I am a tiny drop of blood, barely half of a thousandth of a milliliter in volume. There are over ten million droplets like me and, together, we slosh around frenetically each day to make up the body of a vibrant and hugely productive individual. This person is called Miss Mumbai, unique among her peers. She means everything to us, she nurtures us and has made us whoever we are; we drops of blood, in turn, nourish and serve her with loyalty and gratitude.
For us blood drops, life is enormously busy—we have to be value-adding to survive. Those of us who cannot do so find Mumbai to be an impossible mistress and feel rejected. Each day, we circulate through the vast network of blood vessels, which constitute the body of this person. Some blood vessels are narrow naturally and others have been made narrow by the doctors who are paid to look after the health of Miss Mumbai.
The journey through this network of blood vessels is like an obstacle race, which calls for a great deal of maneuvering. But we love our Mumbai. The reason is that Mumbai has a heart, a huge and healthy heart, called C.I. by all of us, standing for Corporate India.
This ever-pulsating and dynamic C.I. makes Mumbai who she is. C.I relentlessly keeps blood drops like us pumped into the arteries, rich with nutritious ingredients. It is in this way that goodies are carried to various parts of Mumbai’s vibrant and healthy body, indeed through Miss Mumbai, to her larger community.
Miss Mumbai was never ‘born’. She is what we might call swayam-bhoo. About five hundred years ago, the Portuguese came to these parts. They might have influenced this person’s future name by calling the seven islands ‘the good bay’, Bom Bahia in Portuguese. A century and a half later, when Aurangzeb ruled in Delhi, these seven islands gradually replaced Surat as the most dynamic port of the west coast. Miss Mumbai has allowed every drop of blood entering her body to contribute to the development of her unique personality with only one condition—that value be added and more prosperity be generated. That is why Mumbai is Mumbai—diversity, efficiency and largeness of heart.
Corporate India follows the traditions set by the merchant princes of Mumbai of the 1800s, the icons of mercantile charity—Sir Jamsetjee Jeejibhoy, Premchand Roychand, David Sassoon and Jamsetji Tata. Standard Chartered, Essar, and others continue that great tradition by sponsoring the marathon once again. Over 25,000 people will run, just as people do in similar marathons in New York, Boston, Dubai, London and other places. ‘The good bay’ runs for a good cause.
All the twelve million drops of blood that constitute this great Miss Mumbai will be rejuvenated through this act of giving for charity. Very few will be untouched by it, most will actually be very touched. There is the increasing realization in Corporate India that you cannot have what you do not give, and you cannot give what you do not have.
Bravo Corporate India, bravo Mumbai. Let all run with a positive spirit!