Tasting Life Mumbai Style – A New Beginning

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This article is submitted anonymously.

And the wait was over. Moving to a new city had its own feel. With the freedom of living alone came the fear of getting lost in your own thoughts. Days turned into months but everything is still afresh in my mind. The first time I sat in the locals, the night I came in after my curfew time, the day I cried a lot because home was faraway and the day I made new friends.
Mumbai has a charm if its own. It doesn’t let you down. Be it the cheap vada pavs or the expensive Pizza by the Bay, the Novotel or Juhu Chowpatty. It has a place for one and all. This wasn’t the first time I had visited this city, but it was the first time I could call this place a second home. The city gives you the chance to be yourself. It is intimidating to talk to the Mumbaikars, they are all very talented and different. They are straight-forward, impersonal people, who believe in “hard work is the only thing that pays off”, who are non-judgmental and have a smile on their face, no matter how bad their day has been. But, they make you feel like you are one of them. They won’t let you feel any less talented. Acceptance is their best quality.
This place will never let you feel lonely. Life is fast, sure, but only if you do something productive and not sleep all day long ( I don’t know why am I saying this). The sound of waves at the beach or the Marines, the sound of the locals at every few kilometres, the honking of cars at every signal or the sound of people running around to reach their offices on time. Everyone here is chasing their dreams and in the chaos, they find order and that is why life is fast here. Everyone is here with goals, goals that they want to fulfill. That is how you survive in this city.
What do I miss about my hometown? Well, there isn’t a lot of things, as Kolkata is a big city and the lifestyle is similar to that of Mumbai. The Ganpati festival in Mumbai reminds me of the Durga Pujo of Bengal. The street shops of Bandra and Colaba are close competitors to the New Market in Kolkata. The sunrise and sunsets at the Juhu flood my mind with the memory of the River Ganga and the scenic beauty of the city. What Bom-Bae can’t compensate for is the people back at my place, the food my mom cooks, the mouth watering Bangali sweets and Samosas and the independence I had living there for the last 18 years of my life.
It has just been few months, many more are yet to come. There are going to be days when I will miss home more than the freedom I have in Mumbai. There are going to be days when I will forget to talk to my mother because I was too busy exploring the city. But in the end of it all, no matter where I end up 5 years down the line, I have and am learning new ways to live with different people in an all new city. Everyday is a lesson in itself and every morning I wake up with a desire to learn something new. Mumbai has made me a confident, brave and an emotional person and there is much more to this journey.
I guess I’ll just hold on and see what is in store for me.
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A review of ZooBar (As if you haven’t been there already)

 

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This article is written by Nidhi Parekh (BA.LL.B. Class of 2019)

I am writing this after being pestered by a certain man who has taken me to probably the shadiest place I will ever go to and who got my hopes high about going to Nirma together for a moot and then breaking my heart by going with other people. I had already written a 300 word shitty article that I wrote in 15 minutes but apparently it wasn’t good enough so I am writing this.

If it wasn’t for how much I love Jaidhara, who has been my travel buddy, my breakfast buddy and is also my second favourite person in this college after Amrita (who is more like a mother), I wouldn’t even be writing this. I’m only doing this for all the wonderful (and sometimes disgusting) memories she and I share together at ZooBar and otherwise. JD and I have sat near the driver of a sleeper bus for 12 hours, waiting for the sunrise (which we never saw) and have even seen a lady squat right in front of us and start peeing, so basically we’ve seen it all.

So this is the real deal. If you read this and don’t feel like going to ZooBar, then read Teesta Sen’s review of Quench because that is truly your only other option. I’ve been there only once, maybe because I have a clear bias towards ZooBar and also mostly because Quench is more expensive, so I can’t really compare these two places. Teesta has done an excellent job so go read that and choose for yourself.

