When you spend enough time in India, you may come to wonder if this vast subcontinent is more of an amalgamation of 28 territories rather than a single unified republic.

With state boundaries drawn along linguistic lines, Tamil can be as foreign as Greek to a Hindi-speaking northerner. And while Hindi has been decreed the official language, unlike Putonghua in China, not everyone speaks it.

People are fiercely proud of their ethnic identity here but not necessarily xenophobic. A big city like Mumbai for instance, is a magnet for Indians from all over the country. It’s most famous Mumbaikar is none other than Shah Rukh Khan, originally from Delhi. In a recent interview, Khan was challenged on whether he was a true Mumbaikar. After 20 years in Mumbai could he speak Marathi, the regional language of Maharashtra?

Although admitting he didn’t, he skillfully turned it around:

“I think everybody who has come to Mumbai from outside, they belong to Mumbai, I think I am owned by Mumbai… I am as Mumbaikar as anyone else.”

Intrigued, I found a couple of natives myself and asked them what being a Mumbaikar meant.

T&C for “AirAsiaX – What makes you a Mumbaikar?” contest

Ever wonder What’s Your India?? Let Madam Araisia’s Airstrology cards tell all! http://www.facebook.com/AirAsia?v=app_273284093628&ref=ts

Also, WIN goodies from Maryann’s adventure right here via AirAsia’s “What’s Your India” contest :)

AirAsia’s “What’s Your India” Contest terms & conditions

1. The “What’s your India” contest [“Contest”] is organised by AirAsia Berhad [“Organiser”]. The Contest will run from [“Contest Period”]: 10:00 (GMT +8) 9 February 2010 and end 23:59 (GMT +8) on 9 May 2010.

During the Contest Period, one (1) winner will be picked for each blog post. The will be nine (9) winners to this Contest and each of them will receive the following prize:-

• ONE (1) souvenir from India by AirAsia Berhad.

2. The Contest is open to all members of the AirAsia blog except for the following [“Participant”]:
a. Permanent and/or temporary staff or employees of AirAsia Berhad, P.T. Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd., AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. and Go Holiday Sdn. Bhd and its immediate family members;
b. Representatives and/or agents (including advertising & promotion) of AirAsia Berhad, P.T. Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd., AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. and Go Holiday Sdn. Bhd.

3. By virtue of an entry to the Contest, Participants signify acceptance and agreement to all terms & conditions set out here.

4. To qualify for the Contest, participants will have to do the following:
Contest Mechanism:

Week 1: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 9 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 14 Feb 2010
Week 2: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 22 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 28 Feb 2010
Week 3: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 2 March 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 9 March 2010
Week 4: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 16 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 22 Mar 2010
Week 5: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 29 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 5 Apr 2010
Week 6: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 12 Apr 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 18 Apr 2010
Week 7: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 27 Apr 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 2 May 2010
Week 8: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 3 May 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 9 May 2010
Week 9: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 10 May 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 16 May 2010

a. All participants need to be a registered member of the AirAsia blog.
b. A new blog post about a city in India will be posted over a period of 15 weeks. (Total 9 posts )
c. Participants need to submit a comment describing why this city (according to the blog post) resonates as their India, and to end the comment with the sentence “What’s your India?”

5. Only entries in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and Chinese will be accepted.

6. All entries must be submitted and received by 23:59 (GMT +8) on 14 Feb 2010, 28 Feb 2010, 9 Mar 2010, 22 Mar 2010, 5 April, 18 April 2010, 2 May 2010, 9 May 2010 and 16 May 2010.

7. Only Participants that fulfill the Contest Mechanism stated above shall be eligible to win the Prize. Incomplete entries and/or participants that fail to fulfill the Contest Mechanism will automatically be disqualified from the Contest without notice.

8. The winners will be selected based on the most relevant and creative answer by a panel of judges appointed by the Organizer.

