An open letter to Pritish Nandy


I read this last week I guess and I obviously oppose most of what Nandy says. He has in fact, never managed to impress me. I fail to understand the audacity with which jots down his opinion most of which can be debated by someone as novice as me.
You can read his article here http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/extraordinaryissue/entry/why-i-love-mumbai


An Open Letter to Pritish Nandy


Dear Mr. Nandy,

Welcome to the freest city in the world. Welcome to Mumbai. I simply love it.

You can't smoke in public places. I understand how that might be an inconvenience to you. I don't like the rule too. After all, why would I want to miss my second hand smoke of the day? I cant buy alcohol below the age of 18. Ah, how I wish my son manages to get his hands on a bottle of Absolut Vodka on his 13th bday. Yes, their are no strip clubs here. I would like to pay the cover charge for every man who turns up to watch girls dance Kathakali (you and your buddies included)

Yes, we would like to let our chefs sleep after 11 (do you mind?) Arent you the same people who talk about quality of life? And yes, if you are 17, you are not an adult, so it is technically rape. I think you can marry at 14 in one of those Eastern European countries. You are free to find your soulmate there.

Our Ministers do get preferential treatment at the queue. Why is that wrong again? Arent you the same people who got pissed off when APJ kalam was frisked at a US airport? You had a problem with even SRK being frisked, like he was some kinda God. And now, you want stricter rules for ministers just coz its too much waiting time for you?

Gun licences? Really? What is Mumbai? A black neighbourhood in New York? How many times have you been threatened with a Gun? Zero? That is coz we dont give out gun licences to idiots like you.

Yes, we are a socialist country. We charge the rich and have the NREGA for the poor. The idea is, if you have enough money to spend 5000 rupees on a meal (most people in Mumbai earn less than that a month), you should have no problem with giving 1000 to the Government, so that on they can work on more schemes for the poor. We are probably the best example of socialism (on paper, at least)

Yes, there is a Hindu-Muslim thing. Remember 1992, asshole? That kinda thing leaves scars that can't be healed even with time. And the next time on your trip to one of the western countries, leave the confines of your corporate sponsored 5 star stay and visit one of the ghettos. Only White trash lives in black/turkish populated areas. And only the best of the black community can afford to live in the white areas (Rem Chris Rock, anyone?)

Yes, all dirty stuff is off the air. I know, you must miss the programming on F TV but such is life.. grow up, okay? Customs will demand duty on goods more than 26k. If you want to have a dollar based limit, how about you smuggle goods in the US? I would like to see what they do to your sorry ass there...

And stop cribbing about some sorry cop who interrupted your party once. You were having coke or some other drug there anyway. Good for you. You do need some policing. If you think otherwise, stop being such a wuss and don't run to you friends in media to help you with a bully. Be a man and stand up to him the next time you meet him.

Footpaths havent vanished. Only, we have 5 times more people than NY does, and that is like the so-called busiest city on the planet. NOT. With so many people around, you just cant see it.

Yes, we don't have open air cafes. The fact that there is a whole beach line where you can walk any time of the night, obviously doesnt cut it... The stars can't be seen because your head is too far up your ass. The sparrows are gone? If you live in the cozy confines of Kurla, yes they are... If you ever happen to come north of Powai, I will show you a bird sanctuary. That is, if you snobbish bastards have started calling the best part of your city as your city yet.

Now, let a real Mumbaikar, someone who hasnt lived south of Mahim, someone who has travelled by trains, hanging on for dear life, someone who walked 22 kms to get home on the night of 26th July, someone who sweats in the heat and rejoices when the first rains hit the city, tell you why this is the awesomest place in the world.

You can leave at 3 in the night and you won't be mugged. You can walk/drive/take a train to wherever you want and get something to eat. People will try to maintain lane discipline (relative concept to India). People dont honk unnecessarily. (again, relative to all eastern countries). The traffic policeman will leave you even if you break the signal, if you try to speak in Marathi, even if you are a north India. You can get a chai for Rs.5 at the tea stall, and at Rs. 500 at the Taj President. You choose where you want to go.

Life is nothing is it's not freedom. But don't ask freedom to drink at 15 or smoke or piss on the wall. Grow up and grow a pair.

Mumbai is a lot more than you make it sound to be.

Welcome to Mumbai. I simply love it.

yours humbly,
A Mumbaikar
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13 letters to the editor:

    a fitting reply ...

    On June 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM     
    CYNOSURE said...

    A perfect reply... :)
    Happy to see you back... :) :) :)

    On June 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM     
    Anonymous said...

    well said... but u could have been easy on the language... :)

    On June 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM     
    Abhinav said...

