The story of Bombay is the story of struggle and sacrifice. Perhaps there is no other city in the world where the struggle spills so vividly and unabashedly out onto the streets, for that’s what people are here for: to make the journey, to realize their dreams – and the outward anarchy is only a reflection of their deep inner struggle, the churning that leads to a finer, more realised self. People here are not ashamed to be seen toiling and slaving out in the open. The barber does it. The cobbler does it. The chawalla does it. The bhajiyawalla does it. The vada-pavwalla does it. The vegetable vendor does it. The fruitwalla does it. The fisherwoman does it. The ragpicker does it. The hawker does it. The encroacher does it. The eunuch does it. The beggar does it. The cop does it. The tout does it. The dhobi does it. The maalishwalla does it. The victorianawalla does it. The taxiwalla does it. How many trades? How many dreams? How many journeys can a single city take and deliver? … Bombay, leaving me breathless with all that it has in store.

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