So long, Bombay; hello, Mumbai

Bombay means India -- at least to many of us remote from the dhobis doing the laundry, the tiffin wallahs bringing lunch to office workers, and the signs of elegance and destitution coexisting in the nation's center. Can we ever get used to calling the city by its new official name, Mumbai?

Mumbai is the name for Bombay in the Marathi language of the Maharashtra state of which it is the capital. In keeping with something of a trend in India -- Poona becoming Pune, for example -- the local name becomes the standard one as of the end of this month.

Think of the airline schedules that will have to be changed, with (Bombay) lingering parenthetically no doubt until a new generation has forgotten it. Think of the shipping schedules for this great port.

But we think mainly of the people, of images of them in song and story and simply the mind's eye -- all living in Bombay.m They bustle under a Manhattan skyline, more tightly packed than the Manhattanites. Yet they seem ineffably far from points west and points east, for that matter.

Bombay could never be anything except Bombay. But, but . . . Welcome, Mumbai!

The rest of the world will adjust.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK