Msg from a Resident of Mumbai: as Millions of Migrants Flee the city

Where will I go? 
For the last 2 days all my trusted soldiers - carpenter, fabricator, plumber, electrician, mason, auto driver, istriwala, have been leaving ... some with their families as well... somewhere I feel that Bombay wants them to leave, much like unwanted guests.

But they were not guests. Bombay is a city of migrants.

The only sons and daughters of the soil have been the Kolis ( the fisherfolk) and rest all are migrant.

White collar, blue collar, red collar ... we make the city.

The city was never wanted. Which is why it is the only city , maybe in the world, which was given away as dowry.

On 11 May 1661, as part of the marriage treaty, Bombay was placed in the possession of the British Empire, as part of Catherine's dowry to Charles.

Yet the city rose in prominence and eminence as migrants swamped the swamps; they came in hoards so much so that even the sea had to be reclaimed to make space for them.

- Some live in Antilla,

-Some live in Mannat,

- Some live in NCPA,

- Some live in Jalsa but
majority lives in Dharavi, Mankhurd, Vashi gaon, Kopri gaon, Ghansoli, Vasi naka, Mira Road, Chembur, Kandivali, Nerul.

✓ Every brick in Antilla was laid by someone who maybe, lives in Dharavi;

✓ The valet who parks your car at the Taj lives in Lal maati;

✓ The crisp ironed clothes you wear were probably ironed by someone who is now walking towards his village in Gorakhpur;

✓ The chair in which one is sitting on to trade in shares was built by someone who is now jostling to get on to the train to Jaunpur.

Some came to bid me goodbye.

No, they didn’t come for help.

Just like you, they too are humans and have a little more self respect than you do.

They will not beg, they will not steal on their tax, they will not schmooze with you for benefits.

They will die of hunger or perish on the road to home.

- As the state relinquishes it’s responsibility;

- As the middle class herds themselves together in the comforts of their home and refuse to pay the maid her salary;

- As the whirling air conditioners in the rich homes drown the outside chaos  and

- As the uber rich lock their share values and swirl their whiskeys...

I keep washing my hands because the blood doesn’t go.

I sanitise, I soap, as

- I see Kanhaiya walking with his 2 month old son in arm,

- As Mukesh checks his phone for the call from the police station for his train,

- As Ranjit keeps going to the police station to check the status of his form,

- As Chand asks me if he should go or the lockdown will open and he can earn again;

- As Ashrul looks on since there is nothing in his village ...  for like you and me, this is his home.

And I keep washing my hands, for the blood doesn’t go.