Mumbai is a city on the edge where one feels emotionally and physically unsafe. Dr Harish Shetty, senior psychiatrist at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, lists below the 10 greatest fears that Mumbaikars commonly face and gives suggestion on how to deal with them.
1. Losing job: Keep your options open. Do not live inside your visiting card. Addresses on the card can change. Be ready to move up and down or sideways on the ladder. Ask everyone for a new job.
2. Falling ill. Eat healthy. Do regular checkups. Keep mosquitoes away. Have enough sleep. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Do not ignore fever. Take your tablets regularly.
3. Getting trapped during rains. Seek accurate information about flood-hit areas. Travel with colleagues and use public transport. Keep family updated on your whereabouts, and seek friends for a night-over if necessary. If you are afflicted with fever after walking through rains, get immediate treatment. Listen to music while in a traffic jam.
4. Theft/robbery: Do not share your travel plans. Use bank lockers. Travel with light pockets and little jewellery. Avoid keeping large amounts of cash at home. File a complaint immediately if robbed.
5. Losing boyfriend/girlfriend: Share your emotions with your partner. Trust and respect him/her. Resolve differences mutually. Be transparent, especially in financial issues. Understand that love has birth, growth and death, and in the event of a break-up, see a counsellor.
6. EMI: Plan your expenditure. Both partners working helps. A homemaker should think up innovative activities that can help her make money. Be open about one's earnings in the family. Meet bankers regularly when in trouble. Use credit cards only when absolutely necessary.
7. Grades in school: Seek help from school to assist children. Diagnose scholastic problems with the help of a counsellor rather than passing judgments. Accept the child as s/he is. Share your fears and worries with sensible friends, teachers or a counsellor.
8. Being raped: Travel with trusted friends. Do not leave your drink alone and refuse food/drinks offered by strangers. Lock your doors during a sleep-over. Lobbies of hotels are safer than rooms for a meet-up while travelling. Date your partner in public places. During early stages of a relationship, couples may meet across a coffee table rather than closed rooms.
9. Violence & terror strikes: Do not fight on the street. Apologize after a skirmish with a biker or an auto driver. Seek help of a cop. Do not abuse or hit others on the street. Stay away from riot-affected areas. Obey curfew orders and laws of the land. File a police complaint at the earliest if abused.
10. School & college admission: Seek admission in schools close to one's home. Avoid branded schools or colleges. Seek the help of education officers when in trouble. Keep options open. Work with child right activists when in trouble.