The Quality of Life in Mumbai

by Sharell शारेल on April 11, 2010

in Daily Life in India

Post image for The Quality of Life in Mumbai

Living in a teeming concrete jungle of around 20 million people is bound to come with its share of problems. But what problems in particular? The Hindustan Times undertook a survey to find out, and published the results in the Sunday edition of the paper today.

Apparently, water shortages and the high cost of living are the biggest problems faced by Mumbai’s residents. 75% and 67% of people are concerned about these issues, respectively. What’s more, nearly 40% of residents say that their water supply situation has deteriorated, and only 13% of residents think that the city’s water supply situation will improve in the future. It’s a glum prognosis, but not surprising.

Although, thankfully, there isn’t a water shortage where I’m living now, there certainly was in my previous neighbourhood of Kandivali West. When we moved into our apartment there, we had 24 hour water supply. When we moved out, we were only getting water for a few hours, three times a day. It wasn’t pleasant.

Housing prices, which are on par with those of New York City, are also shocking. You get very little for your money in Mumbai. Overall, 30% of people said they couldn’t consider buying a home at current prices, and 53% said they could but only on the outskirts of the city. It’s that bad! We’re lucky we have our foot in the market. We own a 1 BHK in Malad West, which we bought off my husband’s sister and brother in law. The really positive thing is that it’s in an older complex that will get redeveloped in the future. For now, we’re content renting it out to people who work in the nearby call centres.

Other important future issues that Mumbai is facing are infrastructure and education. While most Indian cities have infrastructure problems, many people felt that not enough is being done to systematically address them in Mumbai. New developments are being carried out in a haphazard manner, for example the skywalks — many of which are barely being utilised. Where education is concerned, only 38% of people thought that the quality had improved. Over 50% thought it had decreased, and high admission prices were identified as a particular issue. “Donations” are often required to be given to schools for children to secure a place.

But, surely Mumbai must have plenty in its favour for so many people to keep living there. The most frequently cited factors why people are proud of Mumbai were Bollywood, entrepreneurship, and cosmopolitanism. I’d certainly agree with that. Mumbai is also considered to be a relatively safe city for women.

Taking into account all aspects of life in Mumbai, 43% of people rated the quality of life as good and 17% thought it was excellent. Only 2% found it to be poor. And given an option, 66% of people said they’d want to stay in Mumbai. Only 4% wanted to relocate to a different city. The remainder weren’t sure. I’m one of those who are happy to stay!

Photo of Mumbai (Hiranandani Gardens) skyline courtesy of Deepak Gupta.

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© Copyright 2010 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

jelena April 11, 2010 at 9:16 pm

fantastic article…like i said..u always bring great and good news..

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Ramit April 11, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Never been to Mumbai, but the picture looks very nice.

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julya April 12, 2010 at 4:48 am

Mumbai is great, I love this place, is my favourite town in India.You are lucky that u are living there Sharell, I am trying to persuade family to move from south India to Mumbai but is hard because they feel is too much noise and a “speedy” life there:) I hope I will succed:)

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Amit Desai April 12, 2010 at 5:43 am

Mumbai is always a great place to live temporarily or for a start. In other words, if you are a struggling newbie or youth, Mumbai is a great place to start with. But if you are already an established upper-middle-class person in any other city, you may feel that you degraded your status and life after moving to Mumbai.

Regarding the statistics, the 66% of people who said they would want to live in Mumbai, a very similar statistical data can be found for any other city. As most humans get emotionally attached to their surroundings, they generally don’t like change or move, especially emotional Indians.

66% of people of Melbourne would also like to live in Melbourne. But then again, we have few Australians who found Melbourne to be “dull”.

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Yashasva April 12, 2010 at 6:59 am

Amachi Mumbai Tumchi Mumbai Sarvanchi Mumbai,
Hamari Mumbai Tumhari Mumbai Sabaki Mumbai,
Mumbai is Ours Mumbai is Yours, Mumbai belongs to Everyone.

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LS April 12, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Hi Sharell, loved your write up. Specifically responding to this line -
“While most Indian cities have infrastructure problems, many people felt that not enough is being done to systematically address them in Mumbai.”

