Has Mumbai become too rude? A Readers' Digest survey says so. But we Mumbaikars cannot digest this. Just because a few people did not bother to keep the door open for those behind them or a few shopkeepers forgot to say thank you to their customers cannot mean the entire population of Mumbai is rude.

There are numerous instances of our willingness to help others that the survey has ignored. The way people from all walks of life came forward to help complete strangers during the July 26, 2005, deluge is only one such. For us Mumbaikars, helping each other is a way of life rather than a formality. We believe in repaying the kindness experienced by reciprocating in deeds rather than by saying "thank you" or "sorry."

Amjad K. Maruf,

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Not once during my three-week stay in Mumbai last year did I find a sign of rudeness. In fact, an auto-driver advised me that the better way of going to the place I wanted to was by bus which would cost me Rs.5 instead of taking his auto which would cost me Rs. 30!

B. Harish,

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I do not belong to Mumbai, yet I do not think Mumbai is rude. Its residents are friendly and guide you properly. More important, they do not interfere in others' matters.

K. Ragavan,
Sharjah, U.A.E.