Monday, August 24, 2009

Call it "MUMBAI" or just don't call it !!

"Difference between Chennai, Beijing, The Netherlands, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kolkata AND Mumbai is, ONLY while calling MUMBAI your tongue gets twisted and pronounces "BOMBAY" !!!" : Raj Thackeray

Ok. Before starting further let me make it clear I'm not a hardcore fan of Raj Thackeray or anything but above statement makes sense. Thus as we are on same page now, let's proceed.

Do you know all the cities/countries mentioned in above statement are either changed their names or regained their old names and those are mentioned in above caption. Did you ever hear these places being called by their old names after they renamed or regained their old name? Or do you really even know/remember their old names now? (I'll mention later why I'm stressing on this "Re-gain" part) . No.. You'd never hear those old names now ... or may be hardlyyy ever.

Whenever I run into the discussions with American friends, colleagues, people in general and the discussion comes somewhere to Mumbai and they want to know general things about Mumbai and they end up asking "so how'z the weather of Bombay" or "what's the population of Bombay" I don't blame them but don't stop correcting them "No. It's Mumbai". So the obvious statement comes "Oh right, you guys changed it to Mumbai... right right.." and again I can't stop myself from correting them one more time "No it's not changed. It got it's original name back. It was always Mumbai. Throughout the history. But the brits changed it to Bombay since their heavy tounges could not pronounce it correctly. So we are just trying to let Mumbai have it old name back". I seriously don't blame americans or any other people who don't hail from India. But it always amazes me how we indians always feel it shy to call it Mumbai and always want to call it Bombay despite knowing the fact that it was always Mumbai.. I think Shakespeare himself must have hardly believed his statement when he said "What's in name" coz we all know name is everything. Otherwise we would have called Aishwarya Rai Brad Pitt or vice versa or would have called Mohd Azharuddin Marilyn Monroe (or vice versa again)...

Thus if you don't wanna call Barack Obama Bin Laden (or vice versa), please call Mumbai as Mumbai and not BOMBAY... !!!

PS : Raj Thackeray never uttered anything like that in his life. It was just me who came out with that since I wanted to stress my point :)


  1. I don believe this u r just so hung up with mumbai..the same thing happens with bangalore as well and madras too at times... u r too engrossed with :bombay to realise that isnt it..n yes if a thing has two names wecan call watever...we will say...WATS In a name...I can be called divya or divs or D ...I ll still be the same..but ull alwys be stuck.

  2. two things

    1. u might not get its intensity coz Lucknow does NOT have two names.

    2. other thing is u like urself to be called as either of divya, divas or D but Mumbai and mumbaikar dont..


  3. Talk about u can u say the sme thing abt full mumbai population of mumbaikars,, and mumbai is nothing but grp for mumbaikars :P.. i talk nt only for mumbai but also like for Bangalore(bangaluru(original)

  4. Didn't get clearly wht u were trying to say but i didn't claim am speaking on behalf of whole mumbai. but being a mumbaikar for so many years i know the feelings of them. So expressed that. BTW, u never answered my questions.

  5. I completely agree with Heramb's point here and being in UK for last 5 yrs, i came across this point several times myself. Every time i have to explain the same thing again what Heramb has mentioned to ppl here. But, I am so amazed with the fact that Brits have accepted & rather learned that it was their shortcoming that they cannot pronounce the word (and I prove it to them throwing some Sanskrit words to show that they have heavy toung !) Mumbai and they call (well they try again!!) it mumbai with what ever accent they have. There are few *Indian* people who still are not accepting the fact (or for some reason never want to face the fact) and changing the habit of calling it Mumbai. I face the genuine questions from Brits "why do some ppl in India still call it Bombay?" for which i have no answer to!!

    Though, rightly so, Mumbaikar feel it pride to call it Mumbai, it is not about being mumbaikar as such. It is all about getting your facts right and if Bombay was Mumbai (which it was) then why there is argument of not addressing it as Mumbai?

    @ Divya - about you being called as divs or D ... is fine as far as it is done anticipating that you still are divya! what about ppl start calling you Kamlesh completely forgetting that your original name was Divya. I am sure you parents would not like it neither you would! Believe me it is easy said rather than done ...

  6. Do not misinterpret me ..I m nt against calling it mumbai..or for that matter i m nt siding calling it bombay...i m just against being so hung up abt this thing....For the past 70 or so yrs we have called mumbai it has gta identity with that name we cant say that it is like very diff....we are nt calling Mumbai CHennai or Pune ..we are simply calling it Bombay which is in a way refers to Mumbai..R u trying to say that if we call mumbai bombay u ll nt understand wat we r talking abt or will u pretend Bombay does nt exist....You have already gone ahead and changed the name bk to Mumbai once u hav done that ..u hav a right to and legally yes call it mumbai..but telling the whole world ...practically forcing the whole world to call it Mumbai..Y So...

  7. The point is perfect. All of my bihari/UP colleagues call it 'mumbai' and I sometimes mess that up calling it as 'bombay' :(

  8. I myself stand firm with this very idea of blog...
    I stay in Bangalore, and everybody around says Bombay..
    Leave amarathi people, even our own marathi people, leaving inside/outside Mumbai/Maharashtra call it Bombay... But same stupid people will call Madras as Chennai, though Chennai being much more difficult to pronounce than Madras.

    I wonder whats wrong with people not accepting Mumbai, but every other changed city names !!!

    If our own Marathi people are also not willing to change, then why blame amarathi folks ??

    Its difficult to correct people who have sworn not to utter word Mumbai. But at least i make it a point to refer to it as Mumbai, even though opposite person is constantly referring it as Bombay...

  9. Anamik, Completely agree. Even I do the same thing always. I smash away 'BOMBAY' services by opponent by frequently using 'MUMBAI' while answering.
    It's really so difficult and sad that we got to convince (even Marathi) people to call Mumbai by its original name and not by the name thrown by Brits !!