Monday, July 14, 2008

Caught in a Traffic Jam a Few Miles Long

I didn’t quite realize the extent of the mess. I was on the way to Thane via Kanjurmarg and since the company’s transport was available, I decided to take it. The bus crawled along the Powai Lake and there before me was an unforgettable sight. I was in shock. For miles before us, along the periphery of the Lake was the road our bus would have to traverse. This road was probably a few miles in diameter, and till the eye could see in the distance, along the road I was travelling was the worst traffic jam I have seen for a long time. A long line of vehicles, hardly moving, hardly stirring.

Forget reaching my destination, I would be lucky to reach Kanjurmarg station. I call and cancel the appointment. I have never seen such a traffic snarl in my life, and worst part was there wasn’t a traffic cop in sight.

Cars are a sign of prosperity, an announcement that one has arrived. But seeing the pile up I began wondering if I would have the guts to buy one. I don’t know how people can convince themselves to own one. People frustrated from sitting inside buses were walking.

There were the strains of old Hindi songs on the speaker.

Still no signs of cops! Where could they be?

The driver takes a diversion through Hiranandani. Suddenly we are at an intersection, the four roads of it are tightly gridlocked with vehicles. And then I see him, yes, a traffic cop, holding a walkie-talkie thingy. Who is he talking to? He stands there limp of limbs and expression as traffic cops are wont to do.

At last, a cop! Though a very ineffective and lazy one.

I put my cellphone out and take a picture, which I will post here later.

Meanwhile the letter to Lalloo, the railway secretary, the general manager, Central Railway and the general manager, Western Railway, are off on their way to their destinations. Will write here about what happened next, if at all.

No comments: