Mumbaicars : Car spotting in the city

Mumbai. This is a city that owes its existence to the sea. Once people floated in and anchored here, the old winding trade routes that snaked up the hills and the plateau was strengthened with rails. It was along these rails that the city grew.

The Master Clock at Churchgate Station

For decades, the people in this expanding metropolis travelled up and down to the heart of the city on trains. While cities like Delhi, home to Maruti cars and other towns around the country, moved on to cars, Mumbaikars continued to use their trains and BEST buses. Their lives were controlled by the master clock that the trains ran on. Old-timers say that the Mumbaikar was usually punctual. The Island city ran on Indian Standard time. It was probably half an hour earlier than across the creek on the mainland.

About two decades back, the clock slowed in Mumbai. The important people in offices and appointments started arriving later than usual, and they had all the same excuse. They called it traffic, but the reason was most likely that they travelled by car.

I know it's a serious accusation, and I do not have the statistics to prove this severe charge. However, I can show you glimpses of the relationship ordinary 'Mumbaicars' have with their cars.

A new car comes home after a stop at a temple
My doll

Earlier people wore their identity on their foreheads or expressed it through clothes. Now it's cars.

Male Cars

What is the gender of a car?

Visitors to the city

Parking Space

The cars occupy more than the roads, they steal playgrounds too.

A driver resting near a parking space

My precious.

Dents can be removed, but the hurt a scratch can cause to a car owner is tough to fix.

Campaigning favourite

A car that was made in Kurla, Mumbai

Padmini doing a Mandakini near RK Studio

Daily bath

Rental cars during the COVID lockdown,

Feels like crowded local train

Zara hatke, zara bachke, ye hain Mumbai meri jaan 🦩

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