7 Life Lessons Mumbai Taught Me

03/04/2015 8:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
ROB ELLIOTT via Getty Images
BOMBAY, INDIA: Pigeons take flight into the blue sky along Marine Drive with the city skyline as a backdrop on an extremely clear day in Bombay, 10 October 2004. India's financial and entertainment capital with it's rising population of some fifteen million is faced with some of the countries highest pollution levels and the advent of a clear day is a rarity for the citizens to enjoy. AFP PHOTO/Rob ELLIOTT (Photo credit should read ROB ELLIOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

Mumbai. We call it the city of dreams.

And there's a lot that goes into conceiving a dream, giving it birth and finally see it live a life of its own. The city of Mumbai helps us get there.

Yesterday, when I ran #MumbaiTaughtMe from @WeAreMumbai, I got a clearer picture. I evaluated the responses, and I realized that this city has a lesson everyone should learn at some point. I gave it seven years of my life, and today, I'm ready for a new city. When I moved out of Goa, I was a different person. A rebel. Impatient. Dependent. And then, Mumbai came along. Mumbai taught me how to make way for my dreams. It taught me how to step out of my comfort zone and dare. It also taught me lessons I will remember for life. Here are a few:

Not to get offended

Someone says something unkind, and there go tears trickling down our cheek. I wouldn't say Mumbai took away my tears, I just stopped letting it get to me after a point. I'd believe it's something to do with the number of people we meet every day. Different people. And everyone has his/ her own way of putting their words across. I learnt to filter such words and process the message if relevant.

Laugh at yourself

And when you stop feeling offended, you start learning to laugh at yourself. If you're the butt of some jokes, laugh along and you're going to feel so much lighter. And anyway, who in this city has the time to cry over such petty things? Might as well laugh it off.


My Twitter bio still reads that patience has never been one of my virtues. But I think it's time I revise that line. Most of the time, I land up being extremely patient with these cab drivers who refuse a ride back home.

To be self-content

Before coming to Bombay, I don't think I could manage anything on my own. I always needed company. Then it dawned upon me that there's so much to explore, and it can be done alone. I started travelling solo, watched movies by myself, sat in a coffee shop with a book for company.

Be considerate

It's true that no one in Mumbai has time to spare. Everyone's running. Everyone's trying to get something accomplished. Everyone wishes to escape to some serene place for the weekend. But many can't. Cut them some slack because most are trying to give their best.

Be optimistic

Stay positive. We've heard our elders say, whatever happens, happens for the best. People come, people go. Jobs come, jobs go. It's like a train or a bus you've missed. There's always another one that will roll into the station, unless it's the last one. In that case, here's the last lesson.

Move on

We all face events that alter our lives. Someone dear passes away, we get pick-pocketed, a new mobile is flicked, got fired from a job, had a terrible break-up. Well, we fail. Whatever it may be, you stop, and you've missed the last train. Pick yourself up and brush off the dust as fast as you can because you are all you have.

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