Why should you go to ZooBar? Like a good ISCE student I’m going to tell you in points with underlined headings:

  1. Cheap alcohol and no ID issues (Do you even need more reasons?)

ZooBar is arguably the closest bar to NMIMS. It’s about a 3 min walk, on the way to the station. They open at 12pm which is perfect for those of us who want to go right after college and we have several times, perpetually on Tuesdays. They have happy hours till 8pm which means one plus one free on Fosters. A pint of Fosters on tap costs Rs.83 inclusive of everything during happy hours. This place tests your capacity and most of us have learnt that there is such a thing as too much beer. The sangria too, is also relatively inexpensive but the beer on tap is just better and cheaper option if you want to get hammered. They have a lot of options in terms of cocktails and there is some offer during happy hours for everyone, no matter what you drink.

Best part? No ID issues whatsoever. If you go before 8pm, you can just walk in and they will serve you, even if you look like an infant in Chota Bheem t-shirt. If only we knew of this place when we were 14 so we didn’t have to go around sneaking our parents alcohol.

  1. Good Food (At ZooBar and around)

If it is the first week of the month and your pocket is heavy with all the money you’re carrying around, ZooBar is a great place to lose all of it. The food is great but way too overpriced. The soups, pastas or pizzas are worth trying. They have quite a selection of desserts for a bar and they all sound yum. If you’re anything like me then you know you need a lot food with alcohol (or pretty much anything) and if ZooBar is too expensive then don’t worry. McDonald’s is right under ZooBar. You can pre-eat and go up to drink or even leave in between and pick up something to eat. If you’re a regular then they even allow you to eat outside food. It is a good idea if you want to slip away for a bit once the alcohol starts kicking in and everyone starts getting too existential for you to handle. Fries are always the answer. There are a lot of other places to eat such as Fat Kong, Khasiyat, and Juno’s Pizza that are all a minute away.

  1. Quirky ambience

[3.1.] Décor:

It’s called ZooBar for a reason. There are figurines of giraffes, ostriches, zebras and paintings of lions along with a cute wall art that says ‘Be Pawsitive.’ They have an outside sitting area for all you smokers as well as tables inside that have sofa seats on one side, so it is quite a comfortable place. School of Law students have a table designated at the back of the bar so if you’re headed here be sure to see some of us drinking our sorrows away. It’s squeaky clean, and a well-lit bar that is surprisingly big for it’s location so it is perfect to come in large groups. The stairs might be a problem for after you’re drunk so be sure to have a friend or the very friendly waiters help you down before you fall and crack your skull open.

[3.2.] Music:

They mostly play retro and old school music in the afternoons, which is perfect to have a good conversation, but in the night the place becomes a bar cum club with the DJ playing the latest numbers. However, they play Pink Floyd and Radiohead out of the blue in case you weren’t feeling existential enough while drinking on a Tuesday afternoon.

[3.3.] Games:

They offer games to play and even have a fair collection of books. It’s a great place to unwind with a couple of friends after a hard day of college. And no matter how much noise you make, none of the waiters complain unless they find you running around disturbing other customers.

[3.4.] Unisex Bathrooms:

ZooBar has a unisex bathroom. A very progressive move that lets all transsexuals or trans-genders or apache helicopters to feel comfortable while they piss out all the beer they’ve drank. Here I would like to quote the great Himesh Reshamiya who said, “Tere shareer mein itna khoon nahi hoga. jitna Ravi Kumar ek baar mein moot deta hai.” The beauty of a quote by such a great person is that it is applicable in so many different situations, whether to threaten your girlfriend’s kidnapper or talk about how much one pees after beer. My mother actually saw this guy as a prospective suitor the same week she met my father. #truestory. If she would’ve chosen him I might have had a successful singing career. If only!

Now all of you horny kids thinking this is going to be your new make out spot need to think again. We tried once but they had a guard in the toilet, who will relentlessly knock on your bathroom door and will kick you out. However, the guard appears and disappears on random days and his schedule remains a mystery. If you find a way to get past him, then bang away my friend.