It is very difficult for infrastructure to keep up with the millions that pour into Mumbai everyday, chasing their dreams and aspirations. Any other city would face the same issue. What is sad is that because the infrastrusture keeps getting shared by more people each day, it makes less of it available to people who have lived in the city since birth. This results in reduced quality of life for all – those who have lived in Mumbai since birth, and also for newer people who make the city their new home on a daily basis.

Constitutionally, it may be true that every Indian city should be open and available to anyone for visiting or for residence – however we need a load of objectivity added to that constitutional right.
We need a very practical, specific and planned approach to how we can ensure that those who have lived in Mumbai since birth do not experience a lower quality of life because of infrastructure getting diluted in it’s availability everyday and also how we can better meet the needs of newer residents – all the while managing the stress and pressure on an already stretched city.

Want to stress – this is not anti-new-residents in any way. The city has gotten it’s unique character from everyone – those that have resided in it since ages, as well as those who have come from all over the country and abroad (love having you as a resident Sharell) and contributed their talent, resourcefulness and hard work to the city.

If only we would ALL participate in making this city a better place to live in whichever way we can, then we could truly call Mumbai ‘Sarvanchi Mumbai’.

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Sharell April 13, 2010 at 12:17 am

Hi LS, thanks so much for your valuable comment. I understand what you mean about Mumbai’s rapidly increasing population. I did write a brief post about it on my India travel blog late last month.

http://goindia.about.com/b/2010/03/27/delhi-and-mumbai-lead-worlds-top-most-populated-cities.htm

According to projections, in 2025, the number of people living in Tokyo is expected to be a little over three times the city’s 1950 population. The population of Mumbai, on the other hand, is expected to multiply over 10 times in the same period! Tokyo has always been the world’s biggest city, but the population of Mumbai has exploded and is likely to continue to do so. :-o

It’s a really difficult situation it seems. :-( I just feel astonished when I hear stories about Andheri and Versova almost being marsh land with no buildings at all. And Bandra full of beautiful bungalows. I can’t get my mind around it, the amount of development that’s gone on!

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Akash April 13, 2010 at 12:02 am

This is a challenge which every major Indian city is facing. We are lacking in planning heavily. I read somewhere, India needs 500 new cities to cope with the Urban Population inflow. When you look at the western world, they did some amazing urban planning. I do not know what and where the solution lies. However, we are heading towards a major crisis.

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Sharell April 13, 2010 at 12:27 am

Akash, I agree. To me it seems that the lack of planning comes from poor co-ordination of departments at the government level. At least in Mumbai (I can’t comment too much about other cities) it seems that way. Government departments are often fighting/conflicting with each other, lines of responsibility aren’t clear, and departments don’t want to take responsibility for problems. They will blame another department, deny they having information, delay in giving approvals… all sorts of things. If only they’d work cohesively, I’m sure urban planning would improve a lot!

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Lola April 14, 2010 at 6:41 am

I found your blog and i just simply loved it. Im travelling to India for a month to do some volunteer work and some travelling too, i wish i can stay longer. Here in Mexico, people just freak out and tell me horrendous stories that can happen to me in India, specially as a woman. But the more i read (your blog and other books) i just love it so much more. The perspectives ive taken on some books of Hinduism have changed my life. I think even the discussions make this blog also more interesting since i can see different point of views. Keep writing, and count me as an constant reader. I wish you the best Sharrell.
Also to the Indians who read this have to express my admiration to your culture and your great country.

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Akash April 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm

How Mumbai (Bombay) became a single land mass from 7 small islands over 150 years.

Link > http://www.dancewithshadows.com/mumbai_history.asp

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V. April 16, 2010 at 9:16 am

@ Akash. That link is really interesting. I never realised that it really wasn’t that long ago ( 250 years) that they connected the islands.

You can only imagine as the number of people living in Mumbai increases the height of the apartment block will get taller and taller. Parel is a good example of that. I also think it’s a really shame that all those wonderful bungalows have disappeared and been redeveloped… there goes my dream of a bungalow with big palm trees and close access to the Arabian Sea … :(

ahhh, I’ll keep dreaming.