9. Selected winner will be contacted, at any time deemed appropriate by the Organizer, via email.

10. Under no circumstances shall the Organizer (including its respective employees, staff and agents) be liable for any loss (including loss of opportunity and consequential loss arising therewith) and/or damage suffered by any Participant and/or winner in connection with the Contest.

11. The winner is bound by the terms and conditions that come with the prize. The acceptance of prize indicates the acknowledgment and agreement of such terms and conditions.

12. The Organizer reserves its sole right and discretion to delete, remove, not consider or reject comment with content that is deemed by it to be improper or offensive in whatever nature.

13. The Organizer reserves its rights to publish or display materials or information, including but not limited to the names of all Participants for marketing, advertising and publicity purposes in any manner it deems appropriate. The Organizer further reserves its right to use any personal data of Participants in any manner and/or for any purpose it deems fit and Participant is deemed to consent to such use with no monetary payment.

14. The Organizer reserves its right to cancel, terminate or suspend the Contest with or without any prior notice and reason. For the avoidance of doubt, cancellation, termination or suspension by the Organizer shall not entitle the participant to any claim or compensation against the Organizer for any and all losses or damages suffered or incurred as a direct or indirect result of the act of cancellation, termination or suspension.

15. The terms and conditions herein shall prevail over any inconsistent terms, conditions, provisions or representations contained in any other promotional or advertising materials for the Contest. In the event of any inconsistency, conflict, ambiguity or discrepancy between the English version and the Bahasa Malaysia version of these terms and conditions, the English version shall prevail at all times.

16. The Organizer reserves its right to vary, delete or add to any of these Terms and Conditions and/or substitute or replace the gifts from time to time without any prior notice.

17. By participating in the Contest, it is deemed that the participant agrees to be bound by the terms and subject to the conditions herein set out upon submission of entry. The decisions of the Organizer in relation to every aspect of the Contest including but not limited to the type of prize and winner shall be deemed final and conclusive under any circumstance and no complaint from any participants will be entertained.

18. The decision of judges appointed by the Organizer are final, conclusive and binding and no further appeal, enquiry and/or correspondence will be entertained.

  • Ashish


    The city of opportunities,
    the city of local trains,
    the city of Gateway of India,
    the city of Taj palace,
    the city of Indians,
    the city of multi culture,
    the city of diversity,
    the city of Dalal street,
    the city of choupati and bhel puri,
    the city of festivals,
    the city of Bollywood,
    the city of night life,
    the city of crowd,
    the city of Marathi, Hindi, Gujrati languages,
    the capitol city of my Maharashtra the state of my India.

    What’s your India?

  • Janitha

    best Indian shopping & food arena!

  • Vargis

    My candid idea of Mumbai or Bombay is

    as follows :-

    Bombay has no bombs and is a harbour not a bay.
    Churchgate has neither a church nor a gate. It is a railway station.
    There is no darkness in Andheri.
    Lalbaag is neither red nor a garden.
    No king ever stayed at Kings Circle ..
    Nor did Queen Victoria stay at Victoria Terminus..
    Nor is there any princess at Princess Street ..
    Lower Parel is at the same level as Parel
    There are no marines or sailors at Marine Lines.
    The Mahalaxmi temple is at Haji Ali not at Mahalaxmi.
    There are no pigs traded at Dukar bazaar.
    Teen bati is a junction of 3 roads, not three lamps.
    Trams used to terminate at Kings circle not Dadar* Tram Terminus (Dadar T..T..).
    Breach Candy is not a sweetmeat market, but there is a Hospital.
    Safed Pool has the dirtiest and blackest water.
    You cannot buy coal at Kolsa street.
    There are no Iron smiths at Lohar chawl.
    There are no pot makers at Kumbhar wada.
    Lokhandwala complex is not an Iron and steel market.
    Null bazaar does not sell taps.
    You will not find ladyfingers at Bheendi Bazaar.
    Kalachowki does not have a black Police station.
    Hanging Gardens are not suspended.
    Mirchi Gully does not sell chillies.
    Figs do not grow in Anjir Wadi.
    Sitafals do not grow in Sitafal Wadi,
    Jackfruits do not grow at Fanaswadi.
    But it is true that you may get fleeced at Chor Bazaar!

