In the last month or so college has given me a lot- friends, experiences, freedom and staggeringly delicious food. However there is one thing I really wasn’t expecting to get, and that is a reality check.
If you’re a “townie” like me, chances are you’ve experienced this at some point (or will soon enough).
So, I consider myself to be an all-round, aware and mindful citizen of this country but in my head this city is divided into 2 parts- “Actual Mumbai” and “Whatever the hell comes after Bandra”. So on the first day of college when people introduced themselves I felt pretty stupid cause I didn’t know what came where, so I did something I really shouldn’t have.
I asked them.
Since that day I’ve been labelled the “rich townie brat” who frowns upon non-townie “peasants”, and doesn’t know what a rickshaw is. (I do know what ricks are and I love them ok).It’s gotten to a point where this one friend can’t go 5 mins without bringing up the fact that I live 10 mins away (you know who you are). *Fun fact in school if you take a cab it was a lil’ weird cause most people had cars and stuff, but in college if you travel by cab they think you’re Ambani.
Let me tell you a fun story (fun for you, not so much for me)
Yesterday I attended my friend’s birthday party. He lives in Marole (For the 100% of people reading who don’t know where that is- it’s a little ahead of Andheri). So what I had to do is – walk to Byculla station, buy a ticket, take a train to Dadar, get off and take another train to Andheri then take a metro to Marole Naka, and then a rickshaw to this dude’s house. Now I wasn’t alone, but for someone like me who doesn’t understand the difference between Western Railways and Harbour Line, this whole thing sounded like an adventure course in a video game.
In the end, I made it.
It wasn’t the most pleasant journey -there was this one part while getting off at Dadar where there was an insane crowd gathered at the exit, and the platform was also crowded and we had like 30 seconds to get out and I thought I was going to die of stress. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. Also while getting on I thought I would miss the train and my adrenaline levels hit the roof but that’s beside the point.
In the end I realised, It’s all a matter of perspective.I thought my house to Colaba was far away, BOY was I wrong. I have mad respect for people who travel by local train on a daily basis, it’s time consuming and stressful (It probably gets easier with time and practice though). I talk a big game about loving my city and being a “true mumbaikar” when in reality I’ve experienced only a small percentage of this city.
I love being a townie. I won’t apologize for loving this part of the city (lets face it, it’s the best place to live), and it’s not my fault I don’t know much about anything beyond South Bombay, because I’ve never had to. We have everything here.
I will however apologize for being ignorant and clueless about everyday things. I’m working on it, I promise.
The moral of the story is that people think townies are upscale pretentious pricks, but that’s not true. Think of townies and non-townies (?) as siblings living in the same house. It’s not our fault we’re the favourite kid 🙂