Mumbai Diary page: Sunday shorts
The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
A bus or a nightmare?
One look at these pictures and you could decide for yourself what commuters have to deal with, when they board a Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Transport (KDMT) bus.
Broken windows and creaky chairs on a Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Transport bus
From broken windows to bonnet covers secured by strings, most of the buses are in a deplorable condition. “We clean the buses ourselves when we bring them to the depot. Even the chairs are wobbly.
The gears secured by a string. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar
Nobody is bothered about the condition of the buses — neither the corporators, nor the KDMT commisioner,” a conductor said, adding that many drivers and conductors have not been paid salaries since two-three months.
A press conference held to announce the Jiyo Parsi programme’s advertising campaign (an initiative to arrest the decline in numbers of Parsis) was held recently at the Cama Oriental Institute in South Mumbai (opposite Lion’s Gate).
Perizaad Zorabian at the Jiyo Parsi meet. Pic/Khushnum Bhandari
Actor Perizaad Zorabian is the campaign’s brand ambassador. The campaign is multi-pronged and advocates infertility treatment, early marriage and multiple children.
Talking of multiple children, Perizaad, mother of two, was jokingly told she should have more children. “Noooo,” squealed the actor in mock horror about having more kids. “I already have two, that’s quite enough.”
Then, she revealed that whenever somebody tells her husband, Boman, that they should have more children, he turns to the actor and laughingly says, “Perizaad, tu kayi kar nee (Perizaad, do something).” The audience was in splits at that one.
Space and time
Mumbai is a strange village. It’s either hot, hotter or hottest, and perspiration goes hand-in-hand with breathing. It can be unbearable at times, too. For the record, about 70 per cent of Mumbai’s population lives in slums and the rest complains about harsh living conditions!
The crowded local trains are one of those marvels where every single millimetre of space matters and people literally breathe into each others’ lungs and you’re just a fart away from asphyxiation. It’s like a never-ending struggle against one self. Against time. Against space. These are the faceless folks who know nothing other than the hard-learned art of survival under the sweltering sun.
It’s safe to say that Mumbai is bursting not only at the seams but at the very centre too. A recent research report suggested that Mumbai is no longer the preferred migration spot with Navi Mumbai and Mira-Bhayander overtaking it, as these two places experienced an annual growth rate of migrants at 4.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively over the last decade, while Mumbai showed just 0.5 per cent.
Honestly, we couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief. It gives us the slight hope that maybe one day in the near future, we won’t have to push and shove our way through the city.