    I Agreed with everything you said to Pritish Nandy (he is truly an ass for demanding guns/sex/alcohol for the young) except the last few paragraphs stating why YOU love mumbai!! It is simply depressing to see that Mumbaikars have fallen in love with crushing their bodies in the locals, fallen in love with getting stuck every year in the rains and most depressing to hear that as a Youth you feel it is ok for a cop to leave an offender as long as he speaks Marathi!!!! Mumbaikars like you define everything thats wrong with India, where people dont fight for change but rather get used to the bad thinking it is a part of life and at the extreme in case of Mumbai fall in love with it...!!! I hate this so called spirit of Mumbai where you get used to the stink and boldly claim that Mumbai is the only metro that has this stink rather than fighting for change and cleaning that stink. Look at Delhi or Bangalore and you'll realize that while you have fallen in love with this pain, others have tried to ease it. Yes, I give you that you will not be mugged/raped at 3 in the night in Mumbai as compared to Delhi but Mumbai talking of security is laughable since it has had the maximum no of terror attacks and there still is ZERO security in the locals...But I guess, you have fallen in love with that too...God knows if my family will come back home tonight, awesome isnt it!!!

    @ Ashish... How have you been man? Long time!
    @Cynosure...
    Long time since I wrote man.. thanks for the comment..
    @Anon
    Sorry... At the time I wrote this I was kinda angry...
    @Abhinav:
    I didnt say I loved Mumbai coz I sweat here! I said I am a true mumbaikar who sweats in the heat!
    What city is safe? NY? London? Delhi?

    B'lore and Delhi arent as populated as Mumbai. B'lore has a traffic problem. Delhi has every other problem.

    And don't try to emotionalise your comment with the senti crap about our families not coming back home...

    Read the last para. That is why I think this is the best city in the world.

    On July 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM     
    Anonymous said...

    @Arshat
    You were a bit hard on him and your article does sound like mumbaikars dont fight the pain but instead adapt themselves. But I guess anyone would have reacted in the same way if you hurt his feelings towards his own land.

    @Abhinav
    Your last sentence is hilarious man.
    You cant really compare Mumbai to Delhi and Bangalore. Mumbai has its own set of problems and the conditions here are way different than those cities. The kind of challenges that Mumbai faces are damn difficult to tackle and then look at the population density man. Every year so many people pour in, that it makes it hard to fight the so called pain. Sometimes it gets better to get used to it than to raise your voice. I am sure that time will heal everything and there will be solutions to these problems.

    On July 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM     
    Anonymous said...

    Woh I enjoy your articles, bookmarked!

    On July 12, 2012 at 9:12 PM     
    Anonymous said...

    Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?

    On July 21, 2012 at 3:29 PM     
    Samudra said...

    Hi Arshat,

    I had written a long comment to your post, but Blogger doesnt allow more than 4096 characters apparently.

    Here's my post:

    http://samudranb.com/2012/07/21/why-pritish-nandy-was-right-to-hate-mumbai/

    On August 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM     
    Anonymous said...


    I wish to express some thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this type of difficulty.

    On August 30, 2012 at 9:36 AM     
    Anonymous said...


    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    On October 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM     
    Anonymous said...

    Read your article and loved it. But Somehow you were not less aggressive in your approach. I am true Mumbaikar and it is the most beautiful place simply because its Mumbai.

    But yes I do agree about certain aspects that Mr.Nandy has covered. Like inspection whether at Hotels, Aiports, it must be uniform and mandatory for all. I have faced discrimination too. It everywhere but that does not make me hate the city. I hate it when my city people accept it and let it be that way. I agree with the chefs sleeping after 11. But if we are promoting tourism then we should be ready to do more. As you want others to respect our Mumbai culture, We should respect others too. I feel Dubai does that well. I agree Crime exists everywhere even in the best countries but I dont care about the other places. As a female counterpart, I feel its no more a safe haven as it used to be.I am not comparing Mumbai to any other cities but to itself. My mom goes to temple every morning and two days back while she was going with a neighbour two young boys came on bike and pushed the neighbour against the wall and snatched the gold chain she was wearing. The time that this happened was just 6 in the morning. My mom called for help but the boys fled away. This is a now regular incident in our area more than a year. people have started wearing imitation yet the robberies never cease.Whom should i blame? the police are more active frisking with what I bring with my hard earned money and shutting down music after 10pm and shooing couples but are not worried about the robberies?? Atleast thats what their course of action make me think.

    I totally disagree with Nandy's comment for alcohol for the young, guns and even Kothas or whatever he wants back. But yes there is certain truth in what he says too. Are we not a secular country? We are patriotic on just 3 days- 26th Jan, 15th Aug and Indo-pak match other days we just dont care about others. Please dont try to differ as this is a truth. We just dont care coz we want our ass safe. we dont care if a wrong thing or injustice happens to our neighbour, we are simply glad that I am safe.

    I love Mumbai but the city is disgracing itself every day.

    On January 28, 2013 at 3:44 PM     
    Jayant Singh said...

    Very good answer to Pritish Nandy. Whenever I read Pritish Nandy's articles, I got a feeling that he is trying to portray himself as the most intelligent person of this country. And therefore I always wanted to tell him that he is not intelligent but idiot. You fulfilled my wish through this article. (Calling an idiot idiot is no offense).