Aamchi Mumbai – A city that props up many different connotations for different people. A city that never sleeps, the Spirit of Mumbai, Never say die, City of dreams, Bollywood dreams – the list can go on.
Having stayed in this city since childhood, there is one phrase that has caught my attention regularly – ‘Thoda Adjust Kar Lo’. Doesn’t it sound familiar, I mean, don’t we say this all the time. To me, this is one of the unique things about Mumbaikars that enables us to wade through problems and still continue to pursue our goals.
When I think of this phrase ‘Thoda Adjust Kar Lo’, there’s no better example that comes to my mind than the Lifeline of Mumbai, our local train – The FOURTH seat. Yes, you may get the occasional stare but we Mumbaikars are happy to adjust and accommodate our fellow passengers to grab a little bit of real estate when it comes to the local train. Or for that matter, asking the privileged seated class to allow us to stand between two rows of seat is an everyday phenomenon. And if you thought that this was limited to a certain section of the society, check out the A/c buses which supposedly carry the higher end commuters. Invariably you will find someone’s bag or tiffin case hanging on the hand rest of a seated passenger who is happy to adjust to a little bit of discomfort. Or for that matter, a standing passenger taking the support of a backrest even as his seated counterpart adjusts a bit to let go of some valued seat space.
Ever been to a Udipi hotel or a quick service restaurant. Not willing to wait for an empty table. No worries, use the Mumbai trump card – Thoda Adjust Kar Lo, and presto you will find yourself seated next to a complete stranger who is ok to let you enjoy your favourite Thali or Mumbai’s very own innovation Pav Bhaji Masala Dosa in his esteemed company.
When it comes to friends, our adjustwala attitude takes a different proportion. We are more than happy to accommodate friends so that the whole group can enjoy each other’s company even if it means a little compromise and discomfort. Nothing better to illustrate this than seeing four friends or family members cramping on the backseat of a car.
So what drives this kind of behaviour in Mumbaikars. Is it our culture, lifestyle, education, lack of space or the spirit that pushes to move beyond these small hurdles? Or maybe it is our upbringing which has taught us to adjust with our siblings or in the small match box houses of Mumbai city. Whatever it is, the common attitude that every Mumbaikar proudly displays is – Let’s get on with small issues. Because at the end of the day, life must go on.
-By Girish Kalra
I am a Mumbaikar at heart. Having criss crossed the city during my educational and work stints, I am amazed by the one thing that sets Mumbai apart from others – every day is a new day full of happenings. An Engineer and MBA by qualification, I have been putting my Marketing and Corporate communication skills to test in multiple industries i.e. Advertising, Consumer Goods, Mutual Funds and Insurance through diverse stints. As time goes by, I look forward to learning amazing life changing experiences from this beautiful city of Mumbai
Psst…Girish is a senior corporate communication professional from a top financial services company who proactively took time out to write this post for OCOW and humbly requested us to restrict this totally to his personal capacity! We totally respect that!
Thank you so much Mumbaikar Girish for writing with us! Keep it coming Dost! – Cheers! The OCOW TEAM