Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You have failed me…

Yes, you crumbling old city, dying of your own lack of actions and deed. This dear city is stagnant and paralyzed by the ineffective anachronistic bureaucracy. The obsolete infrastructure is falling apart and the phrase “development” seems to be an oxymoron.

 It’s both strange and ironic that this very city takes great pride in being the commercial capital and yet the entire city seems to be in shambles. And the thing which irks me the most is that no one seems to be complaining!  So if have not seen a garbage dump within 300 metres of your house, its about time you step out of your air conditioned car.

This city seems to have made peace with the never ending trash, rubbish and the typical stink. So many times I hear my friends proudly exclaim “this is the Mumbai smell” .. (Oh so you have noticed this unpleasant smell??)

 So the best and the underrated irony of this city is its public transport. The buses which proudly calls itself “BEST” and the train which have lived way past its expiry date. Its self inflicted misery, if you have to travel in a train during the rush hours. If nothing it’s the clearest picture of the word “survival”, where there is little or no place for words like growth development and improvisation.

 So I ask myself- is it even human to share a space of 100 metres with 100 other people? Isn’t it gross violation of someone’s personal space? The idea of space in this big metro city is wonked, the idea of housing has been altered and a 50 sq metres is considered a “house” and for which you are fighting, bidding and saving every last penny that you have ever earned. The unrealistic cost for housing is preposterously ironic, it’s based on the primitive economics of supply and demand ratio. While the rest of the world would raise the basic question of value for money or the consumers need for quality, in bandra we succumb to high rentals simply because it’s marketed as the “hip” side of city and no one seems to know what is it that could be making it so hip!

 So then I hear certain nobody scream that “we don’t need outsiders in our city”, I am appalled with how unconstitutional that statement is, and how something so preposterous would take the centre stage in politics. Then a certain somebody shows up and says “I will shut all the night clubs and ensure no one partys to ensure safety” and I wonder if a fun harmless party at Zoe is the essential and critical issue which the city is dealing with.

 So enumerable times I hear people boost about the city’s resilience and fighting spirit, which I feel is often confused with sheer complacence only implying how inured we could be to all the lack that we live in. The place and time we are living in does not permit the city and power to still operate in the manner it does, and it’s strange that we are just being spectators, accepting and infact allowing such injustice and lack of order.

 It scares me that I may live in the world that does not demand change and rather closes its eyes to all the inadequacy and lack. But then I see the change in other cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, even Jammu and I can’t help but ask questions, why not Mumbai? The question is so rhetorical it almost seems like a pun! But I am glad I am asking questions and a slow transition towards demanding answers. The hope stems from our refusal to accept the way things are and that’s when change becomes mandatory..!!