POW: Making of the Sea Link

I dont really remember when I captured this one and at what time. But this was taken from Dadar Chaupaty, when the Bandra-Worli sea link was still under construction. I have retouched the original photo. Kindly appreciate that I had taken this with my mobile camera ūüôā

Indians and Manners: Part II

Separate incidents-

  • I was on my way to office today morning and driving on the Ghod Bunder Road on the out skirts of Thane. I was about to overtake a bus when a¬†polythene bag full of vomit (yuks!) was hurled out of one of the windows of that bus. It landed barely few¬†feet¬†in front of my wind screen. You know what would have happened if I was driving a little faster. Whoever threw it¬†didn’t¬†even bother to see if any one else was coming from behind.¬†How’s that?
  • IBM, Oracle Financials, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, TCS, LRN and India Infoline. These are some of the companies, all top rated, who have their offices in the commercial premises where even I go for work. We have two common canteens in the complex situated side by side. One of them has a counter which sells¬†cigarettes, pan masalas, gutkhas etc. Whenever you pass through that area, you will always find the cigarette buds and empty sachets littered around. The poor attendants have to clean up the garbage every now and then. Now if employees belonging to such high profile companies do not know how to behave, who else will?

The primary reason why we are still called an underdeveloped country despite having what it takes to rule the world is the attitude we have towards our own country. We complain about the apathy of the Municipal corporations and unhygienic conditions with the same ferocity with which we stomp on the  cigarette bud thrown on the road.

When will we learn?

When will Indians Learn Manners?

Two separate incidents yesterday made me believe that it is not only difficult but near impossible to teach us Indians to apply basic common sense when it comes to manners and obeying rules.

Incident 1: My office has newly shifted to a big corporate park recently. Since the building is being finished, the employees are required to use the service doors for entry and exit. It is a spring door, meaning it retracts by itself (I dont know what it is called). The wing where my office is located also houses companies like Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, IBM, LRN, and the likes. So yesterday late evening when I was getting out of my office building, about 4 guys from IBM were walking about 10 feet in front of me. I had a laptop in one hand and my mobile in other. As we all approached the door, while on of these guys opened the door, I decided to check what it was it. And… BANG! The door got slammed on my face. Surprisingly, none of the four guys were courteous enough to look back, forget holding it for me.

Incident 2: On my way back to home, a guy oh his bike was driving almost at neck to neck pace with me on the highway, coincidently though. A¬†peculiar¬†thing was, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Now this is very unsafe considering speeds in excess of 70-80 kms per hour. After¬†passing¬†over 3 fly overs, he slowed down and wore the helmet tucked on the mirror while still driving. Reason? we were approaching the Check Naka where the traffic police are present. So he was actually afraid of the of the bribe or the Rs. 100 fine and not losing his life? strange.

Gosh… when will we learn?

One Year After Attacks, Have We Moved On?

In another 4 days, the dreaded terror attack on Mumbai will complete one year. A night when a handful of gunmen from across the border held the city at gunpoint will be remembered again. It was an incident, which changed the life of many people. But has any thing really changed otherwise?

As an after effect we saw both CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy CM & Home Minister R R Patil being removed from their posts. The ruling Congress party was flayed, the intelligence agencies were questioned, other political parties were criticized, Raj Thackeray was ridiculed. The people of Mumbai gathered together for a solidarity march at the gateway of India. The protests arose, the cause was raised and gradually every thing died a slow painful death. Is it an irony? I don’t think so…

The only terrorist captured alive is still living in the Arthur road jail without much discomfort. The perpetrators and conspirators are freely roaming around in Pakistan. We are (still) waiting for US to help us. ¬†Congress came back to power both at the centre and state assembly. Vilasrao is enjoying his stint as the union minister for heavy industries, R R Patil is back at the helm of home ministry, Raj is back and busy fighting for the Marathi ‚Äėlanguage‚Äô rather than the people, conducting gheraon and angry protests on issues as trivial as debating on ‚ÄėWhy Hindi is not a national language‚Äô. Shiv Sena, now led by a much mellowed Uddhav Thackeray is criticizing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar because he put India ahead of any one else. It looks like they are coming back to the vandalizing best. The men who could have, should have and must be protecting us from the possible attacks, the Police are busy pointing fingers at each other, one year after we were attacked.

