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The gravediggers ... Mumbai ravaged

There was a slightly old Economic Times lying around in our bedroom. I glanced upon what was written on it as I was tidying up. The article was about Gollman Sach's take on the BRIC countries. 'I' standing for India. And how these would dominate the word even faster than earlier predicted.

Those of us who work in multinational companies would have possibly come across the spiel about how India is the future and how everyone's excited about the 'India story'. You would have heard the same people going gaga about the service in Jet Airways when they come here. And you are probably reading this post on a state of the art laptop or phone. The latest the world has to offer.


But a look out of the window of your home, office or car shows a very different world outside. And I am not even talking about the in your face poverty. Poverty we have learnt to blank ourselves to. Poverty which bothers us only when an Irishman refers to it while winning making an Oscar winning film.

I am talking of the traffic which gets worse by the day. The sheer lack of civic planning. Monstrous, ungainly flyovers coming up. Walkways which noone will use. Roads being dug for the Metro. And pilars being put up for the monorail. Yes, we are a city in a hurry. But does it all have to be at the same time?

The dust, destruction, construction and desolation gives you the feeling of a war ravaged city. Not that of a city which is the commercial capital of the 'future'. One look at any Asian city, I am not even talking of those of the developed West, and one realises the need for a reality check.

The simplest and most recent example of this insensitivity and lack of civic planning is the Bazar Road beside Balaji restaurant at Hill Road, Bandra. This is a narrow road which connects Bandra to the Sea Link. A road which many take to office in the morning.

Well if you go half way down the road these days you will find that it is closed. In which case you will have to turn back in this single laned road and the result is almost as chaotic as the Indian Parliament in session. Now I am sure that there is a good enough reason to shut the road. But why not put a sign warning people at the beginning of the lane? The simplest thing then would be to turn and take the Mehboob Studio exit.

But then, as T would say, 'where are the hardships'?


My teachers in school used to say that I was a day dreamer. That I would not pay attention to what was happening in class. That I would be lost in my own world. But I must admit that even I am not enough of a dreamer to see any hope amidst the rubble.

It's time to get real.

I know it's Maharashtra Day today. But before you say 'get back to where you belong' and all that stuff let me go on record saying that I am really fond of, and attached to the city. I would speak up for it any day. But I also know that most of us have been badly let down by those who matter. As Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that.
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