SHRISHTI MALHOTRA (21) came to Mumbai in June 2016 to pursue a post-graduation degree at Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Shrishti, who was born and brought up in Kolkata, says the city where she grew up is similar in some ways and very different in others from Mumbai.
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The colonial link which both the cities have can be seen most markedly in the similar colonial architecture of both the cities, she says. But the most significant difference between the two cities is the pace of life, she says pointing out that while the pace of life is slow in Kolkata, people in Mumbai appear to be in a hurry to get something done. And Mumbai is far more expensive compared to Kolkata where the cost of living is far lower, she says.
What she likes:
She says that her interaction with locals has been extremely positive; they have always been helpful and respectful. She had once forgotten her cell phone in a rickshaw but the driver returned to the spot where he had dropped her off to hand it back. The best part of the city for her is that as a woman she can be out irrespective of the time considering that the city is safe. Shristhi says that she has gone back home from the college library at odd hours of the night several times without facing any problem which is important compared to her experience during her under-graduation days in Delhi, where she would feel unsafe even if she was out at 9.30 pm.
What she dislikes:
Shrishti says she was extremely unhappy when she first moved to the city mainly because of the lack of good food (she deeply dislikes even the concept of vada pav and samosa pav) and the unending rain. She would confine herself to her room and complain about not being able to go anywhere because of the rain but has now come to terms with Mumbai’s monsoon. She reckons all you need now is to get protection from the rains and not care about your feet getting dirty. She is also disappointed with the public transport system which everyone had said would be wonderful but has found it difficult to handle it.
However, she acknowledges that she had completely disregarded the freedom that the city provided her with and she says that a conversation with on Ola driver really helped put things in perspective in which he said that she would soon fall in love with the city like so many people do, even though it would take some time, and she would be proud of belonging to it irrespective of whether she gets a promotion or not.