Mumbai Meri Jaan

Mumbai Meri Jaan came as a big surprise for me. I had given this movie a slip when it was shown in the theatres. However I got a chance to see it when it was aired on UTV yesterday. The movie struck me instantaneously.

Its actually 10 minutes since I wrote the title of this post. I have been thinking what to eek. I decided to write a movie review and I’m held up here with a rush of thoughts coming to my mind. Its been well over 3 years that I’m staying in Mumbai. I have witnessed all the major turmoils the city has faced in recent times. May it be the bomb blast on 11th July 2006 or the flooding of 26th July 2005, I have seen it all. Unfortunately enough is not enough and the city still continues to live on the edge. One end of the life boasts swanky malls, expensive apartments, clubs, multiplexes and the bollywood. Whereas the other side of life is the largest slum population in Asia. In between the two, you have a few million middle class people, like me, who are seemingly joyful and tolerably scathing towards the same life on the two ends. Every one of those hug each other in the local trains, buses, in the crowds or even in the cramped households, yet cherish the starry dream without complaints. We eat vada pav at the roadside stall and yet make compromises to watch the latest movie in plush a multiplex theater.

The movie Mumbai Meri Jaan is all about such few people in Mumbai. On any other day, they could be easily classified as ‘crowd’. However that one day they are all linked as they witness (directly or indirectly) the terror attack on the city. It is based on the 7/11 bomb blasts when first class coaches of 7 local trains were blown apart by terrorists. There is a television journalist whose job is to make stories out of people, living or dead. However she becomes the story for her own channel when she loses her fiance in the blasts. Then there is a frightful middle class guy who luckily survives the bomb blast but ends up recuperating his friend with a broken arm. A police constable who is about to retire, a god fearing guy with good will. Yet he thinks taking bribe to prevent more damage of the society is not bad. A roadside vendor who dreams to be a customer at a mall, but ends up being thrown out. Agitated, He makes a hoax bomb call that lands up an old guy in hospital with a heart failure. And last but not the least, we have a small time computer geek who hates Muslims but realises later that he is wrong.

The movie is made in good faith. The nuances of good film making do not apply here as it should not be counted on those. It reminds me of my own fate when I trudged 5 hours through chest deep waters to reach home 3 years back. It reminds me of the running people I saw on Borivali station when the bomb blew the train apart on platform no. 4. The people who tried to blow us do not know we have a bigger heart. We forgive and get along, but we can’t forget. Trains ran full capacity as soon as they were restored after the blasts. The relief that arrived when it flooded the city was from the people who lived the calamity. Not from the ones who saw it from the helicopters. This is Mumbai, try messing with it at your own risk.

I have seen, been and salute the spirit of Mumbai.