2020 will go down because the yr wherein town that by no means sleeps got here to a sudden grinding halt. When “locals” didn’t run and crematoriums turned as busy as railway stations. Of small weddings and smaller funerals. Of no dabbawallahs, and no bhelpuri stalls. Of studying from dwelling and on-line for these fortunate sufficient to own “sensible gadgets”, a yr missed for these with out.
When docs, nurses, sanitation staff, policemen, conservancy and ambulance employees had been the military that defended Mumbai. Because the yr wherein lakhs of migrant staff who had as soon as come to town in the hunt for a greater life feared hunger by lockdown greater than the illness, and determined it was higher to stroll lots of of kilometres again to their villages in different faraway states.
It was a yr when Bollywood had to deal with the grief of shedding its best, and seeing its most high-profile personalities drawn right into a wide-ranging medication investigation. A cyclone did its finest to contribute to the annus horribilis, which was not with out some silver linings although.
Regardless of predictions that town’s well being infrastructure would collapse, it held up whereas the Brihanmumbai Municipal Company hurriedly added extra amenities. Improbably, Dharavi heralded Mumbai’s turnaround within the battle towards Covid-19 within the yr’s final quarter. The trains got here again to the tracks.
And regardless of dire predictions, Maharashtra held off political instability regardless of the difficulties of an unlikely coalition between the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress took cost of the state, and stood collectively. 2020 will go down because the yr Mumbai will always remember.
Images: Deepak Joshi, Nirmal Harindran, Ganesh Shirsekar, Prashant Nadkar, Narendra Vaskar, Amit Chakravarty, Pradip Das