Monday, May 17, 2010
I started walking from GTB Nagar Station. CGS colony was still two miles away. I love walking. Crossing the overbridge, I saw poor people sleeping on the pavement. A young mother was trying to cover herself and her daughter in a net. How do they sleep with the train thundering past below them every three minutes? May be they sleep after midnight when the trains stop. May be they are used to it so much that they won't feel sleepy unless two three trains pass by. I was indifferent.
There was a big jam building up on the road towards Antop Hill. No point taking a bus now ! I walked past the traffic policemen who were trying to manage the unmanageable. There was a stretch of small shops selling from juice to oil and offering from hair-cut to massage - all kind of services. Gradually on the left a hillock came up with a temple right on top of it. It was beautiful against the backdrop of a full moon. I started looking for a path. There were several gullies created by little homes made on the foothills of the hillock. I ventured into one. The gully was wide enough for me. Another person would have to stop at a corner for me to pass. Fortunately there was nobody. It was 10 PM. I could see through the creeks into the houses. There was a tube-light, few little children and a TV. What is a TV doing here and how did they bring it in?
The gully started ascending. There were houses still there on both the sides. However now it was much more open with the sky visible. I climbed further. It was sweating hot. That's one of the problems with Mumbai. Once you sweat, you won't be able to dry it - not even under a fan. The temple was getting closer. Another turn and I would be there.
I stood there on the front yard of the temple. GTB Nagar and beyond was visible. It was a harsh view - the land had elevated a further level and had accommodated thousands and thousands of slum dwellers within itself. The full moon was not helping. It could have not been there. The view might not have been visible to naked eyes. I would have been saved those painful moments. It took me a minute but I was indifferent again.
Walking down I came out on the road at the point where the jam had started building up. A truck was standing there innocuously keeping the road three way jammed. I started walking again - towards my two bed room apartment - faster. I had to complete a couple of chapters from Shantaram tonight.