    A City where everything is possible, especially the impossible .

    Where telephone bills make a person ill,
    Where a person cannot sleep without a pill.

    Where carbon-dioxide is more than oxygen,
    Where the road is considered to be a dustbin,

    Where college canteens are full and classes empty,
    Where Adam teasing is also making an entry,

    Where a cycle reaches faster than a car,
    Where everyone thinks himself to be a star,

    Where sky scrapers overlook the slum,
    Where houses collapse as the monsoon comes,

    Where people first act and then think,
    Where there is more water in the pen than ink,

    Where the roads see-saw in monsoon,
    Where the beggars become rich soon,

    Where the roads are leveled when the minister arrives,

    Where college admission means hard cash,
    Where cement is frequently mixed with ash.

    This is Mumbai my dear, But don’t fear, just cheer, come to Mumbai every year!


    1. You say ‘town ‘ and expect everyone to know that this means south of Churchgate.

    2 You speak in a dialect of Hindi called ‘Bambaiya Hindi’,
    which only Bombayites can understand.

    3. Your door has more than three locks.

    4. Rs 500 worth of groceries fit in one paper bag.

    5. Train timings ( 9.27 , 10.49 etc) are really important events of life.

    6. You spend more time each month traveling than you spend at home.

    7. You call an 8′ x 10′ clustered room a Hall.

    8.. You’re paying Rs 10,000 for a 1 room flat, the size
    of walk-in closet and you think it’s a ‘steal.’

    9. You have the following sets of friend: school friends, college friends, neighborhood friends, office friends and yes, train friends, a species unique only in Bombay. (REALLY TRUE)

    10. Cabbies and bus conductors think you are from Mars
    if you call the roads by their Indian name,
    they are more familiar with Warden Road, Peddar  Road, Altamount Road

    11. Stock market quotes are the only other thing* besides cricket
    which you follow passionately.

    12. The first thing that you read in the Times of India is the
    ‘ Bombay Times’ supplement.

    13. You take fashion seriously.
    You’re suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.

    14. Hookers, beggars and the homeless are invisible.

    15. You compare Bombay to New York ‘s Manhattan instead of any other
    cities of India.

    16. The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.

    17. You insist on calling CST as VT, and Sahar and
    Santacruz airports instead of Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

    18. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.

    19. Your idea of personal space is no one actually standing on your toes.

    20. Being truly alone makes you nervous.

    21. You love wading through knee deep mucky water in the monsoons, and
    actually call it ”romantic’.

    22. Only in Bombay, you would get Chinese Dosa and
    Jain Chicken

    Salaam Bombay…

  • Georgina

    I am a true Mumbaikar. I have been living in Kuala Lumpur for 5.5 years but this is my philosophy… You can take me out of Mumbai but you can’t take Mumbai out of me. When I am hungry I crave Vada Pau, when I’m thirsty I need Cutting Chai. When I’m bored I need Juhu Beach and when I seek thrill I need the local trains (Western Line, please!!) When I want to shop I need Linking Road and when I want ‘phoren’ fashion I need Lokhandwala. When I want ice cream, I need ‘Naturals’ and when I want a ride I need a ricksha! I need my dhol-dhamaaka fix and my paani puri. I like Shahrukh Khan and I need to know where Kareena gets her hair done. I don’t like CST but I love VT. I prefer BEST to the Big Red Bus and ‘Horn ok Please’ to the middle finger. I am a true Mumbaikar with my heart lost somewhere in Andheri West. :) Fly me home Air Asia!!!!

  • Eunice

    The love for the insane traffic, the joy of the adrenaline rush for the life at a bustling metropolitan city, and the colours of the unique cultural blends. That makes a true Mumbaikar.

    Is there any other?

