The year that’s about to end hasn’t quite been the happiest, ‘bestest’ of all time, has it? Mumbai has had to deal with the sad truth that it’s as unsafe a city for women as Delhi.
The promises of world-class infrastructure and transportation have almost all remained unfulfilled. The God of cricket hung up his boots. Corruption at every level of the state government depressed us even more. And even the vegetables acted pricey.
But let all that not get us down. For up ahead is 2014, a year that promises so much fun and excitement, that we are already planning a party. The year of the Aam Aadmi will probably also be the best year for Mumbai in many a year.
How do we know all this though? Well, here’s the secret: we don’t! But then hope springs eternal, doesn’t it?
After 66 years of promises and broken promises, the Aam Aadmi (that’s the trending phrase, after all) is tired of listening to political rhetoric about what’s wrong with the country.
They know it better than netas who have forgotten what a trafficjam looks like, who still think a lunch in Mumbai costs Rs 10 and who (with some honourable exceptions), don’t know the difference between geometry and geography, since they’ve never dealt with either.
We want solutions. We want good news to happen to us. We want to be proud of our city, to feel safe when we step out.
We want to invite friends over to a city with a fabulous beachside promenade. We want great food, a vibrant-again nightlife, a new god of cricket, eco-friendly cars, infrastructure which works, justice to be seen as delivered and so much more.
We wish we could get a cleaner city where spitting was a penal offence, and while we are at it, why not wish TV programmingto make more sense?
Shouldn’t reality show stars be fined for lying on camera? Why can’t celebs make up their minds aboutwho they were in love with for at least six months?
We can almost hear you say: “Oh, c’mon! Be serious. Do you really expect all that to happen?” To that we say, the best way to live life is to hope, be happy, to come up with great ideas, hope some of them become realities. And then continue to be happy and hope.
So we at Sunday Mid Day figured it would be a good idea to give wings to our imagination and lay down a wish list for our politicians, bureaucrats, industrial big wigs, sports stars, film actors and indeed for all citizens for 2014.
Nah! They are not prescriptive. Nor are they preachy. We seriously don’t expect the ‘leaders’ -- mostly a bunch of people who spend the better part of the year stashing their illegal cash into illegal houses and illegal bank accounts, to do much for this city. But to lose hope is sinful. To have hope in people like us is what will keep us going (and the crazy ideas flowing).
As you turn the pages you will come across our wish list, some, which may raise an eyebrow or two and others, which you will read and say, “Sure, let’s get together to start working on this today.” We hope we have discussed more such ideas and thoughts that will get you up from your armchair and galvanise you into action.
So here’s a sneak peak at our wishlist: our beaches will look prettier; skywalkers will have walkalators; Virat Kohli will start behaving like Sachin Tendulkar and Sachin will write his autobiography. Spitters will be sent to jail and nightclubs will be open till 4 am.
Bouncers will wear Dhoble masks and a crack police team will drive Harley Davidson bikes to nab rapists and molesters. Ram Gopal Varma will make a hit film and Shah Rukh Khan will get richer. An Indian restaurant will be ranked among the best in Asia and Chetan Bhagat will win the Man Booker Prize. This and a lot more, is what we see on our magic crystal ball.
Do you like what you read? All those in favour say Aye! Oh what the hell. All of us are in favour of any change that is for the better. So without much ado, turn the page and… hop on to the Dreamland Express.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2014.
PS: Before we sign off, don’t forget to read about Sunday Mid Day’s pick of the top 10 wonderful people and initiatives to watch out for in the coming year (pages 14-15) and the last four pages where we have given you an extensive choice of places to go to and things to do, watch and enjoy in the coming months.