Having lived in Mumbai now, for a year and a half, I have grown to appreciate and become accustomed to the “delivery service”, that I realize, is a part and parcel of Mumbai life. In the US, you had to do everything on your own and did not really get any significant help, unless you paid for it. Mumbai tells a different tale.
You see, this is a city where people come to make money! Call it the Big Apple of Mumbai or whatever you may, Mumbai is a city where people migrate from all over the country with the hope that they will transform stone to gold. And in that pursuit of (so called) happiness, they will leave no stone unturned.
Yes, I am referring to a much needed service that makes every Mumbaiker’s life more livable in this insane city: free delivery! Mind you, I am not talking about just the delivery of food, although, it is pretty incredible that most restaurants are willing to deliver just a single dish to your residence. I am talking about various other types of deliveries as well. For instance, the vegetable vendor whom I purchase from on a weekly basis, will deliver the veggies to my doorstep for free. All I have to do is, either call him up and order my veggies or go and choose my veggies myself, and he will happily deliver it to my door step.
Similarly, the man who does the ironing and dry cleaning, will come to my house once a week, and pick up my clothes and will deliver them in a few days. Or, if I need a little something from the grocer’s, just give him a little tinkle and he has your goods delivered. Of course, all of these deliveries do add to my frustration with the door bell ringing constantly (I was complaining of that in my last post), but it’s so worth it!
The list is endless: chai walas (tea vendors) will deliver little cups of chai to shops; the man who sells fresh coconut water will deliver to your place if you set up an arrangement with him in advance, little bakeries will deliver a single piece of pastry to your door step (even at 10 pm), and so on.
This delivery service, or what I like to call “value added service” is a marvelous phenomena. People do it because they want your loyalty. In a sea of 20 million people, Mumbai is a city that holds within it umpteen opportunities for merchants and vendors to turn their rocks into gold. So why not give the peoples a value added service so that they are hooked onto, even for life? It is the simple convenience of “free delivery” which is a win-win situation for the buyer and the supplier, making the thought of living in Mumbai somewhat easier than it is for me.