  • Chern Liang

    You can take a Mumbaikar out of Mumbai, but you can’t take Mumbai out of a Mumbaikar.

  • Masturah

    My partner is a Macha. I am a Machi. Together we are Mumbaikar.

    “What’s your India?”

  • Muhammad Taufik

    Never been there
    so, hopefully i can go there with airasia and can tell a whole world about mumbai experience!! Im so glad if i was one of them :)

  • Thulasiamal

    MUMBAIKAR For a true Mumbaikar it means Mum means Mother- Baik means Best . It is a best motherland.Please sent me to Mumbai …………. I love Mumbai

  • Inderbir

    I want to go to Juhu Beach and have Vada Pau and Panipuri. Please fly me to Mumbai!

  • Omana

    Mumbai…what i could i say about this city that hadn’t been said before? Mumbai is as tough as it is beautiful…A city that makes dreams come true..A city where the spirits remains high despite rains,storms,bomb blasts or floods…A city is only as great as its people and Mumbaikers, despite their contrasting lives are united in their spirit of love,of travel and the spirit of excelling in life and the love for vada-pav.

    It would a dream come true to visit this truly amazing city which is rich in history, filled with colours and culture,and where every Mumbaiker would welcome you and proudly claim…’Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan’.

  • Shaun

    What your India?

    I have never been to India and I hope I will be given the opportunity. :) If the opportunity given to me I will take the advantages of learning my Indian culture.

  • Tay Hwee

    Dark skin colour and drinking alcohol makes a true mumbaikar

  • Saw Siew

    Speaking hindi,always complaning about traffic jams and likes to be myself makes a true mumbaikar

  • Nirav

    I feel i am true mumbaikar, after leaving almost 15 years in Kuala Lumpur, still have passion for Mumbai… Only city have international airport right in the middle of the city. Mumbaikar is the only citizen who has stand together whenever there is trouble to city like terrorist attack, bomb blast or rain thunderstorm. Mumbai is city where still people have smile on the face despite of pressure of work or study. People of all class makes mumbai very unique. Whatever may be politician say but mumbai is a heart of indian politics and finance hub. Despite of all glitch and corruption city still progress at much faster rate… Even crime rate is in much control than other country. Only city where journalist gives hard time to politician on the face and on the live. Where politician always remain alert to public, as public is too fast react. Only city in the world where you can get all kind of food and beverges and always welcome people. Mumbai is the CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS… With the best Railway system and BEST bus service with the lot of accuracy. Mumbai is a city of its own kind, where price of land is skyrocketing and still no land is available. It is rightly said for mumbai that it is easy to earn enough for food but not for home…. Biggest Movie industry after hollywood… where all hollywood stars also like to act…. Air Asia be a true mumbaikar airline by serving WADA PAV, MISSAL / USSAL PAV on board…

  • Cheryl

    My India….
    That’s where originally Indian came from. It’s where the spread of Roti Canai, Chapati and all the delicious indian curry spread.

  • Shashtidaran

    What makes me a MUMBAIKAR..

    I always ask myself that question and the first thing that came to my mind was something really dear to my heart,serious,wonderful,filling,tasty and will be desperately needed when I am thirsty…
    Have u guessed it?Yes..it’s the one and only..

    GIN & TONIC…heheh,i kinda miss the sweet and sour taste of my gin and tonic i really wish i could have a sip of it from Mumbai once again..!
    Moreover…i really want to hear the cribbing about traffic on the road these days..!
    i want to hear the honking of the colorful buses,cars and the noisy little cute TAXI!!!(honk!!honk!!)…
    and i am sure this noise pollution is *not a topic to be getting over with*.

    Another thing about a true Mumbaikar is the YOGA FREAKS!!!!!…I mean it’s a busy day at the yoga center…not 1 or 2 days…
    but the whole week…continuously there will be 100 of people’s ramming one another to do yoga…
    DON’T GET ME WRONG…but it’s a good thing actually…because it helps relax our mind and releases our stress!!
    In addition to that..there are a lot of weekend getaways there,FOR EXAMPLE..places like:-
    can help us relax a bit and this ensures that we can at least have 1 just 1 day of relaxation…
    so take ur time and enjoy ur getaway..
    that is my policy!!

