We like to think of Mumbai as Maximum City--a city bursting with people, heart, smarts, all that. Not on every count, I learnt this quite recently. A work-worn employee of a PR firm located in Tardeo was heading back home to Mazgaon last week when cabbie after aggravating cabbie refused him a ride. He walked the length of the road right up to Mumbai Central station, where cabbies are usually quite accomodating. He was refused by at least six. Then, almost like a dream, a stranger on a motorbike slowed down and asked him if he required a lift.
The PR executive jumped on before the rider reconsidered, and the two rolled forward. He was silently congratulating himself on his luck, and congratulating this city for the goodness and open-heartedness of its people, when they reached the said destination, and the PR executive unsaddled with a grateful heart... only to have that kind Mumbaikar ask him for the cab fare he'd have coughed ip had he taken a taxi instead.
Grumbling, and having lost his hard won faith in humanity of this city, the PR executive thrust out 40 rupees, his vision of a Maximum City deflating like a balloon to a miserly, minimum one.