Mumbai’s new tag, honestopolis!
It might come as a shocker but Mumbai has been named the world’s second-most honest city, according to a survey of 16 major global cities. For all that the city has had to put up with in the recent years, with the terrorist attacks and stock market volatility, with high-profile Bollywood duds and people spending inordinate amount of time simply trying to reach their destinations, this seems like a whiff of fresh air, like a hint of melody after a protracted session of very jarring music. Although it’s the Finnish capital Helsinki that has bagged the top spot, can it even begin to compare with the many lives of Mumbai, the megalopolis, the maximum city, the epitome of multipli-city? To think that honesty too features big time in a conurbation that has always been known for its link with the underworld, or it being hub of all things flimsy and glamorous and superficial, is really a relief, as much as it is a happy surprise. To think that in the city, where the world’s biggest slum exists side by side the biggest hotels and offices, where real prices outcompete even those in New York City or London, people would return wallets full of cash, amounting to no less than about Rs 3,000. It’s not a joke and it’s really perhaps not the final word on honesty, but the fact that in a city as scarred as Mumbai, people would have a heart big enough and a soul conscientious enough to give back something that’s not rightly theirs, is a breathtaking revelation. It shows that no matter what the assault, Mumbai still is a city of ordinary persons, people who value honesty and integrity, even they don’t make pots of money or rule the bill boards and dictate the troughs and crests of stock market, they still know how to live it right, if not live it large.