"If you are late for work in the morning in Bombay, and you reach the station just as the train is leaving the platform, you can run up to the packed compartments and you will find many hands stretching out to grab you on board, unfolding outwards from bodies like petals from a flower. As you run alongside the train, you will be picked up and some tiny space will be made for your feet on the edge of the compartment. The rest is up to you; you will probably have to hang on with your fingertips on the door frame, being careful not to lean out too far lest you get decapitated by a pole placed too close to the tracks.
But consider what has happened: Your fellow passengers, already packed tighter than cattle are legally allowed to be, their shirts already drenched in sweat in the badly ventilated compartment, standing like this for an hour, retain an empathy for you, know that your boss might yell at you or cut your pay if you miss the train, and will manufacture space where none exists to take one more person with them. And at the moment of contact, they do not know if the hand that is reaching for theirs belongs to a Hindu or a Muslim or Christian or Brahmin or untouchable, or whether you live in Malabar Hill or New York or Jogeshwari. You're trying to get to work in the city of gold, and that's enough. Come on board they say. We'll adjust"
Fragmento de entrevista a Suketu Metha autor de Maximum city: Bombay lost and found, recolhida por Shoma Chaudhury editora da revista Tehelka.