Simple Joys and Battles

One of my good friends stays at BKC. One of the coolest places to live if you ask me especially when there are not many residential complexes. Bandra Kurla Complex is an upmarket corporate zone, housing offices of major corporations including the RBI. So the usual din that surrounds residential localities is absent but not missed. The calm is pleasant and it is fun to watch corporate workers go about their daily tasks in their glass enclosures. Sometimes you even spot a few of them unwinding over a game of ping pong.

But this post is not about BKC. It is about one of the few double decker BEST buses that ply on the roads of Bombay. I am talking about the 310. The lifeline of BKC. It connects Bandra Terminus and the railway station to Kurla zipping across wide roads and neon lit trees. Running packed always this bus transports numerous construction workers to various building sites at BKC. Not to mention several other employees that work in the shiny glass buildings that render BKC it's quintessential identity of a business district.

Today evening, after a good productive session of solving statistics at my friend's place, I took the 310 to get home. The moment I boarded, I felt a sense of nostalgia. The numerous rides to Juhu Beach on the iconic 203 that ran on SV Road flooded my memory. Following my instinct I climbed to the upper deck and went right in the front. With a stray hope that the guy sitting right at the front would get down. But he didn't. Instead the 4th seat(coincidence?) was vacated. With a sigh, I sat down.

It had been a long day indeed. I felt my muscles relax and when I was repeating the adage 'Be content with what you...' when that guy got up. Yes the lucky chap who was sitting on the most coveted seat of the bus. I was thrilled but I didn't want to come across as 6 year old so didn't move. I looked around. Nobody seemed to care. So I stood up and in one long stride took my position. Containing my excitement, I felt the familiar strong breeze smother my face.

Then, came in the view. Nothing looked small but I felt good, towering about the black and yellow autos and of course the Audis and the BMWs that are common sight here. That is the beauty of the road, no matter which car you drive, you drive on the same track as others. Equalizer. As the bus lugged forward, it is considerably slower than the new CNG buses that run I thought. But these are fast enough for that strong gust of wind that is naturally almost absent in the city life.

I pulled out my phone which has a poor camera to capture whatever little I could. And kept clicking snaps at every signal so I could get some steady images. As we turned right onto the Western Express highway, I remembered that we would be crossing Behram Pada, a settlement right next to Bandra Station that had recently caught fire, rendering a lot of people homeless. I wondered how they would be living. And thats when the picture began to roll in. Several makeshift huts with just a tarapulin came into view. Lining every corner of the footpath, there were people eating their dinner inside.

And to my surprise they were happy. Joking and going about their chores as if it were routine. I am sure it was. It is over a month since the fire broke. They are probably still hopeful of some help but have also accepted that there won't be any. I am sure they will rise back like Bombay always does. And that is probably why the government or the Railways have not done anything constructive so far. In my thoughts I missed the stop and I rushed down the stairs. But the bus was always in motion so decided to play it safe.

However, a little further it slowed down and I couldn't control myself from jumping out. So back tracking my way I reached a muddy patch of land that people had built tents on. And many people were walking towards the track. When I looked around, I discovered that it was the only route to the station. The main bridge had been damaged during the fire and was out of bounds. So trudging on the tracks, I finally reached a bridge that took me to platform number 1.

I figured a few things at the end of today. Life's best joys are often most simple. And cheap. The bus ticket cost me 7 bucks but the memories it got back. Priceless. Also most of the battles in life have to be fought alone. Institutions are nothing but people and until the people act, the idea behind an institution is pointless. With these memories, I get back to Statistics. Thank you for accompanying me on the 301.


Ruchi A said…
Your writing has the rates quality of giving people sort of a live walk through demonstration of your should write more often... :)
Rushikesh said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rushikesh said…
I am glad! I will try to but if I have regular readers :P
Anurag said…
Ah this is great stuff man! I always wanted to read about other people enjoying not just moving around in BKC, but also enjoying their stay here!

And with this post - both are quite evident.
Tamanna said…
Interesting article and liked your style...looking forward to more of it!!
T said…
loved some of the photos... the angle and quality makes it feel like im sitting right there next to you staring out of the window up front on the upper deck... :D

nostalgia? hell yeah!

keep it coming... write for the writing... not for the readers... :D
Ani said…
Write for what you want, when you want : D

Cheers to an evening that will remain stored at the back our heads till one of us says

"Arre woh din yaad hain kya?"
Rushikesh said…
Anurag it is always awesome at the Tagat Household. And Anirudh, very true Sir, BKC post September is going to be more of the memories at NABARD house than the gigs. Tamanna, thanks for dropping by.Tulsi, I really wish you were sitting next to me with your camera, would have clicked better snaps! And that comment was for Ruchi, just pulling her leg ;)

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