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remo April 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm

truly speaking that Mumbai is one of my dream country in India. I lived in Mumbai for two years and I am now in Assam I never forget this city most beautiful ever seen.

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Madhu Nair April 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm

This is mainly due to the sheer gap between Supply and Demand.
Even places like Thane (not within Bombay) have multi crore housing projects. It’s crazy … but the prices just keep going up esp since the beginning of the year …

But Mumbai is Mumbai – it’s a fab place to live. Love the energy !!!

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Yashasva April 17, 2010 at 3:40 am

By the way which part of city is this photo? I have not seen many aerial photos of Mumbai city. Where did you get the photo?

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Sharell April 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

Hi Yashasva, see the bold at the bottom of the post. It’s of Hiranandani Gardens, where I live. The photo is on Flickr. I found it though a creative commons search. That will bring up all the photos on flickr that are for sharing/public distribution (ie. not copyright). :-) Type in Mumbai skyline (or something similar) in the search box

Check out:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/76932422@N00/3600178660/
http://creativecommons.org/

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rohan May 13, 2010 at 1:08 am

Actually you have highlighted all the problems enveloping the 3rd world countries.To overcome this hurdle political maturity has to be obtained which in my opinion will arrive after a couple of generations seeing the current trends in our management and corporate governance

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Marina May 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Hi Sharell,
I was browsing through the net on topics in regards to foreigners living in Bombay, came across your blog. Liking it very much. My boyfriend (an Indian national, grew up in Malaysia) currently lives in Bombay and im a Malaysian. We’re planning to get married next year and i would be leaving everything behind to live with him. Im in advertising and work takes up a lot of my time. So the whole moving bit and starting a new life as a housewife is such a scary thought!
I visited Bombay a few weeks ago for the first time. It was an eye opener!! Im half chinese half indian but i look more chinese and the stares i got during my trip..i was constantly checking my teeth (anything stuck in there?), blouse and pants (any stains??) ..it was uncomfortable but i kinda got used to it after awhile. The sights and sound, the hustle and bustle in Bombay was amazing. Loved the food! Being half indian im used to eating indian food daily but having it in India was a tummy delight :) I truly enjoyed my time in Bombay albeit a short while, will be looking forward to my next trip.
Keep on writing, would love to read more of your experience living in india as a foreigner.

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Srinivasan July 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

I am a bit bitter today, but the truth is this city is a dump. Suketu Mehta describes this perfectly in the opening pages of Maximum City; the filth pervades every nook and corner of this city.

Firstly the air. There is only so much that air conditioners can do. Look at this link and compare the figures in it to neutral safe standards:
http://cpcb.nic.in/Mumbai-report.pdf

The traffic is a nightmare. Since the past couple of years even the eastern express highway extending up to Thane is clogged and slow moving every single day. What good is a $40,000 Chevrolet Cruze (I own one) when it still has to be driven through roads not dissimilar to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIaq_5GNI1I

I’m far from being a snob, but it’s clear that clean air and a pleasant environment are too much to ask from Bombay anymore. Even if one lives in Peddar road or Carter road, I don’t see the benefit of living in a city that makes it an ordeal to go outside everytime.

And don’t even get me started on the people… It may be novel and interesting for a westerner (no offense) but having lived here for 20 years (my entire life) I feel qualified to opine that the average denizen of Mumbai is rude, deceitful, envious, ugly and generally unkind. This extends to brown people in most other Indian cities that I know of, with the partial exceptions of Bangalore and Chandigarh. People in the North-east are actually well-informed and polite. I don’t think this is a racist thing to say because racism implies prejudice, this is just an observation with no malice intended (I’m brown and very much an Indian myself!). Besides, the problems that make these people so disagreeable is not their skin color, it is due to the ills of their various cultures. It’s just a coincidence that the afflicted are brown. There are plenty of wonderful cultures that spawn brown people as well, but they are not from the Indian subcontinent.

