Once upon a time in Mumbai

After my PGDBA way back in the late 90s, I failed to get a job. Reason being many. Firstly the finance market was down, I was staying in a small place in AP and applying for jobs in Mumbai ( which is a no-no in the Mumbai job market) and also because I was choosy. I had taken a time of one year from my parents to live life alone and I wanted to make the best of it.

After a long time of long distance applications, my sister got fed up and called me to stay with her, almost threatened me actually.

And with some contacts landed me into an internal audit firm which was going into consultancy.

And so I found myself with a group of five introverted men consulting a firm of PVC tiles. I was not doing much actually, just worked as an assistant to everybody until the Director asked me to do some market research which the others had failed to do.

And that’s how I started exploring Mumbai. With the file of questionnaires in my hand, bag on the shoulders running from one distributor/trader, cajoling/ bribing and sometimes even threatening to get answers, those days had been good.

It was my first experience of travelling by locals and I quite enjoyed it. Usually travelled at off peak hours, in first class ladies and even though the seats would be empty, would just stand near the door observing the sights.

And thinking that yes even though Mumbaikars thought otherwise a small town girl could survive in the big bad city.

Of course I was lucky that I met good people.

Not always though. In the course of the market survey, the traders were sometimes shocked, sometimes amused to see a female step into their male domain area and so once two shop keepers stopped my way when I was going out and said’ You asked about our business- tell us yours.’ I smiled took out my pocket knife placed near one guys wrist and …..he stepped aside to let me go.

Of course I had to report this to the Director and that was it, he took all my reports asked me for a synopsis and said that it was enough, I had done much more than what the five others had failed to do in the last two months and asked me to join the others on the action team. That too had been interesting, but I had missed my solitary days whizzing past Mumbai on a first class Ladies compartment.

22 thoughts on “Once upon a time in Mumbai

  1. What colourful experiences but scary nevertheless. And yes, small town girls can survive in the big bad city and do it pretty well too, thanks, right? πŸ™‚

  2. I did a lot of field trips, and in my experience Bombay was high up compared to some places in North India. But then I am brought up in Mumbai and larger towns and my sales trips were always accompanying male sales reps so no problems there :). I was in Brand Management. Good to hear about your experience :).

    • Brand management, wow, must have had a good time and a good learning ground too. No oubt it has helped you establish the ‘Tranquil’ brand πŸ˜‰ I had a very good time in Mumbai and the fact that you are left alone with your thoughts in a crowd is what made Mumbai more enjoyable

  3. You have had very good experiences, I also remember visiting various business establishments and houses for conducting surveys. It was a great experience . But never had the opportunity to show my pen knife.

    • I always used to carry a pocket knife whether in Bangalore, Mumbai or Chennai. And I always felt it was better in Mumbai than in other cities. Mumbai u can travel even a t nights without fear πŸ™‚

  4. ooooh Ms. Dare devil I like that a lot.. you know they all say men – women are equal but when it comes to action ladies sometimes PANIC and that when the problem happens .. THATS Why i am so happy to read you took out a knife EXCELLENT.. should have carried a machete or something .. HOW DARE THEY stop ur way … IDIOTs …

    I hate such men too who show off in front of ladies and not pick up fights with the likes of there own …

    That line made me smile KUDOS and well done

    • The survey required me to go to these smal shops selling tiles. The men there were the Paan chabao types for whom women were just objects of fancy, so no wonder they were amused and tried their luck but the knife actually shocked them πŸ˜€

  5. Mumbai meri jaan was my hideout for nearly 12 years, i experienced the ups and downs of the city, travelled first by scooter, than suburban and lastly by M800, explored all the gullies including the famous Dharavi, Andheri etc

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