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The news so far

Mr.R and I are in India for a few days. It’s hot here – temperatures hover around 32C, which isn’t too bad, really. On Facebook, I’m informed that we missed the snow over the weekend. I’m happy and sad at the same time.

My Mumbai hasn’t changed a bit. Even the dug up roads and endless flyover constructions are familiar. There’s work going on everywhere – from old buildings being demolished and towers springing up in their place to shiny new malls frequented by everybody with a free moment to spare. The air conditioning and the prospect of walking through a shop without being hassled appeals.

From my bedroom, I can hear school boys play cricket in the heat. Cheers and calls waft through to the sixth floor. Auto rickshaws whiz past sleepy stray dogs. A clock goes tick tick somewhere.

********
The papers are full of the usual news. Politicians causing havoc, cabinet reshuffles, allegations and the page three people on all other pages. Monday the 7th was No-Honking Day. Strangely enough, the media came across as rather negative about it. Surprisingly, it was the traffic police who were all enthusiastic about it. They were reported to have been forcibly putting stickers on cars, whether owners wanted them or not. The day was an expected non-starter with almost no change in decibel levels. For a country that has to deal with bad roads, bad driving habits and endless pedestrians in the roads, honking is a survival tactic. I can understand the reluctance of the drivers to go with the good intentions of the police. If you’ve lived in a quiet place, you know the difference noise can make to your life. Maybe the city needs to stay off the roads for a day. See what difference silence makes – would that change the way we drive?

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The news so far

Mr.R and I are in India for a few days. It’s hot here – temperatures hover around 32C, which isn’t too bad, really. On Facebook, I’m informed that we missed the snow over the weekend. I’m happy and sad at the same time.

My Mumbai hasn’t changed a bit. Even the dug up roads and endless flyover constructions are familiar. There’s work going on everywhere – from old buildings being demolished and towers springing up in their place to shiny new malls frequented by everybody with a free moment to spare. The air conditioning and the prospect of walking through a shop without being hassled appeals.

From my bedroom, I can hear school boys play cricket in the heat. Cheers and calls waft through to the sixth floor. Auto rickshaws whiz past sleepy stray dogs. A clock goes tick tick somewhere.

********
The papers are full of the usual news. Politicians causing havoc, cabinet reshuffles, allegations and the page three people on all other pages. Monday the 7th was No-Honking Day. Strangely enough, the media came across as rather negative about it. Surprisingly, it was the traffic police who were all enthusiastic about it. They were reported to have been forcibly putting stickers on cars, whether owners wanted them or not. The day was an expected non-starter with almost no change in decibel levels. For a country that has to deal with bad roads, bad driving habits and endless pedestrians in the roads, honking is a survival tactic. I can understand the reluctance of the drivers to go with the good intentions of the police. If you’ve lived in a quiet place, you know the difference noise can make to your life. Maybe the city needs to stay off the roads for a day. See what difference silence makes – would that change the way we drive?

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