Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Blogging - Business As Usual

Sunday Blogging
I am inspired. I am motivated to write. Recently one of my friends who runs a theatre company asked me to write something for me and I went back and submitted few of my stories. The good news is he accepted those stories and soon would go into production. Now I am planning to write something (actually anything) on this blog and would hope my readers would like them.  I will call this Sunday Blogging because on all other days I will concentrate on Poems/poetry only. So here we go. I will continue with this topic depending on feedback. All my subject would remain close to my Blog theme - We all get dirty at times and needs some cleansing ( I am dirty; I need washing)


 Business as usual
18:00 Hrs

I have made it a habit of taking a 15 minutes break at this hour. My colleague would join me to the Irani Tea Shop behind the office in Malad West. We do have a Canteen in the 5th floor just outside my work floor but we prefer to take a long walk to the Irani Tea Shop which also becomes a temporary getaway from the busy mundane activities in the office. All 3 of us have made it a habit for the last 6 months and I remember there are times when I had postponed client calls at that hour to ensure we do not miss that 15 minutes.

Today we are also joined by a new manager who joined us 3 days back and though he is not happy to leave the AC in this Mumbai Summer he had to walk through the parking lot and than through the garden to the main road where the Tea Shop lies. We take this road because it saves at least 4 minutes which is great considering the break is not more than 15 minutes and at times we stretch by another 5 or 6 minutes. We took our Cups and started our usual discussions on varied topics forgetting the 1st half of the day which would also give us the energy for the next half.

Today is little different; though the crowd is usual there is some restlessness among the shopkeepers and the owner of all the illegal makeshift Dosa, Idli, Sandwich Maker and so one. Being a new addition to the Mumbai Crowd I find it amazing when my colleague informed me that the person in the cycle selling Idli makes more than 2000 Rupee per day; however, he hardly takes home 700-800 after paying to the local police and other expenses. It is hard to believe that a cycle carrying few cylindrical tubes and pots makes so much money when in my place back in Assam; a proper shop in prominent locality struggles to make that much . Few of the shopkeepers who were occupying a major part of the road now vanished behind the permanent shops located in the corner. The team of Panipuri vendors disappeared in 5 minutes and I also saw few of the helpers from the already shut shops providing support and help to the people with bigger stalls and larger utensils. The Tea shop however is permanent and is not involved in any of these activities. We normally stand by the road side to drink our tea and these also give us some freedom to breath in the already packed tea shop. My Colleague informed me that some sort of Police raid is going to happen and hence the commotion. I have been coming to this place for a long time and notice the Police Van everyday. I am not sure why they are doing it today; what prompted them?

Anyway after the clean up job done by the shop owners and their helpers I saw something which I could not have imagined with all those tents and make shit roofs smearing the visibility beyond 30 meters. The road is now broad and the traffic is flowing smoothly. I am not sure of the fate of the makeshift shops from tomorrow and felt bad about the future of the owners and their family. However I also feel that the law should not be taken for granted and if they are facing such problem this is their fault. There is no hubbub today in the street and without the traffic Jam the area looks better and there is less pollution. Millions of litres of Gasoline might has been wasted up due to the traffic Jam created in this part of Malad because few of the haughty shopkeepers thought that they can make better use of the Government.

The Police Van came with more number of cops than usual. There was a huge truck following the Police Van and the driver parked the truck in the parking lot beside the Tea shop which till few minutes back was occupied by more than ten nondescript makeshift stalls and kiosk selling various food items. Few young but strong men got down form the truck and picked up few of the items lying on the road which the owners and helpers could not manage to carry. Pieces of Broken chairs and tables, few utensils, buckets and a large drum which use to store water were among the more prominent things that were stuffed in the waiting truck.

One of the Police man entered something in his log book and they left in 20 minutes. “If they could do this week at least Mumbai would be much cleaner city” I thought.
All three of us are happy today as I told them that going forward we can get my car for the evening tea which would save more time or rather give us more time to enjoy our evening tea and talks. The new manager felt relieved because of my proposal. With the parking lot visible now I somehow imagined my car parked in the area where the huge truck was parked. We went back happy thinking that and also ended up discussing the changing mindset of modern Indian and how corruptions and other such things are coming to the lime light and even the PM is not spared these days.

“We are working in the true spirit and principal of democracy and our children would definitely have a better future” one of the managers said.

“With corruption coming down I think our Income Tax which falls among the highest in the world should be cut down to half as more than half of our income goes to the politicians pocket which get stacked in some Swiss Bank which only the WIKI guys knows” the other grumbled.

We have reached the 5th floor of our building and time to move to our respective cubicle and get busy with our 2nd half of the day. “Business as usual” here.

18:00 Hrs

A new day and a new evening and today will be a better one. We will have more time to spend; less commotion and maybe we will have our tea at my car today as that way we can keep the AC on and enjoy our tea too. I smiled at this thought.

We took the main road leading to the tea shop as the short cut can be taken only on foot. I was finding it difficult to move ahead because of the long traffic jam and the irritating honking was unavoidable and is adding to the affliction.

“Some accident; maybe” one of the managers said casually.
“Yes…possible; there is no other reason for a traffic jam with the vendors out”
“Accidents never happens everyday and today is an exception; we will have better days going ahead” I said.

We waited and have already wasted 10 minutes from our break and have not even moved 10 meters.

After struggling for 10 more minutes and taking the turn to the tea shop I tried moving my car to the parking area beside the coffee shop; but I could not. I have not noticed the vendors who are back and this time occupying more area of the street.

It’s Business as usual in this law fearing land.
Shamsud A
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