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Wednesday
Dec192007

Mum-Bye

We've now had a few days to decompress and reflect on our trip.  To put a cap on this section of the blog, I thought I'd share just a few over-arching themes that remain indelibly scribbled in our minds.

First, Mumbai is a magical place.  Not magical in an "idylic, fantasy" way, but rather in an "I can't believe the city can even function" way.  Since returning, I've come to describe Mumbai as the city where everything is broken, yet still seems to work.  A business associate of mine who lives in Dehli put this notion in a much more concise and impactful way: "Mumbai runs only by the hand of God."

Second, there's an unmistakable whiff of "future" in Mumbai's air.  What do I mean?  Well, to the downside, the city is a shining example of what happens when you deplete and over-populate.  My main take-away, however, was not apocalyptic.  Rather, it was hopeful:  Mumbai shows very clearly why India will play an increasingly important role in the way we all live our lives.  With increased importance, prosperity should follow.  And with prosperity, should come relief from suffering.

Finally, speaking of the relief of suffering, Mumbai shows why Mother Teresa was right: "Peace begins with a smile."  With the squalor, poverty and suffering that floats on the surface in this city, it's deliciously tempting to throw up one's hands and say it's too overwhelming for civility to matter.  Yet, during our time in a city of 13 million, we saw no fights, no territoriality over personal space and no animosity toward others.  By and large, everyone we passed on the street carried a smile - a smile that said, "yes, I know it's helpless, but nevertheless I stand ready to help."

We look forward to returning to Mumbai, and seeing more of India, in the future.  Thanks for your attention to this blog and do check back from time to time to see how other journeys develop. 

Reader Comments (1)

Scott, Enjoyed your blog very much. You did a good job. Elmer
December 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterE.Schmitzer

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