Mai pareshaan, confused in Mumbai

I haven’t found my own community in Mumbai yet since I came here. There are so many different kind of communities in this big city, means not only Kaste originally from Hindu or economic gaps. Kaste structure does have four layer basically but it seems more complicated than we foreigners can imagine. It cannot be defined easily even among native people. Probably, you can imagine economic gap easier than religious differences. People sleep on the street or people live in huge house surrounded by high security wall. Well, if I start to speak about religions or economy in India, I should focus on only these topics. I would like to write about “community” which is build by young people who have similar sense, for example, humor, topics, favorite music or hobby.

First community which I saw first time in Mumbai loved party. Almost every weekend, they go out for party at club or friend’s house until next early morning. Parties happen everywhere in Mumbai. People dance, talk, drink. Strangers are also welcomed to someone’s house, “Let’s go, my friend’s friend’s friend’s have party at his place this evening.” like this way. After 2 or 3 months, I got tired of these party night life on weekend and less attend nowadays. Then, I met a Indian girl who loves Japan and has a lot of knowledge about it, high sense of photography or any art. “I was not a cool person in my collage time.” I guess it means she had already had much originality on her character compared with another same age of students. “Young people in Mumbai don’t know anything about their own city. They have spent time where they knew, not tried to discover new places. Go for drink, shopping, movie, that’s it.” She looked very different for me once I met her and heard her opinion. Next, I met younger generation around 21, 22 years old. They have already started to work and earned some money but also kept studying for some qualifications which can make their life better in their future. Main thing of their days are study and their knowledge often makes me surprise since I was not so clever like them when I was their age or still not. They see their own country, the world, can discuss about future about those or their own future life seriously. However, they are young, know how to enjoy the weekend as much as another young people do. Latest community I saw recently consists of people who came back from study in abroad like US, UK or developed Asian country. They normally don’t listen to Bollywood songs which are deeply loved by many citizens and carried on their mobile but American or European old and pop songs. Their sense are more closer to American or European, excited by the music at Hard rock cafe as same as young people out of India.

Once I jumped in a community, I could feel I came to another country even if I am still in the same city among 20 million people. God, population in whole India is 1.2 billion. If I try to see out of Mumbai, I am going to be definitely super confused… I have seen only some communities and already enough confused last one year. I spoke to my elder Japanese colleague who has stayed here longer than me honestly one day, “I might see more different life last one year than last my 10 years. My brain can be crushed with memories of so many difference of life here. I don’t know where I should belong to.” She advised me I can belong to anywhere because I am foreigner and entrance to each community must be more opened than native people, I will be able to find somewhere I can mostly confortable to belong to as I know there are more than thousand of communities.

Mai pareshaan, I am so confused. But one thing is true that I can be myself here or must be not to be swallowed up by 20 million Mumbaikar. I will try to keep discover by crossing over them for sometims, let’s see when I can find my own kingdom and what kind of people will make me feel here home mostly.


  1. Well said…Bombay is diverse and it is the diversity that makes it a fusion of the old & new

    Glad you are 'pareshan' with the diversity and not the lack of it!




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