Friday, 3 March 2017

Bombay Bounces Back

Nothing can dampen the spirit of Bombay. I just phoned a friend of mine who's based in Bombay and enquired about the present situation. He told me that things are as usual. Trains and buses are plying and people are busy in doing their daily chores. What happened was yet another nightmare in the nightmarish series of blasts rocking Bombay since 1993. World renowned Danish city-planner Wigen Digmore wrote that, " When a city continuously faces threats. It builds up within it an armour of rsilience and never gives up." This fully applies to Bombay. So many terrorist attacks and blasts haven't been able to shake its inner ability of bouncing back.


Whether it's a natural calamity of July 26, 2005 or 26/11 or the latest one on July 13, anti social elements haven't succeeded to destabilise the collective steely resolve of the people of Bombay. Despite being the easy target of the extremists, life of Bombay has never come to a standstill. I remember, even during 26 July deluge, how people of Bombay helped each other and even strangers extended their helping hands to rank unknown people. Paul Thoreux rightly said about Bombay, " Soon you feel that you're not an outsider here (Bombay)." It's said that a salad-bowl city like Bombay or New York seldom has bonds of connectivity, because most of the migrants don't have roots.
 But Bombay belies this observation. During any calamity, the whole city converges upon one common point: Humanity. A  newspaper has shown a terrified boy who's profusely bleeding just after the mishap but no one is bothered about the faith or place he belongs to. In the ocean of humanity, things like religion, caste and colour are so insignificant. A city's ethos become all the more deep when it has to face relentless threats, assaults and attacks. Baghdad, Samarkand, Bukhara or even Ahmadnagar (yes, Ahmadnagar!!) became historically great cities because of their power to cushion against any pressure.



These cities in their heydays, never wilted under outside forces and flourished to become centres of knowledge and progress. Bombay's like that. It bounces back so fast that it never appears that it'd undergone a turmoil just a few hours back. The more I think of this facet of Bombay, the more I get intrigued. There's a spirit, a palpable spirit that steadfastly refuses to be cowed down by any fear, calamity or even a catastrophe. However hard the extremists may try to unsettle the spirit of Bombay, nothing will succeed. The city never yields to the turns and twists of fate and nefarious designs of fissiparous forces.      
                                                   ----Sumit Paul

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