Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nothing remains but the dance....

Michael Jackson
August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009
Healed the World!

All things bright and Michael Jackson

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Bridge to Nowhere....

Local tabloid Mumbai Mirror is making a lot of noise about suburban train passengers crossing tracks and either being chopped to bits or landing up in the slammer. Noble intention! Kudos!
The last two days, I've read of horror stories that how a young boy lost his legs and then went on to lose his job and fiancee in that split second decision to split the second shorter. Such a split. Pardon the gore.
I read of this one gentleman who spent a good three days in prison and he remembered them as the "worst days of his life" to MM. Sigh!
Step behind MM. I've seen bodies gruesomely cut and carelessly stacked on stretchers at railway stations well before the tabloid campaign. I've not seen many taking good notes in this classroom.
In absolute agreement with MM, I find the idea of crossing railway tracks totally disgusting to say the least. Beats me how someone would want to display his/her daredevil stunts knowing well the repurcussions.
Statutory warnings don't work and I know that well. The gory pictures on cigarette packets have not impressed me enough to cut my nicotine intake. So I know. All those signboards at stations and bored voices over the PA pleading with the city's impatient citizens to not cross tracks barely have borne fruit. We know that well!
Infact, of those booming announcements, I find one of particular interest. One that tells me that a fast train is about to pass a platform and I shouldn't be trying to cross the tracks now.
So, can I do it later? Is that what you're trying to tell me? The way I see it, the authorities have taken for granted that I shall cross the tracks whether or not I fear for my limbs and life or my wallet or being dragged to jail. Whom am I kidding?
The articles in the tabloid barely serves any purpose. Fear psychosis is not working on us Daredevil Dans. Shame and disgust are virtues, we left behind somewhere in our rush to reach our offices before our bosses. So now what? I don't know.
Let me be as callous, ignorant and self centred as my million other "city-zens" and shrug my shoulders saying, "I don't do this. What goes of my daddy??? I shall hope you too don't and reach home/work safely." I'm a responsible citizen. Amen!
But no, I've been callous, ignorant and self-centred....what about the cribbing me?
Now I point a finger at you, administration. I poke it right in your eye and ask you now that you've fined us big money (with or without receipts), threatened or have called our relatives telling them of our heinous crime, have dragged us to courts and prisons, are you sleeping well yet?
You, oh Lord Almighty have been quick to resort to punishment and did not worry yourself silly thinking about the cure in the first place!
I come from this one small central suburb called Kalyan. Friends and well wishers often can't emphasise enough how it is the other end of the world (You'd be surprised if I tell you it isn't).
The station is big and I'm told is an important junction as well. We've recently been gifted another grand footover bridge over the six platforms. It has dustbins. Woo hoo!
But people are still crossing tracks, my Lord and they are being cut. Chop chop! You see, while you were busy giving us that swanky footover bridge and are busy tearing down the fabric of smooth traffic with the promise of a skywalk on the west side of the suburb, east still remains ignored.
As I walk to the auto rickshaw stand on the eastern scheme of things, I have little choice but to CROSS THE TRACKS on foot. Why? Because my Lord, you didn't think a overbridge was necessary for us Eastern mortals!
Those four parallel tracks on which goods trains ply regularly have seen many a smart asses being hacked in two. Forget that. This being the season Rain Gods are supposedly going to smile on us, I'm pretty sure I will have to just stand there getting drenched on one occasion too many as one of those never ending trains will take forever to pass.
Sure, Your Highness, these are trivialities better best ignored! The West is where the sun shines these days. (Pun intended)
I know of another suburb--Kanjur Marg, which I could safely say accounts for the maximum accidents of this freak nature. Why? Because till recently you never thought a footover bridge was necessary for a two-platformed station.
But now, you've given us one and it is another cool addition. Does the new shopping mall at a stone's throw or those ritzy high-rises that have suddenly sprung up have anything to do with it? They just might!
These are just couple of examples of the lack of footover bridges. I was pleased to note in MM that there were people who felt similarly. "People who cross tracks are not criminals", "The infrastructure and administration still leaves a lot to be desired" me-dearies aren't all that callous yet. Phew!
But there are still the ones who insist on crossing those tracks at Kanjur Marg to race to the auto rickshaws, and there are the ones who make a quick dash to the next platform as another "fast train to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus" is announced at Kalyan. New bridges be damned! The circle continues. We get butchered. I go home!

All things bright and Biprorshee