OCOW Diarist Contest Winner
Ask any Mumbaikar who they think is ‘Mumbaicha hero’, and they’ll probably name names like Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bacchhan, Aishwarya Rai or someone equally rich and/or famous.
But not me, nuh-uh!
To me, Mumbaicha hero embodies the very spirit of Mumbai. A hero is anyone who is brave, tenacious and a talented multi-tasker. A person who never, ever gives up on his city and his fellow citizens, no matter the sacrifices he has to make. He accepts with equanimity what he cannot change, because he knows the value of just getting on with life. After all, complaining is for losers and that is one word that doesn’t apply to any Mumbaikar!
Floods and potholes cannot drown his spirit.
Heat and humidity are no sweat for him.
Terrorist attacks do not faze him.
No matter the trouble, a Mumbaikar lives by the mantra ‘acchhe din aanewale hain!’
Mumbai’s heroes are the dabbawalas who ensure that millions of Mumbaikars don’t go hungry.
A hero is the mother who works a thankless job and still finds the energy to smile for her ‘train friends’.
A hero is the fire fighter who risks his own life to save a bunch of people he doesn’t know and will probably never see again.
A hero is the medical professional who deals with the gruesome aspects of Mumbai life, day in, day out, and still does his job because that’s who he is.
A hero is the policeman who protects Mumbaikars from the seedy side of Mumbai, an unsung hero through and through!
A hero is the ordinary citizen who never hesitates to help his fellow citizens who are unfortunate victims of a cowardly terrorist attack; because he never forgets that it could’ve just as easily been him or someone he loves.
A hero is the middle-class service person who endures the dhakkas of Mumbai’s crowded and woefully inadequate transport system so he can reach work on time and take care of his family.
All these people are Mumbai’s heroes and none of them are rich and/or famous. After all, it’s easy to be branded a hero when you’re rich and/or famous. But when all you are is an ‘aam aadmi’ – well then, not so much. And yet, that is exactly what every Mumbaikar is – an aam aadmi, and a hero.
You don’t have to be an Amitabh Bacchhan or a Sachin Tendulkar to be Mumbai’s hero. All you need to be is an aam aadmi and a Mumbaikar.
- OCOW Diarist Contest Winner_Swati Iyer