  1. Pet Friendly

ZooBar is one of the few places in Mumbai you can bring your pets to. The waiters are very friendly and be sure to have everyone else at the bar swooning over your pet. It is actually a great way to get dates. Bring your pet to ZooBar on Valentine’s Day and be sure that everyone at the bar is going to come up to pet them. Start a conversation with whoever you think is cute and voila! You have a date. And if my brilliant idea doesn’t work or you don’t have a pet because your mother has threatened you with the typical ‘It is either me or the dog in this house’, then go there with your girlfriends/guy friends because nothing is better than a night out of getting shit faced with the people you love.

In conclusion, ZooBar is THE place to go, whether you’re tired of the hectic routine of college or you’re fed up with the projects and presentations or you’re bored or for no reason at all (we barely need an excuse to drink). It’s got cheap booze with no ID problems and you should definitely go to check out the eccentric interiors. Bring your pet or come with your friends and be sure to have a great time with all the games, booze and food ZooBar has to offer. See you there next Tuesday!

Unapologetically Correct: A Tamilian in NMIMS 

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This article is submitted by Lakshmi Srinivasan (BA.LL.B. Class of 2018) 

More emphasis on ‘Tamilian’. This is because gone are the days when the territory beyond Solapur was called ‘Madras’ and people uniformly addressed as ‘Madrasis’.  While this belief may be prevalent in Mumbai, it is predominantly and annoyingly emphasized upon in NMIMS. So probably, the only people I feel who understand my position are the cleaning staff, who are incidentally from Salem, South of ‘Madras’ (Disclaimer : the word is misspelled, not to be pronounced as Abu Salem)

So now that the keypad is handed to me, I choose to debunk some myths about Madrasis geographically and culturally.

1. You are a Tamilian from where? 
The one way you can gauge the amount of geographical attention and common sense a person has in NMIMS, it is when someone says the above. I think the state makers tried to make it logical for people to understand a Tamilian’s origin. Yet for those who choose to remain blissfully unaware, here is a so-called Madrasi breaking their bubble.
See, Madras was quite big for administration. Which is why the blessed souls making states decided to have five states with different types of people and cultures: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu. But it is still very difficult to identify which state Tamilians are from, ain’t it?

2. You are a Tamilian, so you speak Malayalam? 
Don’t the English speak French? Don’t the French speak Spanish? Don’t the Spanish speak English with the hard pronunciations? This question takes the same color.
The moment when someone asks me the question, I feel like saying ‘unfortunately no, but I aspire to’. In case the bulb refuses to switch on, Tamilians speak Tamil.

3. Aren’t you from Sri Lanka? LTTE must be your baby.. 
Ya.. Sure it is. I am as much a Sri Lankan as you are a Caucasian, Mr. NMIMS student. LTTE is such a blessed organization that has made a one small step to screw every Tamilian’s happiness. Mr. Prabhakaran, are you listening?

4. All your languages are the same and have jalebis as a script! 
Ouch!  Sure! All your languages have scripts like green chillies! Burn!
I wish our languages are that mouth watering, but they are not. And surely Tamil and Malayalam are as same as Marathi and Gujarati, aren’t they?

5. My most favorite : you must be having idlis and dosas all the time? The canteen South Indian food is amazing isn’t it? 
For all the Aditi Lovers, the Sambhar out there is just a spicier version of Jaggery syrup. My hunt is still on for the pulses in that, but hard luck!
When a person has better idlis made at home, why would that Tamilian eat South Indian at our canteen? Even if I have 25 bucks on me, I would prefer the vada pav over the Sada Dosa there.

But hang on, did I just make a logical argument in NMIMS?

Education v. Training

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This article is written by Aditya Mudgal (BA.LL.B. Class of 2020)

Whether a wall may be strong or weak, it is made up of bricks. A society stable or unstable is made of people. To make the strongest wall in the world you need the bricks to play their part well. You need the best bricks. To make a stable society you need educated people. A stable society is the ideal humans have been pursuing from the time unknown. Educated humans in a society are indispensable for its existence.

In today’s world, people actually don’t have much option other than to rely on universities for education since it has created such an institution of itself.

