There are some places which you can't stop raving about no matter how much ever you read or write about them or visit them. They simply take you by surprise each time you are exploring those familiar lanes. They have something to offer always. But the city that you are living in, or the roads that you travel by each day - they take you by surprise? Hmmm, a bit difficult to believe right?
Actually, it is not so difficult if you live in a city like Mumbai.
They call it a City of Dreams. The city that can take you by surprise each day, each moment you live in it. Be it the ever increasing population that explodes in the train each morning; or the various political party people protesting. The serial bomb blasts in the local train that fails to stop the city; or the arrest warrant against Raj Thakrey resulting into a "Bandh".
Biggest of the things does not stop the pace; while a small thing makes us look for covers; we can do without food for a day, but not without the local train or bus. We respect our servants more than our family members; praying to God means singing Bhajans aloud in the train compartment; and comfort means getting a space to stand in the train without getting your foot stamped even once.
Still we love this city. We cannot live anywhere else if we have lived here once. And we cannot save ourselves from the surprises it throws at us. City with such an exploding population; the kind of jobs available for a normal man to survive; the efficiency they have to execute them is mind boggling to say the least. Like for example see the image below:
You will see two men sitting on the top of the hoarding. They are changing the poster and putting up a new one. Two men - one poster; one huge poster; sun is burning their back; the poster frame is hot too. Still they are working; working for livelihood.
We are blessed with a very comfortable life if you look at them!
I am yet to get over that scene and a new sight is waiting for me. Our very own BEST. It was my second ride after at least six years; the first one being a few days ago. And I had for sure failed to notice a few changes the last time in all the excitement of travelling by a BEST after so many years.
The first thing I spotted was a couple of 14" LCD TVs. And my usual belief and typical attitude made me think that they might not even be working. Then there was a cctv camera. Now a BEST where you spot more fights for the reserved seats than pick-pocketers; you do not expect a camera.
But it was indeed there. And thanks to 20 odd news channels; I had even seen once how the camera caught a man stealing 1 lac cash from one of the fellow passengers! That's Mumbai. Plastic bag will carry so much of cash and the mode of transport will be BEST.
To my greatest surprise; the TV worked too. That too; only one ad that featured John Abrahim was being played again and again!
Time has indeed changed. So has the city. The population keeps on increasing; new faces pour in each day so are the new jobs. But the city still runs ten steps ahead of you. It is difficult to keep up the pace. You are taken aback by the surprise each time you come out of your house.
The city of Dreams has indeed become a city of surprises too!