Dear Mumbai, Going About Your Day Like Nothing Has Happened Isn’t The Mumbai Spirit. It Is Stupid And You’re Making It Worse
There are so many poems about Mumbai and its resilience. No matter how bad it is, we always bounce back. We are willing to work our way through floods, terrorist attacks and now, a global pandemic apparently because of Mumbai’s “spirit.” For long, this “spirit” has been a word that has represented the resilience of the the people of Mumbai. It has shown that despite the circumstances, bad or ugly, that Mumbai will grasp desperately to its never-say-die attitude – an attitude that’s just tone deaf at this point.
We are on the verge of a complete and utter breakdown. A shut down of our systems. Malls, cinema halls, pools, gyms are closed and people are being asked to stay at home. And what is Mumbai doing? Showing up. Because we’ve been told that we are city that never sleeps. And a city that always turns up. That’s bullshit. And we need to realise that.
By turning up at work, by not social distancing ourselves, by not using masks, we aren’t a representation of the spirit, we are a bunch of people willing to risk our lives and the lives of many others only because this is us.
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You will be surprised to know that nothing has changed, Mumbai still rocking like nothing has happened. There are people in public gardens, on the streets, the restaurants are full being a Sunday. I guess Mumbai take it easy and no virus threat can stop the energy. Anyways since we could not meet #aliabhatt this year, here is a cool video from last year. Hope things get better as we are ready to join the party #viralbhayani @viralbhayani
But is this really us? At what point will we realise that this is spreading and getting worse because we go about our business, pretending we are better than a fucking virus.
Think about this for a moment. The symptoms of a the virus take a few days to show up. In this time, instead of not spreading the infection, we are at work, taking public transport and interacting with people. Before you know it, you’ve already passed this on. Is the spirit of Mumbai supposed to allow you to be this dismissive that is claiming lives every day.
This isn’t the spirit of Mumbai. This is all of us being utter jerks. Let’s talk to the Italians. They will tell you. They were taking this lightly as well. And now, they are reporting deaths by the hour. Let’s learn from the guys who, as I write this, are in a country that has entirely being quarantined. This is the need of the hour. Not Whatsapp forwards about how Mumbai is so amazing because we are here.
If you'e still hanging with friends, going to restaurants/bars, and acting like this isn't a big deal, get your shit together.
The following thread is taken from an Italian citizen.
As they put it:
"To the rest of the world, you have no idea what's coming."
— Yano (@JasonYanowitz) March 14, 2020
These words are ominous. Sit up and take notice Mumbai. When someone says, “To the rest of the world, you have no idea what’s coming.”, pay attention.
It’s time we unlearn the Mumbai spirit. Because it’s a hollow concept to make the people of the city continue working. It’s so that life doesn’t stop. But sometimes it needs to. The Mumbai spirit also means that you take care of yourself and the people of your city. It means that you do your bit to ensure it’s not getting worse, at least not because of you.
The Mumbai spirit is us. And we need to redefine it.