Mumbai has come to a halt. Motormen have gone on an indefinite strike. So the lifeline that is the local trains are not running. People have no option but to go by road. And the lesser said about Mumbai roads the better. They hardly look like roads of a metropolitan city. Britishers had made much wider roads. Thanks to decades of corruption, we have illegal shops and at some places entire market brought up along the roads, which has obviously eaten up the space. So when you look at a Mumbai road, you dont simply look at the road, you look at a deluge of hawkers, shopkeepers, beggars and labourers. They are the kind of the people we convinently ignore. Ha...Life goes on...Damn..How does it matter as long as I have a nice air conditioned bed-room at 15th floor, where even their stentch can't reach.
Yesterday the haves and have-nots of Mumbai came much closer to each other. I heard few "respectable" ladies sleeping on the road next to Planet M showroom. "Respected" men too had to climb on a tempo and had to endure the travel like a rooster. I saw respected men and women walking, standing, sitting, sleeping on the pavements, which are home to homeless. For once, the have-nots can accuse the haves for breach of privacy.
The motormen strike has clearly shown how easily the lives of haves and have-nots can collide. It is also a "gentle" reminder for fools like me not to feel so proud of having a "nice" life, in a country which is otherwise not nice at all.