When I decided to buy this mug at the Kala Ghoda Fest last year, I bought it for two reasons-
a- I looorve ceramics, no matter what their colours, shape, size or utility. If I like it, I buy it. Resultantly, I have an eclectic collection of cups,saucers, plates, pots that I hoard but hardly ever use.
b- I thought it represented an integral albeit detested aspect of Mumbai’s life very well. And it possessed the kind of creativity that appealed to me.
What I didn’t realise while making the purchase was that the mug would, in a sense, change my life. Shortly after buying the mug, I changed my job. This made me switch from using the reliable and fast local train to the painfully slow and usually unpredictable bus. Facing the infamous Mumbai traffic thus became a twice a day battle for me. It almost made me wish I could go back to the stinky, over crowded, claustrophobia inducing local trains. I can’t deny travelling in a company bus is infinitely better than a BEST bus, but there is a limit to the patience one possesses. It’s hard to make a hobby out of counting blue cars, especially if you are 26! Watching serpentine lines of assorted vehicles can hold ones attention for only so much time, after which standing amid a sea of vehicles, inhaling the acidic smell of heavily polluted air just gets too much to take. Two months into the job, I came to the realisation that in some situations, we have no options, and so we take whatever life chooses to dish out at us. In my case it dished out a nicer job and threw in horrid traffic to balance out the situation. We can’t have a perfect everything, right? It’s unfair to others. 😉 and whatever would happen to Murphy and his law??
I accepted my fate and told my self that weekends would be traffic-stress-free days for me. How bad can traffic get in a satellite city? Not bad at all. Or so I though. Last Sunday’s experience rubbished all my fundas about living in a weekend-traffic-free city.
On Sunday evening, we set out to visit a near by mall to buy groceries. This mall, which is literally a stone’s throw away from our house, takes about 5-7 minutes on foot and about the same by car. But if it’s your unlucky day you could well be spending over 35 minutes to get there by car! I kid you not. We actually spent a little over 35 minutes to get to this mall. Thanks to a festival a temple in the neighbourhood had organised, everyone who possesses even the slightest devotion to Lord Krishna had descended on our hapless sector- chocking the roads with cars, vans, mini-buses and big buses and with sauntering people of all ages. The Municipal Corporation chose to add its share to the chaos by digging the roads to lay down God only know what pipes just a few days before to ensure that the work would be mid way, when what seemed like a quarter of the population of Mumbai would came visiting. Driving at speeds (if you can call it that) between 5 and 10 kmph, we reached the mall, only to be told that the underground parking was full. The shopping took us just 40 minutes and the trip back home another 35 minutes. Generally I find shopping quite exhausting (yeah, yeah, some of us are that way) but this time it was the travel that killed me.
After yesterday’s experience, I am going to give up driving. Forever. Oooh wait! May be its mug I need to get rid of, not the driving!