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Sharell July 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

This comment is timely as I was having a discussion with my husband this morning about what Mumbai was like when he was growing up. I find it hard to believe that it was once NOT a filthy decrepit concrete jungle. But apparently so. He said there was even a time when the cops helped people instead of harassed them. :-( I refuse to get a car in this city. And I also dread going outside. It’s no so bad because we live in relatively peaceful Hiranandani but outisde the limits its a nightmare. Infrastructure frustrates me no end. The flyovers are a debarcle. So much time is put into constructing them (and money wasted by delays and mismanagement, and traffic delays from all the construction works) then they don’t even solve the problem. Living in Mumbai suits our situation for the timebeing but it definitely won’t be forever. Actually, if it wasn’t for family here we’d move back to Kolkata.

Anyway, I think this rant was needed. I feel better now!

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wikitheeks July 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Back to Kolkata? Is it better than Mumbai? How so?

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Sharell July 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Not so expensive, takes less time to get places, and we have lots of friends there. It’s just more laid back. The traffic in Mumbai such a nightmare. Sick of it! :-(

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prashanth July 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm

@Sharell

India will be like that, as long as dumb, inefficient, corrupt people keep ruling the country. Also, people need to be educated about the environmental issues and how to keep that balance in nature and urbanization. They need to realize that building shopping malls and skyscrapers is not a sign of development. A country is really developed, if they have that civic sense and know how to achieve that environmental balance. So, shopping malls and skyscrapers are not really needed. Whenever I see some videos on Youtube (posted by some nationalistic guy) showing shopping malls and skyscrapers and claiming India to be developed and a superpower, I can’t stop laughing! LOL ….One way of achieving this (creating better infrastructure), is to take enough time, apply thought (both scientific and philosophical) and implement mathematical models (space efficient models for planning the city (buildings, parks, etc), routing/graph algorithms for managing the traffic, intelligent (sensor based) traffic signals, using renewable energies (solar, wind, coal, etc), effective recycling, etc)..Using this stuff, they can also create a good number of jobs. There are good number of fresh engineer’s who are good at math/science, who can be recruited to implement these models and create better infrastructure. Of course, India can’t really be compared to America, as America is a relatively new country and everything’s big there…and although Europe is old and can be compared, it is less densely populated….but, in some things, it can be compared and some of the positive things can be learnt from ‘em.

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prashanth July 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Also, I believe the media (TV, movies, News Papers, etc) should have more educational shows, in an entertaining/inspiring way. People waste a lot of time, watching useless stuff.

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Sharell July 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Oh, don’t get me started on the mindnumbing TV watching that goes on in India.

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Sharell July 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I just can’t see Mumbai progressing anywhere in that regard. I feel like the city is going to implode one day because the infrastructure is so far behind the city’s needs and yes, the people responsible for building it are so dumb. You know, they’ve gone full speed ahead building skywalks in Mumbai….. now all of a sudden they realise three are in the way of one of the new Metro lines and will have to be pulled down. :/

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wikitheeks July 9, 2011 at 12:39 am

This is good for new areas, but what do you do about cities that are already built?

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prashanth July 9, 2011 at 3:14 am

@Wiki

I was talking about general things….and regarding old areas, most of the things that I told, can be implemented. Also, I compared to Europe, for that reason. Old areas should be maintained good, for historical reason and tourism. Also, the govt. should decentralize the development and start developing new areas or middle-tier towns and villages, so that people don’t flock to cities and create slums, making it hard for the officials to move ‘em. If they try to relocate these people, they won’t listen and it will obviously appear as “Human Rights Abuse By The Indian Govt.” in all newspapers around the world. North Eastern India was neglected and now with China trying to occupy inch-by-inch (building roads or other infrastructure and claiming to that place to be part of China – similar to what colonialists have done), the govt. seems to be worried now..Idiots!

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Sharell July 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

Oh one more thing! My neighbour says that the heavy rain in Powai has caused a total traffic jam this morning — he knows someone who has been stuck in the same place for ONE HOUR! And this kind of crap happens every year.

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Srinivasan July 8, 2011 at 11:21 am

I bet the stretch between Sion Hospital and King’s Circle Matunga is flooded as well. Just as it always has been every year for the past several decades. Thankfully there’s at least a flyover going over it now. Although that one lane traffic towards south Bombay is a joke.

