A city that I used to call home: Bombay

Posted on Jun 26 2012 - 10:04am by Tarun Kishnani (K.T)

I still live in the same house that I was born in, not much has changed in the building or even the house for that matter, except for gadgets which are now modern. There’s a flat television, there’s a Massage Chair (one really needs to make room for a monster like Massage chair in an average home), there’s a modern kitchen & WI-FI. But what’s unchanged is surprisingly the layout, the electrical settings, switches and the electrical appliances.

What are getting added to this house are Electronic gadgets but the entire basic infrastructure is just about the same. Reminds you of something, yes it reminds me of my City, the skyline of the city has changed there are modern buildings with modern facilities like basement parking, Garbage shoots, rooftop Swimming pools, remote controlled homes and what not. The owners of these flats who are obviously the superrich own some of the most expensive set of wheels, no less than some of their counterparts in the west.

Just like my home where we have all the modern electronic gadgets, we don’t seem to have the electrical sockets that support so many electronic gadgets. To avoid redoing the house we either use modern adapters or extensions cords or even make shift arrangements like spike guards, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and so many other arrangements. Our city might have got its share of Modern buildings with Ultra modern residents but the pipe that supplies water to these very own is as old as maybe the sum of the age of all the residents of the house. The drainage system that carries waste from these modern kitchens and bathrooms is as old as Independent India. The most shocking thing which most residents of this city wouldn’t know is the sewage and the waste disposal system, we dump waste in the same place (Deonar) since way back in 1927! The dumping ground is estimated to be 8-9 stories high, all this in the heart of the city. Due to no segregation of waste it has caused BIO-gas to be released causing fires and polluting the environment even more. The other waste disposal is borne by one of the shortest rivers in the world called the Mithi River which has to take the pain of disposing of the rest. The river is more like a large sewage drain and it drains so sluggishly into the sea.

The number of homes that are getting built in this city still doesn’t ease of the problem of the real estate prices in the city. Even after the fact that the city has substandard infrastructure it still continues to thrive with real estate prices raging. I don’t want to begin to talk about real estate prices as of now because it’s a tea time conversation for many living here. Maybe some other article that I write might see me writing about real estate prices. The lifeline of the city hasn’t had much change since the British laid the rail system here in the city. The trains today are so crowded, that it gives a reminiscence of what Hitler’s idea of a daily punishment would have been to a Jew before he was sent to the gas chamber in the middle of holocaust.

I have a very fond memory of the  early to Mid -90’s when the cities streets used to be washed with water from tankers, I mean today that would be such a waste cause there’s a shortage of drinking water, forget water for washing and cleaning. There’s so much water that’s now being used to fill up the number of large swimming pools of individual societies and the number of big cars that need to washed everyday that we need another 5-6 Catchment reservoirs the size of Vaitarna to fulfil just the basic needs of water for this city.

The politics of the state and the centre have overpowered the betterment of basic infrastructure. So has the quality of life improved from the last two decades that India has been growing rapidly? Are the power, water, drainage and road & rail infrastructure glooms of this city being addressed to? The answer to all this maybe NO.

What’s driving the city then, the people of this city who are resilient, and will bare all odds go to work and try to make this city liveable again. Do you think the residents of this city might loose their patience and resilience one day? I hope NO, cause that’s the only thing left of this city today.

About the Author

Is a stock markets professional, Engineer by education, Fun & adventurous by nature & (traveller, reader, writter) by virtue. Born & brought up in Mumbai, India which has a strong influence on him. Youll get to know more about him and his personality from his Articles & posts :-)