Quick ways to reach Heaven from Mumbai

by Vinaya HS on September 14, 2006

in The Mumbai Blog,The SP Jain Blog

Thanks for visiting Capital Advisor. I frequently update this blog to cover various topics on personal finance such as investment strategies, financial products that you should buy and ones that you really should stay away from, financial calculators, emerging themes such as early retirement and financial independence, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

Four and a half months in Mumbai have taught me the quickest ways to reach Heaven from here. They are in order of priority:

  1. Traveling in an auto-rickshaw
  2. Attempting to cross the road

Quick way #1
Traveling in an auto-rickshaw

Imagine an F-16 at mach speed doing acrobatic manoeuvres. Now imagine the same F-16 at mach speed doing acrobatic manoeuvres on a concrete road – that’s the best way to summarize an auto-rickshaw ride in Mumbai. It scares the hell out of you. Sitting in an auto-rickshaw you can’t help but feel like a hapless control-less passenger strapped to his seat. Visions of your good deeds/bad deeds flash before your eyes. You pray to God like you have never done before.

An auto-rickshaw in Mumbai:

  • Has infinite degrees of freedom in movement
  • Disobeys Newton’s laws of physics and gravity
  • Can out-manoeuvre traffic by climbing on to the footpath
  • Can stop from 60 kmph to 0 kmph in under 3 seconds
  • Has a manual windshield wiper

The last point is significant, especially on a rainy day. The rickshaw driver operates the windshield wiper with one hand and controls the vehicle with the other. How’s that for ambidexterity? I have completely lost track of the close shaves I have had. The most recent one was with a bus which missed our rickshaw by less than an inch!

Quick way #2
Attempting to cross the road

Crossing a road in Mumbai is an art in itself. The chances of you correctly predicting the movement of traffic near a junction are zero. Sometimes you find yourself trapped in a gridlock of traffic. Your best opportunity to cross the road comes by aligning yourself with the traffic that wants to move in the same direction as you do and then quickly crossing the road with this traffic. You, of course, need to keep a watchful eye on traffic coming from the other directions. This technique, however, does not work when you are not at a junction and where you are like a chicken crossing the road. This is an every-man-for-himself game.

I wish I had a video to demonstrate these phenomena. But as they say, “Yeh Mumbai hain. Sab chalta hain!”

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Smiling Girl September 19, 2006 at 2:09 PM

But then, this is the same with many other cities also yaar.. Dont say ur Blore is not like this!! :);)

Anoop September 19, 2006 at 9:26 PM

U forgot to include the 3rd one..Include this strip man “Take avinash(aka Notary) to Mumbai give him a kinetic honda or a bike and sit behind him” ul be appointed as Yamarajs assistant..[:D]

BumbleB September 25, 2006 at 1:56 PM

My friend Vinaya.. I must say in “Quick way #1″ the missing-the-bus-by-an-inch ride is easy.. I can safely say, that on any given day the normal average distance, any Mumbaikar will miss his trip to heaven by, is 4 mm. “Quick way 2″ is soooooooo true!! I am researching solutions for crossing-when-you-are-not-at-a-junction; while my darling grey haired Mom already seems to manage that fine by simply holding her right hand up high and cruising away across the potholey highway..

Let us know if you figure out how one can match that without any grey hairs.. ;)

Till then happy riding!

Vinaya HS September 27, 2006 at 6:54 PM

@SG: Illa kane. Bangalore hange illa. But I liked the “Your Bangalore” part.

Previous post:

Next post: