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A small island of big dreams

Class 7 winners of 2011-2012 HT Scholarships give a thumbs up to the city they have come to admire.

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2012 02:18 IST

1) Swareena Dixit, Prime Academy, Marol
Love of chaiwala and tycoon for city is same

"This is the city where millions of great achievers were born, the place where millions of aspirants come to make their life matter, the place where dreams come true."

It is a place where life never stops, yet it is a city where everybody is respected. Mumbai is where business tycoons reside, the place where Bollywood is established, the city which never rests.

The spirit of this city is what makes it so exceptional. Even in the tough phases of life, Mumbaiites never give up. Here, people from various parts of India having varied lifestyles, traditions, ambitions, ideas, likes and dislikes, live together like a happy family.

There is no discrimination here. Mumbai’s dabbawalas were invited to Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Mumbai is by far the safest place for everyone. This is the most flexible city, where everyone is heartily welcomed. The love of a chaiwala and a tycoon for Mumbai is the same.

Even the 26/11 terror attack could not harm the spirit of Mumbai. All Mumbaiites helped each other, stood for each other, stood for ‘aamchi Mumbai’. This amazing bonding, understanding and respect for other Mumbaiites is what I love the most about Mumbai.

2) Vandana Vinod Krishnan, Gopal Sharma International School, Powai
Life here compels you to be alert and active

It is natural for one to like the city she has lived in since birth. But when it comes to Mumbai, there are certainly more reasons to love this mahanagri.

Notwithstanding the crowded roads with traffic jams, the noise and vehicular pollution, or the waterlogged roads during the monsoon, I love this city for the choice of schools it offers, the enthusiasm with which every festival is celebrated regardless of which community it belongs to, the dependable public transport systems it provides, and the fact that life here compels you to be alert and active all the time.

It provides ample opportunity for mingling amongst various cultures and communities, as people from all over the country come here to give shape to their dreams.

We often read about Muslim craftsmen making some of the most sought-after Ganesh idols and the entire household of a popular actor like Salman Khan celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi.

Is it not indeed unity in diversity for which this great nation is known the entire world over? Mumbai is certainly one of the best examples. The numerous eateries across the city, offering cuisine to suit all tastes and budgets, the various cultural events and the many newspapers in various languages also make Mumbai special.

3) Ingrid Menezes, Teresa’s Convent High School, Santacruz (West)
Rich heritage, diverse culture a unique mix

The heritage buildings and many historical places lend beauty to Mumbai, in addition to the multicultural diversity that we have here.

The Marine Drive promenade and the circular road with heritage buildings on either side are just awesome. At night, with the bright lights, this area is rightly called the Queen’s necklace. I also like the Gateway of India and the magnificent Taj Mahal Hotel.

I also admire the culture of Mumbai, where Indians from every part of India live in harmony and peace. The best thing I love about Mumbai is the transport facilities that every Mumbaiite enjoys. The train timings are excellent; there is a train every three minutes.

Lakhs of passengers benefit from this great service, which no other metro city in India is fortunate to have. No added pollution since they work on electricity. Our road transport, run by BEST, also has a good network with buses of different grades.

Taxis and auto rickshaws are available at any time of the day or night. In Mumbai, one can travel quite safely and easily even if you don’t have your own personal means of transport.

4) V Harshitiha Reddy Marble Arch School, Andheri (West)
It is the lynchpin of independent India

The sheer diversity of the people in Mumbai is overwhelming. It is the lynchpin of independent India, which invites and gives an opportunity to people from other places to call it ‘home’. Citizens struggling in other cities look to Mumbai for a beginning.

For them, Mumbai is the dawn of the brightest day. What makes the city truly special is that people from diverse backgrounds are held together by a magical gel.

Another commendable thing is that it is the epitome of unbreakable spirit and fortitude. A 26/11 would have immobilised any city but Mumbai, which just picked itself up and moved on. Yet, the devotion with which the dead were mourned is moving.

The support and attention given to each child in schools sets them apart. They are informed since being toddlers, and the fact that no job is underrated in Mumbai encourages them to pursue their dreams.

Mumbaiites are perfectionists irrespective of whether they make vada pavs or are world-class businessmen. Mumbai is also undoubtedly the centre of modernisation and fashion in India.

5) Mahia Desylva, Bai Avabai Petit Girls High School, Bandra
Gritty people are the pride of this city

So many things to like in this city, and I agree some to dislike too, but I believe good always reigns over bad.

The pride of this city is its people, and we have so many. You need an efficient system of basic amenities to be able to handle so many people, but somehow, Mumbai manages to do this.

People squeeze into the tiniest of spaces, and still thrive. A walk through Dharavi proves the point. Since opportunities are few, Mumbaiites have to prove themselves through hard work.

This gives them grit and determination. People in Mumbai also learn to make the best out of the little things in life and see the glass as half full, and not half empty.

The city’s resilience also amazes me. A day after a riot, bomb blast, flood or blackout, the city is buzzing again.

6) Akshada Shrotri, Vasant Vihar High School, Thane
‘Locals’ are the lifeline, bring people together

Mumbai is a metropolitan city and the financial capital of India. To move such a huge mass of people requires a robust transport system. This role is played by the suburban trains, popularly known as ‘locals’. I love them the most in Mumbai.

Though very crowded during peak hours, they offer great flexibility. There are ladies bogies and even a ladies special during peak hours. In fact, many working women complete household work and celebrate festivals in the locals itself.

There is also a world-renowned system of dabbawalas, which helps people have warm, homely food at office. The people in the locals are helpful to each other.

I love the concept that these locals bring the entire city together. Locals are the heart and soul of this city. I have had limited opportunity to travel in the locals as I am young.

One day, when I go to college, I too will travel by the locals like my sister. I am looking forward to that day!

7) Siddhant Iyer, Gundecha Education Academy, Kandivli (East)
Imparts its flavour to all who come here

Mumbai – the city that never sleeps, the city that never stops, the city of contrasts, the city where I was born, and the city that I love.

Twelve years here have made me believe that you cannot adore a part of this city and dislike the rest. You have to admire Mumbai as a whole.

It is a place where people of all castes, creed, religion and race reside, but it unites them as one. It is this feeling of being a Mumbaiite that reigns supreme in the heart of all its citizens.

It is this blue ocean which rises in support of the Mumbai Indians team during an IPL match at the Wankhede.

The ability of Mumbai to unite one and all, however different they might be, is what enhances my respect for this city.

Mumbai imparts its flavour to all who come here, without hampering the person’s individuality — the transformed Hindi spoken in Mumbai or the altered north Indian street food is proof of this.

And when all these come together, it becomes clear that Mumbai is not a city; for if religion is a way of life, Mumbai is religion.

8) Laxmi Mishra, IES Navi Mumbai High School, Vashi
Mumbaiites stay united despite odds

Mumbai, the land of seven islands, is among the busiest places in the world. Every day, thousands of people come here with some dream from different parts of the country, as well as the world. But success is achieved by only those who work hard, and with great determination.

There is a lot of diversity in Mumbai — from food, clothes to buildings. There are tourist spots, temples, industries, amusement parks, malls, etc.

In short, Mumbai is a small dream island. I like the unity among Mumbaiites as they are always together, whether celebrating festivals, or during tragedies such as bomb blasts and terror attacks.

The people of Mumbai are fearless, and are not easily threatened. I like the street food here, be it vada pav, paani puri or misal pav. I also like to travel in local trains and buses full of people and take in the breeze. I like the chowpatties as well as the malls. It is an amazing city.

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