Do or die: 20 New Year's resolutions for Mumbai
1. Figure out how to make giving change on the Sea Link a one-person job
Maybe the guy who rolls up the bills into a tiny jumble and the guy who hands the jumble to the other guy outside the toll booth could have a brainstorming session to see who is extraneous.
2. Find a way to fix open manholes instead of just putting a palm leaf over the hole
This is dangerous jugaad, aka a quick fix. Can't we at least find a bright object to alert drivers, not to mention walkers?
Along these lines, maybe we should start monsoon preparations before monsoon this year …
3. Reopen Bandra's Zenzi bar
The suburban hipsters are getting angsty. Bandra wants its sweaty late-night living room back.
Worli’s Cool Chef Café can really only hold out for so long and there is no other bar that welcomes the weird like they did.
More on CNNGo: RIP Zenzi, Bandra's living room, not lounge bar
4. Get some real, sit-down, late-night eateries
Sometimes you aren’t in the mood to stand in an alley with a kati roll. Or be that guy who orders food at the bar or stumbles drunk into a nice hotel coffee shop.
It’s time to reduce the severe dearth of quality establishments that will indulge serious post-midnight munchies.
More on CNNGo: Best late night eats in Mumbai
5. Turn down the 9 a.m. techno
No one actually feels like, “DAMN, I’m a sexy b---h,” before their morning coffee, and eateries, spas and shops should reflect this.
Ever had to listen to Guetta while getting a head massage?
6. Serve a simple cup of coffee in under seven minutes
Let's find a way to put together two ingredients and sort out how much change is due without involving other team members, more than one napkin, or any part of a cookie.
Surely we can refill water glasses and bring the bill without constant reminders.
More on CNNGo: Best Mumbai cafés for people-watching and eavesdropping
7. Make all domestic flights leave from the domestic airport
This should not be all that complicated, since every other major city seems to have it figured out.
8. Don't let anyone else pee into the paani puri mix
There’s no better measure of success than ending a year without any footage of unsavory fluids coming into contact with delicious street savories.
After a year of onion-price hysteria, the last thing we need is a mass food-contamination scandal.
More on CNNGo: Mumbai's best chaat
9. Produce more than one worthwhile film starring Mumbai
The year 2010 brought us the film "LSD," and 2011 produced "Dhobi Ghat." It seems we're stuck in a rut of serving up one reliable Bollywood movie offering per year.
If it’s not too much to ask, maybe in 2012 could produce several movies with actors and actual plots?
More on CNNGo: Worst Bollywood movies of 2011
10. Begin Bandra/SoBo peace negotiation talks
Yes, the traffic is rough, but now that the Sea Link can play the intermediary, maybe it’s time to agree that there are good times to be had at both.
One day we should all meet up at Phoenix mall and agree that at least we’re not New Delhi!
Items 1-10 by expat blogger Hilary Fischer-Groban.
11. Fix traffic jams at major crossings
This city’s turning into one big car pile-up. Bandra's Lucky restaurant junction, you cruel, cruel thing. How many people have you driven to therapy?
Also you, Juhu Circle, Peddar Road, Hill Road, Saki Naka.
12. Build clean public loos for women
Enough with the bladder control. It’s time that the women in Mumbai pay their way to pee.
And that doesn’t mean a stale muffin at that coffee shop or a bottle of water (taxes extra) at the restaurant you were forced to run into.
More on CNNGo: Relief for Mumbai travelers: Toilet every 2 kilometers
13. Modernize drinking laws
Maharashtra now has one of the highest drinking ages in the world.
You have to be 25 to legally consume hard liquor.
Elsewhere -- that is, the rest of the world -- the average legal drinking age is between 18 and 21.
And for those above 25, the 60-percent alcohol price hike isn't helping either. Neither is the traffic.
Let Mumbaikers drown their early adulthood rage in moderately priced booze. Or reduce traffic congestion. Something's got to give.
14. Fit all auto-rickshaws with magic meters
That game of guessing how much a rick ride from Powai to Andheri will cost is getting a little old.
Meters that self-adjust according to inflation need to be replaced with tamper-proof electronic machines.
Along with the auto drivers who refuse rides when they feel like it.
More on CNNGo: End of the line for tampered auto rickshaw meters
15. Build more walkable footpaths
People in South Mumbai who are wondering why this is a resolution, please travel past Phoenix Mills.
Yes, the roads are narrow, but who allowed the cars to take over the pavement?
There’s no parking anyway, we might as well get space to walk.
And, no, Carter Road and Bandstand don’t count -- 'cause it smells at one end. Like dead fish.
16. Actually put metro pillars to use
Andheri has become a video game level that you can enter but never leave. Only perish.
The reason is those massive metro pillars, harbingers of hope, that need to stop being road accessories and blocking traffic. They need to support something fast. And by something, we mean our metro, before it turns into an urban legend.
17. Put an end to the name-calling
Name claiming is getting tiresome. We’re all in this together.
Officially it’s Mumbai, unofficially it can be anything as long as it’s loved and loathed in equal measure.
Leave the propaganda to the politicians.
18. Go easy on building monstrous ugly towers
It’s rather scary that a mall in Malad has a roller coaster and a fake green patch. How long before they build a pond and jogging track there, too?
Residential tower Palais Royale's permanent rooftop contruction cranes make it look like a damned Transformer. With faux domes, reflective glass, blue lighting, stone elephants at entrance -- the madness needs to end.
Let's resolve to regulate the construction of such buildings (no one’s buying anyway) and give everyone some open space to breathe and some visual relief.
More on CNNGo: Opinion: A new name does not make a new neighborhood
19. Make the Bandra-Worli Sea Link free
Yes, yes, everyone heard it. The tariff is in fact being increased to Rs 70 from Rs 50 for a one-way ride. But it’s a resolution. Some inevitably fail. Please, let it not be this one.
20. Party all night
Mumbai's four- and five-star hotels are allowed to remain open till 3 a.m. and serve booze.
But if you're not rich enough to afford a hotel nightclub experience, or if, as a dive bar for example, you don't make enough money to repeatedly bribe your way out of your curfew, then you go home at 1:30 a.m. and what? Watch TV? Meh.
More on CNNGo: World's Greatest City: 50 reasons Mumbai is No. 1
Items 11-20 by local journalist Jhilmil Motihar.