Nothing has changed for a normal Mumbaikar like me… and nothing ever will. Terrorism, in my opinion, is a secondary problem for us. We are battling more than that every day, every month… the ever increasing population on roads, trains and buses, the sky rocketing property prices, the water and power crisis, substandard infrastructure and a slowly retreating ghost named recession. Every day journey to the office seems like a solidarity drive.

I think Mumbai is ready for another attack. Any takers?

Thank You Phyan

Yesterday the whole of Mumbai was under the terror of Phyan, the dreaded cyclone. It was believed that the Phyan cyclone will hit the costs and create havoc. However nothing of that ever happened. In fact I have a strong belief that whatever the Met department says, it never happens. Anyway.

I’m indeed thankful to Phyan for the beautiful weather. It drizzled whole day yesterday. It meant that October heat has now dissipated and the greens are back again. A warm sunlight has been gracing the city since morning. The temperature is around 25 degrees. A steady breeze is blowing. All in all, it is a fantastic weather today.

Thank you Phyan! Thanks to You…

What Does a Marathi Manoos Want?

… a question that goes unanswered in all the elections. From wherever and whenever the Thackerays started wooing the Marathi junta, I dont really remember one good initiative taken by any one to ask the real ‘Common Marathi Manoos’ as to what his real demands are.

In fact, in between the digging of the cricket pitches, the riotings and the banishing of the so called ‘Bhaiyyas’, the real cause of concern has been getting lost time and again. The situation is that now the real¬†common¬†‘Marathi Manoos’ doesn’t know where to start and what does he really need from the innumerable political¬†agendas¬†being manifested and bulldozed on his own name. May be he has accepted the silent corrupt (read Congress) over the shouting bigots as his and Maharashtra’s¬†saviour for a better future. Yes, Raj Thackeray has won 13 seats in Maharashtra. We have seen all the talking he did. May be we can see things improving on the ground level too. May be…

Anyway, I’m not spending too much time on who has done what and who wants to do more. I’m just addressing the plain question asked by a ‘common marathi manoos’ and I want you (YOU the reader) to answer it for me.

PS: In my opinion, all a Marathi Manoos wants is better opportunities for him, better living conditions in his own motherland, greater financial stability and peaceful dwelling. And of course he doesn’t like some one else dominating his life. But I’m sure he doesn’t care who sits next to him in his office, whether a Gujarathi or a Bihari.

R A N D O M: Part III

I was just wondering in the morning today. The genie in the bottle must be really cramped for space. Is it not? The way we are cramped for space here in Mumbai? But they (The genies) are shown to have enjoyed a really good living in there. They seem to have a lavish living room and such good homes. Alright wait! I guess I know the secret. If you reduce yourself to a miniature size, you might do wonders with the available space you got. So why not I reduce myself to one fourth the size of what I am. Then I can transform my apartment into a duplex, or even better- a palatial bungalow!

Oh well! I think its either the Liril 2000 or the shower cabinet in my bathroom. Either of them is having a damaging effect on my brain. After all reducing myself will not reduce the size of the world. Is it? Ha ha, this looks like a joke straight from the ‘Khichadi’ or ‘Sarabhai’ serials. ūüėõ

Coming back to the space problem in Mumbai. There is a home available for every one here. Yet every one feels cramped. Although every one wants to stay as close to the root hub, not all can afford it. So why not actually have a rule to construct affordable housing in almost every area? For every 10 premium buildings, we should have one low cost housing colony. It should constitute high rise towers and be designed in such a way that maximum space is utilised for living.

I guess some thing is wrong with the Garnier shampoo as well. What the hell am I talking? Do we really have so much space in Mumbai left to be constructed? And what about the traffic problem? Okay let me suggest. I say levy an additional tax for driving cars during peak hours on busy roads. At the same time, fine people who do not use car pool despite being possible. Encourage use of buses and trains.

Gosh! Even the Gillette shave gel is troublesome.