Monday, May 3, 2010

Tips to survive the Sena, MNS and Mumbai (Only for Delhites)

My Bschool life is over (hopefully) and I have decided to move on to some mature(read serious) writings from here on. Naah, just kidding!!

I will have to move to Mumbai, and considering my long held apprehensions of living in any city outside Delhi my next few entries might be dominated by the considerable switch that is going to happen in my life soon. Many of my friends from Delhi also have to shift to Mumbai and I thought being a Maharastrian who has lived 24 years of his life in Delhi I can give a lot of gyaan on the Do’s and Dont’s. Also there is the growing threat of MNS and Shiv Sena which is really threatening my North Indian friends. So here are a few pieces of advice from the great one to all my unfortunate friends who will have to live in the so called financial capital of the country.

1. Never attend a Maharastrian wedding. They are devoid of any music, DJ, Paneer, Ice cream and of course no drinks or chicken (I am very proud of the last two). You will be served a lavish meal of "Khichdi" in the lunch hours so that you are well prepared for the sumptuous dinner where the sweet dish is rasgulla. The only difference is that the rasgulla is missing. Yes right, it’s just the gravy (or whatever it is called). They call it Sudharas. Trust me; even we maharastrians are not very proud of it.

2. It is considered impolite to refer to people’s sisters and mothers in a casual conversation. I am obviously referring to the Bc and Mc’s we use so casually in any conversation. You are not supposed to start a conversation with the usual "Aur C****!! Kya haal hai". Even your local friends will take offence.

3. It’s ok to ask address or time to any by standing girl. She would not freak out or assume it to be creepy. If she tells you the address with a smile on her face, don’t get any foolish ideas. It does not mean she is interested. Also it is perfectly normal for single girls to be roaming outside at 10 -11 PM in the night. Don’t assume them to be ……(you know what).

4. Never address a stranger as “Bhaiyya”. Address an elder person as “Kaka” and others as “Dada”. Yes the same dada they use in Kolkata.
This one requires the maximum practice for a Delhite.

5. Maharastrians would not understand the difference between a Punjabi and a Sardar. Don’t try to explain it to them. It is exactly similar to explaining a North Indian the difference between a Tamil and a Telugu.

6. Marathi is derived from Sanskrit and is written in the same script as Hindi. It is thus much closer to Hindi than Punjabi. Therefore, Maharastrians pronunciations of Hindi words is much more refined and correct. No matter how strong your beliefs that the North Indian punjabinised versions like (Virender, Surender, Narender) are the right way to be pronounced, it is the Maharastrian version (Virendra, Surendra, Narendra) which is right one. So think very hard before you make fun of somebody’s pronunciation.

7. You can kiss goodbye to driving at speeds of above 60KmPH or enjoying a walk on an avenue. Mumbai does not have any roads wide enough to support any such leisure activities.

8. Mumbai local is a place where you can forget all the politeness and courteousness and be what we people are best at. Behaviour wise people are at their worst here. Also leaving your handkerchief on a seat means it becomes your seat. Don’t try to mess up with anybody and accept the rule.

9. Dadar is the headquarters of Shiv Sena. I know how strongly we feel about issues related to nationality and regional biases but it is perfectly advisable to reserve your opinion to yourself at this place. Obviously, it’s a different matter if you want to be a martyr or an India TV Case Study for a day.

10. If a taxi wallah tells you that he will charge by the meter, don’t be suspicious. In Mumbai, taxi and auto meters work perfectly fine and are not tampered with. To get into a taxi, you would have to stand in a line. Yes its correct, a line. And there would be no security guard to maintain the line but yet you have to follow it. It is not macho to break a line and girly to stand in one.

11. Mumbaikar’s favourite pastime is to malign Delhi for absolutely everything. Let them have their fun because they don’t know what they are doing. Also, its better to keep quite in an alien city. But yes, if they criticize the Metro please be a proud Delhite and give it back to them

12. Abhijeet Sawant, Vaishali Samant and Avdhoot Gupte are more popular singers than Daler Mehendi etc etc (I used etc because even I cannot remember any other Punjabi singer). And nobody would know who Gurdas Maan is.

13. There is always a young teenager in the Mumbai cricket team who everybody believes would be the next Sachin Tendulkar. It hasn’t happened in the past 15 years and is not going to happen ever. But respect the opinion. Sachin is GOD in the entire country and cricket is a religion. However in Mumbai, the frenzy is at another level. The madness is incomparable to anything else. Even if you reach here as a cricket virgin, you will become cricket crazy in two months flat.

14. Despite all the advice I give, in case MNS takes your case and beats you up and I am standing next to you - Don’t expect any help because we Maharastrians are normally very peaceful people and I would not like to get my hands dirty. I would just say I told you so:-)

15. Read Shantaram. It is a much better guide than this blog.

PS: I know 3-4 years down the line, Point number 1 is going to give me a lot of trouble. So I apologize to whomsoever it may concern right here right now.

PS2: The above was written based on only 2 months of internship experience. So expect large number of updates once I actually land up in the maximum city.

PS3: I have decided I am going to like Mumbai :-)