Yesterday, February 13, 2014, I had the misfortune of driving from Andheri East (MIDC) via Dharavi to home. It was an awful drive and thank God for the multiple FM stations, the phone with bluetooth and the AC that kept me company throughout the ordeal. It took me a good 90 minutes to drive the distance which under normal conditions would take me a third.
The bottleneck at Kherwadi junction was so bad that traffic had backed up all the way to the Vakola flyover. I wondered if all idiots like me were suddenly out on the road at the same time. Raised tempers raised, frayed nerves, you name it and it was all visible in abundance. Seriously driving is so stressful now in Mumbai!!! And the new crop of drivers is no better either. I used to think that Mumbai has the most disciplined traffic in India but how wrong I was. Drivers just think they all have the right of way any and everywhere. (my friend, Kiran will say the same thing for me but no I AM definitely better off) Two wheelers honestly are a bane anywhere. No I am not looking down upon them after all I am a fellow cyclist but the motorised two wheeler population think they can go ANYWHERE and I mean it. Most of them break the laws with impunity and think they are consistently right! When you are in the midst of bumper to bumper traffic you feel like taking a machine gun and getting rid of all these 2 wheelers who get in every possible nook and corner of the road. I mean it.
By the time I got home yesterday, was so tired that had dinner and slept like a log even as I was talking to Kavya. Sad but true.
Thankfully in Delhi I sometimes make use of the metro and AirPort Express. I find I can travel from one point to another without worrying about the traffic outside or the pollution. Yes it is crowded sometimes depending on the hour of travel but far better than the maddening traffic. Unfortunately the local trains in Mumbai are just not conducive to travel in even in the first class. Why can’t we have a world-class public transport system? Singapore has a damn good one. Delhi metro is good too and Bangalore AC buses are good too. Why can’t we just have a mix of Delhi and Bangalore in Mumbai? Lack of political will I guess. Mumbai May have the monorail and the upcoming metro but no plans to improve the local trains which are then lifeline of Mumbai? Beats me!! But honestly I am frustrated.