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Mumbai Meri Jaan – Pooja Bedi

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By: ARYEMAN RAJ

 

How has Mumbai changed over the years?

Mumbai was far more liberal and tolerant earlier. Ever since we seem to have changed the name to Mumbai (in a bid to return to your roots), the whole fraternity seems to have gone back in time.  Going back to me is always very regressive. We should always think of moving ahead of the times.

 

Reason your statement as to why we have become regressive.

There is an over done emphasis on moral policing and trying to hold on to things. You have to see the nature and fabric of things in a society. Every city has its own distinct personality and the people who abound it evolve and change with regards to the city. As a booming city, Mumbai is poised for tumultuous growth and we should be surging forward. We need to think global and no longer be insular. I am not in favor of the divide and rule politics, which is rampant not just in Mumbai but also in, states acrossIndiatoo. This is utterly shameful for a city like Mumbai and not only does it take you 10 paces back but also put you down in the eyes of the world.

 

What deflates the spirit of the Mumbaikars?

The city goes up in fames when political leaders come and give inflammatory speeches. This leads to provoking their party workers who create chaos for the common man.

 

Your most horrifying moment about the city.

Recently we have been at the hands of lot of regressive moral policing. We have had to face the brunt with a lot of divide and rule politics. This has really saddened me as a citizen of Mumbai. The burning of (greeting) card shops during Valentine depicts a lack of respect of a citizen’s right to celebrate a day of love. It shows a complete fundamentalism and telling the city ‘don’t love’ and you are doing it through violence. Beating up couples (in love), bashing people on beaches or those sitting on rocks is sending out a message that you can’t be affectionate or be in love. Using violence to send out such a message is appalling and a denial of your basic democratic rights as a citizen.

 

 

What qualities do you need to be successful in Mumbai?

You need great PR skills. One needs to go out and network. Everyone is so warm and enveloping in every profession. If you manage your public relations effectively and have good interpersonal skills, you can work yourself up the ladder in a jiffy.

Where do you take you take your (international) friends when they visit Mumbai?

Oh, they see the works. I involve them right from experimenting with the traditional food (Gomantak cuisine to bhel puri), seeing Bollywood movies in Fame Adlabs or taking them tour Page 3 parties to show them our paparazzi. If they want to savor the local glamour flavor, I take them shopping from the high-end (local couture) stores of Mumbai to the streets of Bandra and evenFashion street. And of course, horse rides, clubbing – Mumbai is rocking with so much to experiment.