I stay in the Hiranandani Estate at Thane and if you’ve ever been on the Ghodbunder road there you’d know that it makes south Bombay traffic look like the German autobahn. The 3km stretch of road can take two hours on a bad day, and 30 minutes on a good one.

I am definitely getting out as well, next month to Thailand! Though unfortunately I will need to check back in every couple of months due to business commitments. Once I make my businesses location-independent, I really doubt if I’ll ever come back to this city.

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Sharell July 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Thailand. I envy you! I’m location independent and we could live anywhere in India (or even Thailand) but for the family… ah well. They won’t be around forever so it’s important to spend time with them while they’re here.

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amitsinha August 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm

True,
I am working and living in Mumbai. I am getting married and my fiance is working in delhi. I save less here and have issues traveling, rains etc but still thought of leaving Mumbai jolts me though I stayed a decade in Delhi.
This city is addictive despite its drawbacks for the people who like it.
Mumbai is a city that doesnt distinguish ppl based on caste , creed, money, lineage or the company one keeps. Its the most egalitarian place in India.
And people do make their dreams into real – Amitabh Bachcha, Shahrukh Khan, Anil Agarwal of Vedanta, Dhiru Bhai Ambani and so many small and big.
At last good to read about Mumbai from an expat after Gregry David Roberts of “Shantaram” fame.
http://amitsinha69.blogspot.com/2006/06/yeh-hai-bombay-meri-jaan-lifemumbai.html
http://amitsinha69.blogspot.com/2011/08/mumbai-diary-i-life-at-mumbai-local.html

http://amitsinha69.blogspot.com/2011/08/mumbai-diary-i-life-at-mumbai-local.html

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amit sinha September 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

http://amitsinha69.blogspot.com/2011/09/mumbai-diary-ii-pictures-along-arabian.html
Some picture story of Mumbai along the beauty of Arabian Sea

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Hemant December 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hello There,
I have read the above communication and just want a piece of advise, for me and my family. I am a Healthcare Management Professional and currently working at Surat as Centre Manager. With my performance over past 3 yrs my MD has offered me an internal elevation to move to Mumbai for their bigger Hospital launched in Mumbai.
Bu I am extremly confused and anxious as should I move to a city like Mumbai, because the savings (being as a salaried person) and qualifty of life I am having at Surat (Gujarat) would be compromised and would be unsecured in a city like Mumbai. As myself and family we’ve so far seen Mumbai only in movies/news, big bib chawls, highly crowded local trains, people-people and people every where, and very costly city.
With the above thoughts we are very confused as to what to do now, should we opt for the offer of MD or should we say no thanks we are happy with our small but cosy family with little savings life styles.
Please some one help me please.

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Sharell December 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hi Hemant, what a difficult decision. Some factors to consider are your future aspirations (how keen are you to climb the corporate ladder), how much of a pay rise you’ll be getting (to compensate for the increased cost of living in Mumbai) and where you will be living in Mumbai (how far your commute will be. What’s the location of the hospital in Mumbai?). If you are getting paid enough and can live close to your workplace, it may be okay. Otherwise, it’s likely that you will find big city life difficult. The traffic is terrible here, and the Mumbai local very crowded during peak hours. Another thing to consider is how long you’d have to spend in Mumbai. Do you or will you be having children? Schooling here is very competitive, and good schools require payment of a costly “bribe” just to get into, then with school fees on top of that. :-( There is a lot of opportunity in Mumbai, but it’s also true that it sucks the life out of people — their life becomes all about work, work, work.