With India being one of the most populated country in the world, a great population creates a great demand for resources and competition. With demand for resources comes the race to provide resources. With competition comes the capitalist self. Such segmentation leads to a poor quality of citizens and undeveloped society.

It is pretty clear that well educated people get employed for sure thus correlating education to not starving one to death. In such a mess with quality resources only for some and fierce competition it is pretty necessary for anyone to be educated.

So talking about present day India’s institutions, the story is weird and complicated. With students the institutions are also in a race to provide employment and not education. With such a high demand comes great money and with great money comes commercialization. Private institutions in India have commercialized a very basic need of the society.

I never knew what commercialized education was until I visited the financial centre of India that is, Mumbai. I had heard a lot about the institutions under the banner of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Science but I did not know what the reality was.

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Science or NMIMS is the very example of such a commercialized channel of education. What came to my surprise first was how there are twenty seven colleges in one building. That kind of also answered my question as to when I was googling images of NMIMS School of Law I did not get satisfying results. But I don’t get a lot of things about NMIMS and SVKM still and here is the list:

  • How did the planner convey to the architect that we need a plan to make approximately twenty seven colleges in one building?
  • Do students need glass lifts and other fancy stuff more than a better faculty?
  • How did the planner envisage to maintain student’s health without providing absolutely any sports facility?
  • When there can be glass lifts, automatic doors and plastic gardens in a building, why aren’t sufficient steps taken to provide something as basic as affordable accommodation to students when, from years, more than half of the student population is from other cities than Mumbai?

Coming back to education let us take the case of NMIMS School of Law. School of Law is run by NMIMS with a plan to dish out the best lawyers in the country. I do not disagree. Even the students coming in want to be the best lawyers in the country but sometimes it does not matter what you want but matters is how you want. The question is as to how?

The college is more of a training ground than an educational institution. The college seeks to create lawyers with high CGPA and suppressed mindset. The college seeks to create students who do not question authority above them and just work when they are told to because they are being paid for it. It is the corporate culture at its best. Here success is a big thing excellence is not.

I am an ardent believer in the notion that a college atmosphere is the one where new ideas and innovations should crop out. It is the place where people find themselves and become the best they should be and that is only possible when they are allowed to do things freely. It is only possible when they are not touched by anything else than life itself because it is the biggest teacher. I feel that a college institution should be valued upon what kind of channels it provides to its students to become the best they can rather than valuing colleges over the packages that students score after it. Anyway, if a student scores an exemplary package that is not because the college trained him well, it is because the student was born for the field he was studying there. Also such packages as are rare anywhere. There are a lot of people who find what they want to be in college. There are a lot of famous example like Anil Kumble who is one of the most celebrated cricketers of all time, started playing in college. Had he been in NMIMS School of Law, he would had been advised by the faculties and college indirectly to focus on law more so that he can earn a beautiful salary for rest of his life. The thing is, that these choices as to what you need to do are very subjective and can prove disastrous or wonderful for anyone’s life. Your work consists a major part of your life.

The question can be how a college hinders the path you want to choose? The moment you tell students to sit in class in a particular manner, to look at the faculty in a particular manner, to talk to anyone in a particular manner, to wear a uniform, not give them enough freedom to operate their clubs and societies, to create permission for nearly everything that students need to do, to tell them what and how everything is to be done, to not be open to creativity in projects and stick to the instructions that are given to you by someone who is a authority over you, when you make them suffer assuming that they’ll suffer later so why not practice that before hand to assume that students are irresponsible, stupid and barbaric and the last as to not practically evaluate your own policies and be rigid about them.

It might be the difference of ideology between me and the authorities. Every administration works with a balance of stick and lenient and rigid and flexible. I don’t think college administration has to work with a stick if the administration is cogent enough to make its students understand the importance of any law. Though you need a stick somewhere in the process but you should know the practical implication of your actions and try to be more understanding. The key is always to strike a balance. Have rigid law but be flexible enough when they have to. Have the guts to argue and convince your own students for anything. After all it is all about the students. You don’t know for sure that everyone who comes out of this college will wear white and black or not.