Bear Grylls is the man who hosts the very famous show Man vs. Wild (Born Survivor) on Discovery channel. Now I am not an avid follower of the channel but my young cousins are regular viewers and fans of the show. They explained to me with great enthusiasm that how this guy survives the most challenging kind of environments. In the show, he is often left alone in a certain forest, island, desert, mountains, ocean and other such difficult landscapes and then for the whole episode he will survive there and in turn will teach the viewers how you too can survive in the wilderness. For example he will eat a particular creature and justify how it provides several proteins.
Now as we know that the forest cover, the mountains, the deserts etc are receding (blame it on the global recession) so Bear Grylls will be soon out of ideas and landscapes. So I thought maybe I would pass a few ideas to him so that the show keeps on running and the staff of Discovery is not suffering from recession of ideas.
If you think wilderness is only in nature’s lap, then think again. We live in this jungle called Mumbai where there is every kind of species available. If you are left alone here, I am sure you will never be able to get out of here. Neither physically nor mentally. Infact the city will never get out of you. Its what you foreigners like to call “mayajal” - the Hindi word for Matrix. So, then I wont digress from the topic – instead I will give you ten challenging situations and how you solve it - is upto you. But let me tell you if you solve it, which I am sure you will, its wont be a lone achievement, because we, the middle class people of Mumbai – the approximate ten million people of this city daily survive these situations. So dear Bear, here I go:
1. How will you be able to reach to your office at 9 30 am from north of the city to the south district, if you don’t wake up by 6 am. (Challenge: try once getting up at 6 10 am and then try reaching!)
2. How will you enter a Churchgate Fast local train? (Challenge: between 8am to 11am and between 6 45pm to 10 30pm except Sundays. Hint: The rooftop of the train is available)
3. How will you cut through the traffic at Chakala petrol pump? Given any time of day and given that both the sides of road are One Way. (A similar challenge: How will you manage to come from 7 bungalows to Andheri station)
4. How will you manage to escape the sacred spit that the Mumbaikars so generously expel at any given moment and at any given place? (Hint: This is the most toughest challenge)
5. How will you manage to get away from the body odor of the ugly Indian male after your, “no-matter-how-much-duration”, journey in the local train?
6. How will you get out of the home, when the Autos/Cabs suddenly declare a strike (Challenge: and on the strike day, try and enter the BEST bus)
7. How will you remain unaffected by the Sena and their various tantrums day in and day out? (Challenge 1: Speak in Hindi to a Marathi speaking middle-aged man in a local train and see the result. Challenge 2: Thank God, that Marathi almost reads like Hindi, if it wasn’t then you would walk like an illiterate in Dadar. But I’m sure Bear you wouldn’t know how to read Hindi. So step-in at Dadar and dare ask someone something in your language)
8. Try discovering a “solitary” holiday spot around Mumbai for your weekend. (Challenge: within 100kms.)
9. Try finding a job in these “recession” days. (Challenge: if you get a job, try resisting not leaving it, as this city has so much to offer!)
10. And lastly, try passing a week without seeing a dead body lying under the white cloth, unattended, on the railway station.
Mr. Bear with this, I invite you to our urban jungle with open arms. You are welcome – there is always a space for one more.