Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reflections of India

And again, it's been some days since I have been home, this time though in a more sombre mood than I expected.And yet again, there comes a time when I reflect my thoughts on what has changed. A view of a home from a son who's come here after a long hiatus.

The last week has been one of the most important weeks in the history of this city, second only to the 1992 riots ( this is about all the incidents I have seen in my lifetime). The mood has been one of anger, frustration, but most importantly, awareness.Hopefully, this awareness gives way to a more concerned Mumbaikar.

It was quite emotional a journey when I flew in to Bombay. I was going to leave Thursday morning, and it was Wednesday morning in the US when the whole series of events unfolded. As we passed through a day , which was difficult, news pouring in, images of VT station sending down chills, it was time to go home. Someone even asked me if I would want to go to Bombay in such a situation (Corporates sent out a travel warning to all their employees to avoid travel to India in these circumstances). To which the answer was, I am going home and that's it.

Finally, I reached Bombay, where I found that it was business as usual for most people. Except that there was a rush of public anger towards the politicians, and with media support, the politicians were brought down with a zeal that I have not seen in years.The only fear I have is that people should not forget these scars as soon as the next season if IPL begins.I strongly recommend people to read Greatbong's blog for quite a nice insight into the blasts, events surrounding it, and the way forward.

But again, coming into Bombay, things have changed so much ( as they always do, if you miss it for a year). The one change that is constant over the last few years, is the awareness and involvement of youth in activities conducive to the overall development of this city. Like the countless signs that have suddenly sprung up to keep the city clean. Or the movement to almost completely stop use of plastic bags. Somewhere, something is happening. Slow but steady progress. Go Mumbai!

Of course, some things are getting worse. The traffic situation is the perfect example. Fueled by an ever-growing richer class, and car prices dropping, coupled with the growing acceptance of people to Easy-Monthly-Installments and Credit-Card schemes only means more and more cars. And with space at a big premium, the traffic situation doesn't look to improve. Maybe you feel it more, if you come from the US, but again, a place where something needs to be done.

1 comment:

Anil said...

Nice post and I was (just like you) awed by the resilience of that amazing city. I have heard reports and spoken to residents who told me that the local trains were back up and running like it was "just another day" or "business as usual". Although, I have never lived there and only briefly visited the city a few times, this has definitely made me gain new respect for it and for the spirit of us, Indians, in general.

I also agree with your view on "keeping the momentum" as far as making a war cry for change in the political system goes... it's time we get our own Obama!

Keep blogging :)