Why Mumbai Remains Clueless About the Maharashtra Bandh


Why Mumbai Remains Clueless About the Maharashtra Bandh

Illustration: Akshita Monga

On Tuesday morning, as the residents of Mumbai woke up to a gloomy sky and with renewed determination to procrastinate the day away, the Maratha Kranti Morcha led protests in several parts of Maharashtra over the Maratha reservation issue. They also called for a state-wide bandh after the death of a young protestor, who committed suicide in Aurangabad last night. Staying true to their famed spirit, Mumbaikars on their part remained completely unfazed by the protest, prioritising instead Salman Khan’s first look from Bharat.

I’m certain, the only way Mumbaikars will ever care about a bandh is if protesters launch an attack on their two most fundamental rights: Swiggy and Uber.

This is how I imagine millennial lives would unfold had they’d been forced to be affected by the Maharashtra bandh:

I enter an office full of people moaning about the bandh because they couldn’t order in their vegan salad. The shock in their eyes is palpable. It is almost as if they’d been told Skynet had become self-aware and is about to launch nukes. Everything they hold dear is about to burn away in a nuclear firestorm.

In addition to no Swiggy, there is no Uber (or it is operating at a surge level that would put a dam to shame). And along with no Uber, there are no… gasp… cigarettes! All the sutta and chai stands in and around office areas are shuttered and the colleagues you once called chainsmokers behind their backs, become your messiahs, preaching the message of peace, love, and nicotine. The stimulant is the order of the day for those who lived far, far away, thanks to stresses brought on by Google Maps which confirmed their worst fears of being stuck in office with news of blocked highways and redirected traffic. Spending a night among colleagues is the last thing they want out of their careers.

Fortunately, the protests occur at a time when everyone’s collective bank accounts are flush with annual bonuses, and even 10x surges on Uber is no biggie and the bandh comes and goes without much brouhaha. Because at the end of the day, four hours later to be exact, when the dust has settled , life returns to normalcy. Swiggy is summoned, the day’s work log has been cleared, and pictures with hashtags like #bandhsurvivor are being uploaded to the ’gram. I guess millennial problems are just like their relationships: Over before they even begin.