On my way to work today, I saw a sight that almost tore my heart.
Anyone who has been to or even passed by Dadar train station knows how crazy the place is! It is swarming with people. Infact, swarming is an understatement. There is no word that aptly & sufficiently defines Dadar station - it is simply a phenomenon to be experienced.
I usually take the Mahim-Dadar TT route to work (so I don't pass Dadar station) but today I took Tulsi Pipe Road as I had to drop my roommate along the way. Both are just as bad but Tulsi Pipe Road takes about 15-20 minutes longer because of the bottleneck infront of Kamla Mills & the excruciatingly long traffic light right before Phoenix Mills!
Outside Dadar station I saw about ten people, men & women, fighting with each other to get inside a cab. And I mean a physical fight. They all ran behind the cab, and when it slowed down, they started pushing & shoving each other to get inside. It was a painful sight & it made me question whether living in Bombay is worth all the hardships people have endure.
People are packed like sardines in local trains, commuting by road is a nightmare thanks to the constantly deteriorating traffic situation in the city, most people can't travel by cab as it is fairly expensive. We pay astronomical amounts as rent that make non-Mumbaikar's eyes fall out of their sockets when they hear of it, yet live in flats the size of shoeboxes. The air we breathe in is saturated with all the pollutants one can possibly think of. We frequently read of leakages from sewage pipes into pipes carrying potable water, in the newspaper. The infrastructure is crumbling as the city is bursting at its seems with people. Everyday is a fight for survival. Is this the life that we want for ourselves? Is this the life we want to give to our kids?
Irrespective of how great a city Bombay is, this is a question all of us living in this "great ruined metropolis" (in Salman Rushdie's words) must ask ourselves - is it all really worth it at the end of the day?