An off-track idea
Our sutradhaars give a double thumbs down to the possible reintroduction of the tram service around their favourite parts of Bombay
"Pheroze, I've been noticing, that after the initial hype around my restored beauty, I seem to be facing some competition from my neighbour…" uttered Lady Flora, sounding a tad jealous. "What nonsense, Lady! You are the epitome of grace. How could you imagine such things? Don't tell me certain elements are making you feel unhappy. Just say the word and I will…" thundered her loyal friend, Sir PM, but she cut him short by saying, "There's no need to take any action against anyone. I was referring to the tram track that is displayed right beside my pedestal within the enclosure; modern-day tourists seem to be taking a fancy to it. They seem piqued by this reminder of public transport from back in the day," she commented.
"Well, you needn't have to worry, Lady. I've read that some of the gods at my former workplace have mooted a plan that will be of more interest to them," shared Sir PM. "Come to the point, Pheroze. What's it that you're hiding from me?" Lady Flora wasn't one to let go that easily. Buckling under the weight of another interrogation, Sir PM shared, "So, I chanced upon a copy of this tabloid sometime back where the front page splashed news of a plan to bring back the trams. They might introduce it right here. It's such an illogical step in these times of quick transport and lack of space."
"My goodness, is this true? Have they lost their marbles? Where is the space to introduce another means of public transport, when we are barely able to have these roads in decent shape? From where I stand, all I can see is mayhem, incessant honking and pedestrians struggling for survival. Is this some kind of a trick to woo tourists?" exclaimed Lady Flora; her smooth face was looking a bit wrinkled. Sir PM halted in his stride - they were standing right outside Lion Gate - and took a moment to soak in the views. "You are right, Lady. I really wonder where will they lay this track, if at all this plan gets the nod. I feel it might just be this very stretch where we are standing on right now. In fact, it's the one good road that hasn't been touched by this civic madness that we've been witnessing for ages now; oh, and where will we find a path to walk if this happens?" wondered Sir PM, going into semi-panic mode.
They noticed old friend Dr Viegas approaching them. His bald pate made him easily recognisable "Ah! There you two are," the genial doctor greeted his friends. "What brings you to these parts, Viegas? Way past bedtime, no?" enquired Sir PM. "Doctor's orders, Mehta. Lack of exercise, I've been told." Sir PM wondered who would be the doctor to the revered doctor. But that was for another time. They had more interesting topics to discuss. "Have you heard that they are toying with the idea of bringing back trams?" revealed Sir PM.
"So, I was right! There were murmurs in Dhobi Talao; in fact, I overhead Rodrigues and Souza speak about it near the mutton shop. I hope the report doesn't get approved. Bombay will go to the dogs; enough of the island city has been dug up," he said, emphatically. Hoping to egg him to resume his walk, Lady Flora swooped in, "Viegas, I'm sure it's still a long way for us to start fretting about this. I think it will be ages; what with their hands full with the mega monster that's broken up the town – above and below the ground," she said, sarcastically, hoping both would catch on to her comment. They did get it but felt that it was best to wait and watch.
"…oh and another thing - do get your hands on that wonderfully buzzing city tabloid that gave us this news. It's mid-day. Gargoyle tells me that vintage folk like us seem to be finding mention among its pages often," Sir PM smiled, as they bid goodbye to Viegas and headed out for another moonlit walk around the corners and contours of Colaba.
mid-day's Features Editor Fiona Fernandez relishes the city's sights, sounds, smells and stones...wherever the ink and the inclination takes her. She tweets @bombayana Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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