Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bombay - the dead city

Just a day after my last post, Bala Saheb Thackeray passed away. I was in South Bombay then, and I live in suburbs. The moment we got the news, everybody panicked. Everyone was scared, and the sole aim was to reach home safely. People took whatever transport they could find and rushed. Within fifteen odd minutes, cabs started refusing to take passengers. Within one hour, each and every shop was shut. It looked as if the city was dead and not a person.

I would have really appreciated this if this bandh was not out of fear. Even I panicked. I left town the moment I heard the news. From Colaba to home on a bike, we took longer routes and avoided Sena areas. Thankfully we were on a bike as it was easy to navigate through traffic. By the time we reached Bandra, it was almost dark. We decided to take the link road route as we know quite a few people there. Thus if there was any problem anywhere, we could have gone and stayed there. 

Now, I have never ever seen Bombay THIS dead. It was more than an hour since they declared that he was dead and almost all the autos and taxis were off the roads. There was little traffic on the roads. In some areas, even the street lights were turned off. The worst thing was when even medical stores were asked to shut down. I saw a few people asking petrol pump guys to shut down too. 

Bombay has been dead since last evening. Not a single shop is open anywhere. Rather, let me put it this way - not a single shop is open anywhere officially. If you go in the market, everything is available, at a higher rate and at the back gate. What's the point of such a bandh? Bala Saheb Thackeray always aimed at the welfare of middle class marathi manus and today the same marathi manus is paying double the price for basic necessities.

Bala Saheb loved Mumbai. And the same city is being terrorised by his followers on his death day. We had to pay a higher rate for milk as my niece is young and she needs it. That too it was of pathetic quality. Thankfully nobody is ill. I don't know how we would have managed that situation, for mom falls ill frequently. Niece is allergic to smoke and dust, she is recovering too post Diwali.

Yes it's a bandh day. No restaurants are open, no theatres are open, even cable TV has been forced to shut down. Thankfully internet is working. And I hope it keeps working even after I publish this post. There are rumours of Bombay being bandh tomorrow too. Which I doubt will happen, but you may never know. And I hope my 15 day bandh prediction in the previous post doesn't come true either. I hate to see Bombay dead. It's good busy and shining, in traffic and crowded. It's dead when it's dull. And I don't like it. 

Hope to see the normal Bombay soon enough.


  1. Agree with your views - sad to see the 'city that never sleeps' come to a standstill. Hoping for a speedy resumption of day to day normal life.

  2. Hope the city returns to normalcy soon.

  3. Neha,

    I agree with you that bandh was more out of fear than respect for the departed soul. Mob mentality created fear and then all principles told by departed one go out of mind of followers. Hope situation improves in a day or so. Of course, there is going to be power struggle now.

    Take care

  4. Mob mentality is present in every city in this world. There were widespread looting and riot followed after Martin Luther Kind, Jr., was assassinated. Looks like similar scenes in Mumbaii. We have to be careful.

  5. Hmm its pathetic. A leader would never want to cause inconvenience to people. Why do these followers in the name of respect create trouble?

  6. hope the normal life is resumed! May his life rest in peace.

  7. Terrible! One dead man putting a city to sleep that never sleeps! Shutting down of cable too!!
    Hope all is back to normal now!

  8. I hope everything comes back to normal soon. It sounds quite scary, honestly.

  9. Do you remember famous words of Rajeev Gandhi when Indira Gandhi was assassinated?when a big tree falls,earth is bound to shake.
    I would presume,you reference is more towards the issue and not BalaSaheb.
    BalaSaheb has had a reputation of a man people feared..Everyone has an opinion,but,I have met him personally and vouch that is was a very decent,understanding,jovial person.
    If I am right ,Mumbai is not Bandh today

  10. I am agree with what BK Chowla is trying to say. but i personally feel you should have removed this post. See