Mumbai Over Chandigarh

I was born, brought up and schooled for 18 years in Chandigarh. I used to really like my city because of it’s outstanding beauty and the weather and my friends of course. But then I interacted with its people.

Here I shall express my dislike for Chandigarh and the basic differences between the two cities I’ve lived in and why I would prefer Mumbai over Chandigarh.

Ever since we were small, my parents made sure that Ada (my sister) and I lived our lives the hard way and to the fullest. They said it and they said it again and they couldn’t say it enough; ‘exposure is everything’.

Mumbai is 603 km sq. 5.3 times bigger than Chandigarh (114 km sq) 14 times more populated (12 million VS 808,515) and about 60% harder to live in. And a harder life equals more exposure. This is why:


Like i said, Mumbai is huge! It is so difficult, time consuming and distressing to go from one place to the other. The kind of people you come across in the train, the kind of stories taxi drivers share with you about 26/11, the condition of your feet after walking to and from college everyday. I learn something new everyday, something that didn’t happen in Chandigarh; Get ‘driven’ to school, get driven back, go home, eat, sleep, repeat, thats all that happened there. Nobody here has time to think about what to wear, there’s a fixed budget for everyday and more or less a tight fixed schedule as well. There can’t be sudden plans because executing them in a minimum time frame of 40 minutes is next to impossible. And here’s what happens in Chandigarh.

A: Listen I’ll be late, papa’s taken the bigger car to office and there’s only the small car at home and for OBVIOUS reasons I can’t come to your party in that. I’ll leave as soon as the big car arrives.

B: Cool!


So I casually surveyed 50 people in Chandigarh and asked them this: ‘If you go to the mall in Chandigarh 10 times (not the same day obviously) how many times out of 10 do you think you will see somebody you know?’. I got an average of 8.2.

I’m not complaining! It’s bound to happen in such a small, social city. But while other people don’t mind it, I find it extremely exasperating. How do you meet the same people over and over again? How can you not want to meet new people, hear new stories, observe more people?


Mumbai is the commercial and financial capital of India; And you can call Chandigarh the snob capital. Mumbai has more money of course but they don’t show off about it. People in Mumbai are humble and come to terms with the fact that other people CAN have more money than you. But in Chandigarh everyone is almost worried about other people’s wealth. And that is why in Chandigarh, people want and are recognised by their expensive cars, obnoxious number plates, fancy phone numbers, houses in Sector 8-9-10, and their branded clothes. This is what happens in Chandigarh.

A: Don’t tuck your shirt in please, it looks better when it’s out.

B: Are you crazy? How will people know that I spent 32,000 rupees on my belt.


Now, I could conduct another survey among my Chandigarh peeps but that would be pointless because we all know the answer, the question being ‘Have you ever received a phone call from a friend who is confirming/questioning a rumour about you?’

I’m not saying Mumbai is gossip-less. But everybody doesn’t know everybody here. Whereas in Chandigarh, your secrets last for precisely three and a half minutes, and then the phone call arrives. Which is why Chandigarh teaches you to trust nobody but your family, which is excellent.

Another problem with the people in Chandigarh is that their translation skills are unimaginably poor. Just the way people pass on a message or comment from one person to the other person is absolutely disgusting. I don’t know if people realise what they’re doing because they end up creating so many misunderstandings, which leads to fights and unnecessary, aimless hatred towards someone who was a close friend or even a best friend once. And I have witnessed an incident that I’m going to share with you.

A: I don’t know, I mean I don’t like the way C dressed up that day. I would never dress up like that! She was showing so much skin! It’s just not acceptable.

B: I know. It was showy indeed!

*later that evening*

B to C: A called you a slut today.

Therefore A and C fight, and never speak to each other while B wriggles out of it and maintains a fairly decent friendship with both! Now will somebody please explain how this works?!

I can go on ranting about Chandigarh, but I should stop here. At the end of the day Chandigarh is where my home and family is, and I want to stick to it. Im not taking back anything I said about it but everybody’s got a different opinion. I am not and will not be attracted to the attitude and people in that city, at least for now. And to the people who want to move on and do something with their lives, I suggest you get out of that well.

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