towards an existential void. This void increases with the rising inequality of the society. To seek a living by “conventional standards” individuals are compelled to leave there hometown and migrate to this city. The culture shock faced by these individuals can have devastating effect on them. This shock is visible through the change in clothing of migrants. A migrant also prefers to discard his traditional and usual clothes for a more fashionable outlook. Life here is like a ladder and everyone is trying to climb up this ladder a step more than the other. This competition has reached to such a level that those who are unable to sustain the pressure eventually fade into oblivion. I have seen several people rendered homeless by this very city of dream. I wondered, what made them homeless? Or were they born homeless? People living on the streets and pavements. So many of them roaming aimlessly, struggling to survive each day in this monstrous city. Rampant social inequality, deplorable minimum standards of living, exorbitant cost of living along with a rising population influx issue. This cannot be my city of dream.
Mumbai is a city which has immense potential to accommodate individuals but development requires time. Rome was not build in a day. The sudden rise in the local population has rendered the government disabled to provide for an equitable distribution of essential supplies. However, this city has much more to offer in matters of materialism than in terms of individual appreciation. Anyways, this was my experience of the city of dreams.