The Good, the bad, and the ugly daily life

Aranyi made the mistake of soliciting the visitors of her new blog for ideas to write on. I called her on and she definitely took the challenge very seriously. Working for a young woman in any place in the world has its own unique set of challenges that may seem mundane but do require significant amount of grace under pressure, courage, and humor. In India, you add to that cauldron, the chaos, the over crowded-claustrophobic milieu, and the contradicting ethos in a very ancient country that is currently changing faster than any other place on earth except China - you have a powder keg that is the good, the bad, and the ugly daily life. My initial request was:

Maybe, how about trial and tribulations of a young woman working in Mumbai. Day to day challenges. You know the simple stuff. [Link]

I knew it would not be simple. She did put quite an effort in her write-up. Do read her, and please let me quote a few passages below that stood out to me.
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I could complain about not having enough time or stamina to manage my activities (dance/gym) with meeting friends for coffee. [Link]
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Then when I went to dad's office building, I got whistled at again! [Link]
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Then I have to enter the lift and stand in one corner or where I can't be touched or brushed (big files and bags and standing with arms crossed and a forbidding expression helps). But the good thing is that the liftmen are quite protective and also these guys don't really have the guts to touch. [Link]
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She (her mom) is sorrowed that nothing surprises me - about sex, drugs, mafia, politics. [Link]

It has a very different ring than Gregory David Robert's Mumbai in Shantaram. Her post is part diary, part hope, part personal, and part commentary. Does Mumbai, like all other metropolis wraps her denizens with a big heart or is really a Gotham City, again like them? Also, some of her thoughts and experiences are very timeless and can be from anywhere - they will be same for a young woman in New York City, Amsterdam, Tehran, and Tokyo today or tomorrow.

How much are just universal thoughts and experiences of any young woman? No doubt, some of the bizarre experiences like harassment do take painful proportions in India. Some of her concerns are rightfully distinctly Indian, as they should be. A culture in transition cannot be gleaned through crafted pamphlets, carefully written books, Op-eds but unscripted thoughts. Perhaps, she will write again from time-to-time about the trial and tribulations of her and other working women in a cosmopolitan like Mumbai with the clarity, honesty - yet full of contradictions and confusions like the one she just did. She herself said, "And this blog is just the surface, baby!" It will not make anything easy for anyone or make everything rosy but since when purgatory writing did. Why not? The good, the bad, and the ugly daily life is the real life to the fullest.

Ah, her blog constantly mentions one of the greatest writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She is reading, "Love in the time of cholera". I read that classic book more than 10 years ago at sea. It will knock her off by the time she reaches the end of the book - no more hints and spoilers.

I do not think she is any different from anyone writing from New York City or Tokyo. Maybe, some details are, some aren't.