Friday, October 12, 2007

Train Rage and Its Aftermath

Further to my train rage blogpost, traveling on Harbor Line of Bombay’s train lifeline has become easier. Both yesterday and today were a breeze as there was enough legroom, not to speak of handroom in the trains. Air did circulate in the compartment, breathing became easier and the grinding of flesh against flesh was, at least, at a minimum.

A man missed his morning massage in the train today, “What? No Massage?” he asked his traveling partner. A comic on “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” of which I am a great fan, had once got into the train and found a man scratching his leg. He asked “Why are you scratching me?” And prompt came the abashed reply, “Oh, sorry, I thought I was scratching myself!”

He… he… he…! A gag, of course, well, that’s Bombay’s rush hour for you. But I wonder how long it will last, as more skyscrapers are coming up at Kharghar near CBD Belapur where I stay and already property prices are shooting through the roof, to use a cliché.

That makes me wonder who can afford a flat or a house in Bombay these days unless it has been willed by a parent? How can an ordinary middle-class couple moving into Bombay think of buying a one-bedroom flat at prices ranging from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh? With a loan of course, but what will be left for eating and living after the huge monthly installment has been paid? Even a child’s admission to an ordinary school costs as much as Rs 50,000 these days. And not everyone works in information technology, outsourcing, and media fields where salaries can be assumed to be enough to pay for living an ordinary life.

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