Vantage point

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Few Bloglets

A collation of a few "bloglets", not big enough to be posts by themselves.

Managed to travel in a local train with the new bogies(rakes?). Quite a welcome change. Of course, the train was still crowded, but the white-and-blue-and-metal-grey combination makes for much more sober and calming surroundings than the yellow-and-brown which the locals have become synonymous with. Hope all the old rakes are phased out and replaced by new ones. If the GoI has money to buy air conditioned swanky metros for Delhi, surely it can spare some change to change the conditions of those travelling in locals.


I hear a young boy chanting his hawker-chant at another end of the compartment. He goes - "dame-dame-dame-dame-dame-dame...". I crane my neck to see what is being sold. It's a boy not older than 8-9 years selling the newspaper 'Mid Day'. Mid Day becomes "dame-dame-dame". The hawker chants in India which are pronounced so differently from the name of the wares they are supposed to hawk, can surely be a topic for doctoral research.


Outside the Mahalaxmi Railway Station, there is a bus-stop. The stretch of the road adjacent to the bus-stop is designated a no-parking zone. A lady, oblivious to this fact, stands there and waves for a taxi. The taxi comes and stops right on the no-parking zone. Unluckily for the cabbie, a Mumbai Police Van is right behind him. I expect him to be censured, fined, etc. But the havaldar gets down and slaps the taxi-driver, yelling at him for stopping at a no-parking zone.

Imagine, that's a representative of the Indian state greets the taxi driver. With a tight slap. I wonder if the havaldar would have done the same to a well-dressed man driving a gleaming Santro. My guess is, not.

From the valley of the Narmada to the upscale no-parking zones of South Mumbai, the biggest nemesis of the underprivileged in this country remains the Indian state.


Two men discussing the violent fall-out of Dr. Rajkumar's death in Bangalore.

"Saala ek filmstar ke liye? Dada Kondke marney pe kisine Mumbai jalaya tha kya?"