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Only hill stations are kept clean in India. I think it is because the authorities want to attract tourists, otherwise all Indian cities are equally dirty. So keeping that in mind Mumbai is the best place to live despite its traffic jams, pollution and congestion.

Sometimes you take an objective look at Mumbai and are awed by the lakhs of people who live and breathe here. The city is so overcrowded you wonder if it would burst at the seams. If you take Delhi or even Bangalore, they are so congested. Bangalore was once the garden city, today you hardly notice the garden because of the traffic and crowds.

Mumbai, at least has a certain spirit about it that keeps you charged all the time. You can go off for a holiday but after being away for a couple of weeks, you start craving to get back to the pace of Mumbai. I guess the fact that everyone keeps moving all the time keeps us going in Mumbai! It’s alive day and night.

Of course the traffic gets unbearable and the roads are perennially dug up. If BMC finishes its work, MTNL starts or it is the turn of some gas pipe or private phone companies. Why is there such lack of co-ordination? Our lives are bound by the traffic.

The garbage is another problem. We Indians have such double standards. When we go abroad we see a clean city and are mindful not to throw stuff on the road but in Mumbai we don’t follow the same rules. I guess penalising people would work to an extent. But it’s more about thoughtlessness than anything else. People keep their houses clean don’t they? Then why litter public places where so many people converge?

As told to Lata Khubchandani

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