That Mumbai has been ranked the rudest city by a Reader's Digest survey is shocking. An average Mumbaikar is polite and courteous. A city dweller who is on the fast track from well before dawn to late after dusk may sometimes be short on civility.

As for the absence of little courtesies like `excuse me' or `thank you,' it is because of social deterioration in general. No longer is acknowledgement of a greeting or offer of seat in offices common.

R. Ramachandra Rao,
Hyderabad

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Mumbai, the rudest city? You must be kidding. Did those who conducted the survey take into consideration the behaviour of Mumbaikars at the time of the floods last year, when almost everyone was out helping fellow citizens who were stranded? Not one incident of rape or looting was reported. Mumbai is a city where anyone can move around safely at any time of the day or night. Contrast this with the streets of New York where life is unsafe after dark. Indians know how courteous, non-discriminatory and warm we are to fellow citizens and outsiders. We drown our differences in times of need and that is what matters eventually. And that's what we call courteous.

Praveen V. Ram,
Pune

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A city that is bursting at the seams with inadequate transportation, crowded trains and buses, unsafe roads, high levels of road accidents, crimes, corruption, red-tapism and noise pollution is bound to affect the common man. It is therefore understandable if a section of the city is perceived as rude. It is obviously the result of an increase in the stress levels of people in this fast-paced city. A comparison with other cities is justified only if the living conditions in them are similar.

Nitin G. Gokarn,
Mumbai

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I guess it is something the big mean city does to a human being it makes him cold towards others.

Venthan Bosco,
Toronto, Ontario

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Mumbai might have topped the list in the survey. But I am sure there are other cities that can give it tough competition. Maybe we should create an amiable environment for the younger generation so that it does not become rude. Let us start at home and make a sincere bid to preserve our rich culture and the tehzeeb for which we are well known.

Ravia Gupta,
Bangalore