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Dial 100.. sorry, you are in queue

india Updated: Aug 27, 2009 17:12 IST
Aryan vaid

My house is being renovated. That’s the greatest inconvenience I’ve faced in a long, long time. My shoots have been delayed, so it gives me a lot of time to ponder over little things in life whilst I am dealing with the bigger issues that confront me now — the colour for my walls, the tiles in the bathrooms and so on.

I’m also worried if the labourers will show up on time tomorrow. So while I’m driving from one showroom to the next in this crazy city, I wonder about the ironies of life in Mumbai?

All of us complain about bad roads, yet we are confronted by dug up roads at the onset of monsoons. Not only will they add to the inconvenience but also because of the monsoons, it will take longer to be fixed.

The other irony is the colour of the taxis and auto rickshaws. Their black colour makes them almost invisible at nights on badly lit roads. Try spotting an auto at night when it is raining heavily. It’s almost as if you are driving peacefully and suddenly you notice an auto which is too close for comfort, appearing out of nowhere. Why do they have to be black and yellow? Why couldn’t they be white? It would make it easier to spot them. But then again, why would anything be an irony if it made perfect sense?

Why do we have such an amazing coastline if we can’t really use it? I step outside my house in Juhu and see a really long stretch of beach.. and the only use for it we can think of is to have some horribly unclean food joints.

Why can’t we have more use for the beach, like the city of Miami does? They have beautiful restaurants, bars, affordable shacks and water sports. Why can’t we find a way to use the ocean to develop affordable transportation in the city?

The solution
It would ease the burden of traffic on the roads and make our lives easier. But I don’t think we’ll see it happening soon. Yet another irony that I’ve never been able to understand about this country is, it rains a lot in one part of the country and causes floods while there is drought in some other part. Is there no way to channelise the excess water from one part to the other to avoid floods and use it in the drought-hit parts?

Every year, Gujarat has floods while parts of Uttar Pradesh face drought. If the solution is right there, how come no one seems to be working on the obvious? And yes, here’s something seriously ironical.

I was stuck in a traffic jam near Milan Subway. When I called the only police number I knew — 100 — a recorded voice kept telling me to be patient and that I would soon be attended to. Thank god, I didn’t have to report an emergency?

Well, that’s ironical. How can a recorded voice ask someone to be patient during a potentially dangerous situation? I can go on pointing out different ironies of life — some small, some big — and some that lead to huge losses of life and tragedies. But I think the biggest irony is — we, the people — because we put up with all the incompetence, inefficiency and terrorist attacks in the hope that everything will be good some day. A rather unfortunate irony indeed!