Monday, October 16, 2006

Vignettes

Have you been in a human traffic jam? You have heard of a motor vehicle traffic jam where the cars, buses, lorries and other hoggers of road space pile up and stick their fingers in the air to display their inner urges.

It happened to me today. I was at Kurla from where I change to Andheri to the place of work. While climbing the steps to the bridge that would lead me to the west of Kurla, there was this absolute mass of people, unmoving, unbudging, as if the whole thick mass of flesh was one entity. I waited. Then again the whole mass moved a step, just as it does in a traffic jam. Then it stopped. Then it went ahead a step and then it stopped.

Now, about the moral of the story, and a little sermonizing which I am fond of. After all, when you are my age (which you will be) you always compare these things with what it used to be. Young people who are living in the present adapt immediately, but older people question everything that has the label of newness on it. Overpopulation, over-stressed resources, bugbears of modern living: anxiety levels were high, a man was touching me patronizingly on the shoulder, “Take your hands off,” I almost shouted.

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