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Hemant December 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Hi Sharell,
I am extremly thankful to your word of insight. True thoughts. Well the hospital is going to be in Mumbai Central and regarding geography of Mumabi, I am not at all aware of it so far.
Nevertheless, I am going to spend 3-4 days with my family (self, wife and my 6 yrs daughter), to have a close look. Subsequently, as you very rightly said, how much pay rise. Sharell, I don’t know at the moment because as you know in corporate world once you say yes then things become very difficult to roll back, purely saying no because of salary. Probably then it would be presumed kind of creating antagony with the top mgmt in a suttle way, which in a longer run sometime harm. Moreover, another thing currently I am handling as the top boss of the unit at Surat (Gujarat), whereas at Mumbai I am asked to take the second line position (that being a bigger hospital). This thing has also put me in great stress, as working more closely, rather under direct supervison of the MD and secondly till now entire hospital team reports to me and then I would be reporting to the Centre Head of Mumbai Hosptial, Big dilemma and worry.
Well, I once again thank you for your true advise and I would certainly try to find out a no agony mid way to continue my less earning, but close family and quality of life. Please feel free still if you want to advise on the same. Your few lines are of a great great help to me and my family.
Best regards,
Hemant

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Sharell December 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hi again Hemant, Mumbai Central is in south Mumbai. It will be expensive to stay close by. Plus, your wife and child might feel more comfortable staying in a predominantly Gujarati area (such as Ghatkopar, or Kandivali West) but these are suburban areas and you will face a long commute to and from work (hours a day). Mumbai is a city that stretches from north to south, and it takes around 2 hours to travel one way. Honestly, I would stay where you are. But maybe my mentality is different to the average Indian, who puts a lot of emphasis on prestige. However, I note that you mention your family and quality of life as important. I worry that if you do come to Mumbai, you will lose that. Particularly, if you will be working below someone and will need to establish your worth in the new role… you will probably have to work long hours and will be under a lot of pressure. It will definitely be stressful for you. In my mind, if you’re happy where you are, and are earning enough to live a decent life — well, you can’t get much better than that. The mistake that a lot of people make in life is climbing the career ladder and earning more money, only to find that their quality of life decreases because they have to work harder, have less time to spend with their family, and are more stressed. Do come to Mumbai and have a close look, and see what you think. I’m happy to answer any more questions you have.

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Hemant January 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Hi Sharell,
Once again thank you for your comments and advise. Let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year.
Well, Sharell, I spent these days at Mumbai along, explore the city around, even travelling in the local train. Certainly, no doubt, the city moves with distances, traffic jam and glamour. I also took this opportunity to meet my company HR Head and could share my all apprehensions at length. My fear about city, traffic, savings, rentals, schooling etc. He tried to give me the best possible answer and gave me an assurance that after spending such a long time in the company, believe it this proposition is a way to recognize your good work and accomplishments, as well as looking at your caliber the MD wants you to be in the higher bracket and not wants to limit yourself to a small unit at Surat. It was even further expressed that as a superior/boss, you could have been directly ordered to move to Mumbai with this change in designation/city. But, it’s not being done, moreover, the MD herself has called you and explained the proposed profile and relocation option. Isn’t this is a good gesture towards an employee. I even got the same assurance during my meeting with the MD also that if I am not willing then also its not a problem, but certainly as a career option this would be a turning point for my career, and these two yrs of investment would going to yield later, which if I miss at this moment should not regret then later. Simultaneously, I am assured on good revision on my payouts.
Sharell, I returned to ‘square one’, but finally I tried my level best, with all possible options to help me take a firm decision, but with a little success. Somewhere I am feeling that I am reeling the roll too much and now after all this exercise left everything to the Almighty God for his best decision. Finally, whatever I am doing or trying to achieve is a better tomorrow for my better half and kid. i don’t know where I am heading and would that be correct or not, don’t know at all. May the Almighty God help me.
Meanwhile, Sharell, I would like to say sorry to you as I am pondering you too much. Please feel free I you any word of advise.
Regards,
Hemant

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Lori March 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hi Sarell,
Quick question, my family is moving to Delhi and I’m worried about the water, especially for the kids. Do you drink local tap water at home that is filtered or do you purchase it from a market? If so, what kind do you buy.
Also, when eating out or traveling within India, what to you do for safe drinking water? Do you tend to stick with bottled drinks such as Miranda, etc?

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Shiriki March 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

Hi Lori,

Sharell is currently “out of office” but I’m sure when she returns she will take a moment to answer your questions in her own way!

