Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Great Port of the East

After reading so much about Mumbai, one thing is certain - the story of the Eastern world, from ancient empires to colonization to the rise of the East, is perfectly represented in the story of Bombay.

From the days when the seven islands were just inhabited by small fishing hamlets to the Cotton Trade which elevated Bombay to the most important port in the East to the 1991 Liberalization, which made Bombay one of the most important cities in the world, the story of Bombay has been one of hope and determination.

Bombay was invaded by many lords and became home to people from far and wide. Jews or Buddhists, Indian or Foreign, Marathi or Kashmiri, all can be found in Mumbai. The city is a cradle of civilization in itself. Yet, this is a violent civilization, full of faults. Poor urban infrastructure, industries of glamour, films and finance that maximize the poor-rich divide and a massive security threat from Pakistan make it a city for the bold-at-heart.

Yet, despite its shortcomings, Mumbai attracts the whole world like a magnet. It is the story of Indian will and determination, of centuries of struggle, victory and defeat, it is the story of the world retold in a million different ways. In short, it is your story and it is my story - the story of a city called Bombay.


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