    Next,if you get bored of all the above option….don’t worry…don’t panic because there are plenty more activities you can do like trekking or even river rafting..
    If you go to the CHOWPATTY BEACH…i would recommend everybody to try the ice cream…although it’s quite crappy…but that’s what makes a true MUMBAIKAR…brave enough to try new and adventurous things!

    Mumbai is really Great!!It’s totally liberal free…we can be ourselves..and it’s really safe for women at any age at all…!!
    It is also really convenient for living..You can get your personal household things or even groceries without even going out of your house..Just 1 call and ur wanted items will be at your feet in minutes!!!

    The ONE thing that makes me a true MUMBAIKAR is the spirit of a WARRIOR..
    I say this because the love that relationship between the tourist and the mumbaikar’s are really beautiful and there is always a bond between them…
    Even visitors are fascinated by the way the Mumbaikar’s communicate with them..because they are really helpful and supportive..and this few characteristics are the small qualities which makes up a MUMBAIKAR!

    the character and quality every Mumbaikar need’s to have is the
    HEART of Mumbai!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have and that is what that makes me a true Mumbaikar.
    Thank you AIR ASIA TEAM FOR THIS EVENT …and to all *MOTHERS* i wish all of you out there a wonderful and blessed Happy MOTHER’S Day..Please send me to Mumbai,Air Asia………………I love Mumbai!!!

  • Mohd Hafiz


    A city that never sleeps –> office life after dawn and nightlife after dusk

    A sea of people –> most populous city in India

    A piece of art –> blend of traditional festivals, food, music, and theatres

    A heaven of shopping –> fabulous markets and bazaar with attractive stuff

    A land of hope –> people come with the hope of becoming a next Bollywood star.

    A world of paradise –> fascinating sunset at Juhu & Marine Chowpatty Beach

    A Mumbaikar knows where to get and enjoy those. I guess I am one of them now :-)

  • Prasanan

    As a Mumbaikar I would like to say Mum-bai will kare(care ) and love everyone like a mother who gives good food , great lifestyle, good hospitality. I love Mumbai and would like to be and feel like a MUMBAIKAR.

  • Ang

    It is difficult to define what makes Mumbai the city of dreams. Whoever comes to Mumbai has a particular goal to pursue. The aspiration can be to become a painter, architect, teacher, actor, businessman, sportsperson, sociologist, singer, writer, director. The city can fulfill all these dreams for those who have the dedication to pursue their ambitions. There is no other city in India that can actually provide so many opportunities at one place. Secondly people either original residents or migrants have created a culture of friendliness. The city is open to people of all castes and religions. Every city has some kind of problems, but the facilities that this city provides are unparalleled. Once anyone gets the taste of the city, it is too hard to leave and go away.

    What’s your India?

  • Renuka

    Mumbai, for me in the purest sense, is the gateway back to the womb of a mother. It invigorates my senses, inviting me to see, smell, feel and hear the imperfect bliss.

    The womb, a dreamy and magical world filled with sounds and motions bears many resemblance to the city of Mumbai. The sounds in the womb resulting from the whooshing of the blood, the thumping of the mother’s heart and voice is similar to bustling of the city’s populous citizens and slums reverberating their chats and cries. The motions in the womb remind me of the Mumbai’s buzzing yet noisy city traffic and business activities.

    Akin to the womb, Mumbai is crowded and there is little space to breathe yet it is the most comfortable and peaceful vicinity that anyone wants to return to.
    Like any baby that cries as it leaves the womb, I would scream Jai Ho to leave Mumbai behind!! That simply makes me the ideal Mumbaikar.

    The bond a mother and baby has, the umbilical cord is purely replicated by Air Asia to link anyone back to Mumbai!

    Happy Mother’s day.