LIFESTYLE, Mumbai Diary


History in its broadest aspect is a record of man’s migrations from one environment to another.

Ellsworth Huntington
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Why do people migrate?

Like most of Mumbai’s citizens, I am a migrant. I first came to Mumbai when my father was posted here and have been here since. After 38 years at the same address, it has now become my home and I can call myself a Mumbaikar. But the rest of my family are Mumbaikars by birth.

Many years ago when Anna Shetty was applying to Medical College, she had to produce a Migration Certificate. I had never heard of this document and have never heard of it since. But at that time I remember we had to engage a lawyer and produce a migration certificate.

Mr. Sodder ( yes,  that was his name) asked my husband to renounce his ‘citizenship’ of another state and acknowledge his residence in Mumbai. Now Sodder couldn’t believe that Hubby Dear was born in Mumbai . He insisted that he have a ‘native place’ somewhere in India. That’s when I realised that even the law recognises every Mumbaikar as a migrant.

So why did my dhobi migrate from his gaon in UP? Very obviously the answer was for better job prospects. In fact this is the reason why most of the rural population migrates to the city.

But on the other hand, there is a reverse migration too where urban denizens are seeking quieter pastures in idyllic surroundings like fellow blogger Kalpana Manivannan who quit her job as a teacher to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle as an Urban Farmer. Read her fascinating story here

Migration Museum: Answering the question

On Saturday June 8, Godrej India Culture Lab is hosting a DAY LONG event:  MIGRATION MUSEUM.

Migration Museum attempts to enquire into migration in contemporary India through conversations, films and art. It is an exploration of identity and how our histories are not just concerned with time but also the geographies we’ve shaped and inhabited.

It promises to be an interesting event with a film screening, poetry reading, art installations.  Professor Chinmay Tumbe (currently a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad )  will hold a master class that will trace and historicise India’s migratory patterns.

And there are many other more interesting features such as food of migrants. Reena Kallat will have installations as book cover prints where she had created a woven map by tracing the routes of contract workers, indentured labour, asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.

That should be interesting isn’t it?

So if you have the inclination, do head towards Vikhroli to find out for yourself  at the Godrej India Culture Lab .


Image for Unishta


Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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