In the meantime, I live in India and can give you my perspective. We have an AquaGuard in our home affixed to our tap so that we do drink the filtered water that comes from the tap. Our water is bore-well though. We tend to brush our teeth and wash our hair with it occasionally, as the tap water is a bit salty and also very hard (compared to the US at least) – dry skin, hair loss issues.

When we are out, we always carry at least one, potentially more depending on the length of travel, bottle of water so that we aren’t stuck somewhere where bottled water is scarce or too expensive. We usually bottle our own filtered water to take with us. Bringing a few of your own plastic bottles from the US wouldn’t be remiss. You can get them here but not all have the good drinking ratio. So often we find bottles stamped with 3, 6 or 7 which aren’t really safe to drink from and should be avoided.

Hope this helps! Sharell will have more information I’m sure, when she returns!

Thanks,
Shiriki Tauro
Blog/Forum Moderator

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

Hi Lori, Shiriki has answered the question really well. At home we also have an electronic water filter attached to our tap in the kitchen, and drink the water from that. The filter is serviced every 6 months. You can get different types of filters, depending on how strongly you want your water filtered. It’s perfectly safe. Some of the more expensive filters are very thorough and use processes such as reverse osmosis. When out traveling, I buy bottled drinking water from shops. It’s available everywhere. When you go to a restaurant, they’ll offer you bottled water too. I’ve never had any problems.

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Chanakya March 7, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Hi Lori,

The water quality in Delhi is not upto the standard of being safe for drinking. But still many people drink it. Because they don’t have any other option. Its fine for bathing/washing use though. Normally it would be fine if you use Aquaguard/R.O.Machine with the tap water and they are fine too. Another option is that you can use a 20 liter water bottles, which is filtered and safe, from brands like Bisleri and some local brands. Their costs range from INR 30-100/bottle.

While eating out its always preferable to use bottled water in economy restaurants. If its a good restaurant then you can trust the water served by them as they have in-house RO plant. But if you are new to Delhi, use bottled water and don’t trust tap water. And specially this season is notorious for flu like diseases.

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Mumbai Tiffin Service March 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Life is mumbai is hard mostly because of the travel. Thats where people start to compromise on the quality of life. However the services in Mumbai are just awesome. http://www.tiffinmantra.in is our attempt to provide quality life to mumbaikars by serving homely and nutritious meals.

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Srinivasan June 7, 2012 at 3:16 am

So it’s been about a year since my previous comment. I have to say… I miss Bombay now, LOL!

I did a stint in Thailand and am detoxing in Gangtok now…

But it gets old. There are 3 good restaurants in this town, no nightlife at all and relatively boring.

Bombay may have filthy roads, but it definitely has a lot of options for entertainment, food & things to do. Also being an immigrant city there really is a lot more variety in everything compared to a culturally homogenous town.

I am going back after my detox.

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nithya July 31, 2012 at 5:55 am

Hi sorry it is Sharell.

Hi Sharell,

please help me as am very confused, am staying in bangalore from past 7 yrs. am wrkng in bangalore , ive complted my b.com and have 6 yrs work experience in bpo.

now iam realy bored,bugged of blor and iam feeling that i need to move to mumbai, please help me understand will i get a job in mumbai can i survive ther wit a decent and normal life.also my hometown is quite close to mumbai.

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Sharell शारेल July 31, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hi Nithya, I’m sorry I can’t tell you if you’ll get a job (that’s up to you). However, you’d have a good chance. There’s always demand for BPO workers. I’m not sure that you’d have a better quality of life in Mumbai though. It’s much more expensive and more crowded than Bangalore. But then again, there’s more happening too. Having your family close by would be a happy bonus. If you really feel compelled to move, then I think you should. :-) Take the chance while you’re young and have the freedom to do it!

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Saj April 3, 2013 at 2:18 am

You must love it getting treated like royalty due to your skin colour. Beats waitressing for minimum wage in your home country wherever that is.

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Sharell शारेल April 3, 2013 at 8:49 am

You foolish fellow. I was earning much more in my own country. And being treated like that simply because of my skin colour shows how superficial people are, it’s ridiculous.

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