Minimum City

I’m going to say it, call me outspoken, outdated, old fashioned, out of touch with the new Bombay. We’ve become ‘Minimum City’. We’ve become restless, ruthless, reckless, rash, rude people. The soft underbelly has got hard.

“We The People” has morphed into “I The Person”.

“Love your fellow man? Sure, as long he helps me triumph in my endeavours.”

The moral fibre lies tattered.

We’ve become amoral, antiseptic, anarchic, illicit, sab chalta hai, anything chalta hai, as long as the Self benefits.

I will blow my car horn, even if amber has just turned green, because I cannot wait a second to get ahead.

Our kids run amok in restaurants, we watch, and say adoringly “Papoo, don’t throw the butter chicken on uncle” and all is kosher.

We’ve forgotten the niceties. The politeness of the ‘thank you’. The dignity of the ‘sorry’.

Grace is about as extinct as the Gir lion.

The semi-fact. The half measure. The white lie.

Chivalry is passé. Opening doors for women, thanking a liftman, it’s just disappeared from our etiquette manual.

We cut lanes. We undercut. We short cut. We Short Message Service mid-conversation.

Dads ask the question of kids buried in their phone: “I’m talking to you, can you take your head out of that handset for just a minute.”

“Chill Pops, I’m multi-tasking.”

Breeding’s gone bonkers. Bring up your child anyway you want, he will lose your upbringing at the altar of ‘The Ruthless Age’.

Our kids want easy success, the easy way out, “Dad, I plan to retire at 40,” and “Who wants to be in the same job in seven years?”

Forget slog, struggle, forget the 1,000 hours required to truly hone a skill.

“What a waste of time. I can do 50 things in that time. Get a life, dude.”

Jumping queues. Jumping lights. Jumping women. All fall under the bracket of, “I am entitled, no one will stop me.”

We tweet, we text, we interrupt, we intercept. We talk loudly in movie halls.

No time for sensible ‘Ship of Theseus’, nonsensical ‘Chennai Express’ is time-pass.

We don’t want silences, no serenity -- just white noise in a world that’s lost its grey.

We’ve dumbed down -- Manmohan Singh has 650,000 followers, and Shah Rukh has 46 lakh.

Take the long way home? Forget it, there’s always a short cut.

So what’s the one point I’m making? -- I don’t have a single point. I reside in 2013 Mumbai. It’s our 66th Independence Day week. I have a right to Sunday rant, I’m a free man. With the freedom of expression, that I hope still exists.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.¬†

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