Mumbai originally was a cluster of 7 islands - Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman's Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel & Matunga-Sion. It took 60 years to merge the 7 islands of Bombay into one landmass between 1784 & 1845.
The reclamations from the sea continue even today and India's most prosperous business district - Nariman Point - was reclaimed from the sea as recently as 1971.
Mumbai's per capita income is almost 3 times the National Average.
Mumbaikars have a literacy rate which is nearly 20% higher than India's overall literacy rate.
Mumbai's suburban rail systems carry a total of 2.2 billion passengers every year or roughly one third of the world's entire population.
Initially the city was named Bom Bahia or the "Good Bay" in appreciation of the excelent & deep harbor that it possessed on the East side. The English developed Bom Bahia into Bombay.
The Maharashtrians in Mumbai have demanded and achieved the renaming of Bombay as Mumbai. They claim that this was the originaly name of the city before the advent of the English who they allege distorted the name to Bombay. The name Mumbai on the contrary, is derived from the temple of Mumbadevi, the Goddess of Mumba.
Printed in Simplifly, March 2005.