Caution: Never ask an actor or director to speak his mind, he will never stop. It’s like giving a neta a mic and expecting him to finish his bhashan on time. It’s ingrained in our blood from the industry: “Pretend to be smart and aware”. So I am giving you a heads up — I was going to approach this very intelligently, however, I realised it would not be me but someone I want to portray to the world. So here we go — unadulterated, just how it played out in my head and straight from the hip with manic anger.
What is the one thing that catches your eye, when you look at the city you live in which you would like to change or correct? When someone like Dinesh Raheja asks you this question, you want to be sensible when you answer it! So I pretended to act intelligent and asked for time.
A zillion thoughts raced back and forth in my mind. I seem to crib about everything and hence the show Say it with Kabira which I host on our platform and have a rant every week about what affects me in my day to day life, I call it a rant of a jobless wonder. So why did I title this column Apna time aayega! It’s because I feel these words have an immense amou-nt of meaning and responsibility.
We can crib about everything. If there is a sport introduced in the Olympics for cribbing, we would win every medal up for grabs. We can crib all we want and chant Apna time aayega but are we ready to really change and make a difference? I don’t think so!
Aapka time aa gaya hain! but we fail miserably every day. I want to write about stuff I don’t like but would also like to add where I myself have gone wrong. I feel our infrastructure is a bloody mess. We are going to the moon on space missions—that’s a delight—but why are we training every driver in this city to drive on the moon! There are hardly any roads left, we have to search for the road amongst the potholes.
I don’t know where the BMC gets its pothole count. Take a moment to think about the lives lost to potholes and the count will scare you. 3600 reported precious lives lost in a year. Do we not respect life? Clearly not! The road tax is up every year and for what? No roads! We see boards all across Mumbai saying “Metro for a better future” — sounds good if I survive the present and live to see the future (unlikely with the present condition of our roads).
Construction is in full swing and I am mighty impressed with the speed at which the project is nearing completion. When we were kids, a bridge started when we were born and was completed when we finished college; so this is a big change. I will rough it out for a year more and won’t crib but SIR! Whoever is delivering the project, please note people live around these sites! Maybe take a moment to think about them and stop work and don’t go hammering down their ears late into the night.
We have enough with the horns, calls from religious institutions on loudspeakers and then music from every pandal. To all of you: I love you but not the sound you deliver. I am confused because they even celebrate festivals and diwas I have not even heard of.
Facing the brunt of this is our ears! Give them a break. Besides the sound pollution, they have taken away half the roads, the other half is taken up by parking and whatever is left is beyond driving on. The police could have planned this better and ensured the roads became parking free.
I have taken up a new hobby — boating! The drains, through the monsoons, help convert our streets into rivers and boating seems to be a reality. I am not investing in a car; instead I have bought myself a raft for the monsoons. I refuse to believe we are a developing country: the number of times the roads are dug up and re-laid can only be possible in a country where there is a lot of money to be spared.
I must stop. Where are we with our Apna time gone wrong? Try and not park on streets where there is construction, a little walk won’t kill you. Our roads and drains clearly explain our mindset; we are ugly not by our being but because we don’t want to change things.
We believe we are paying our taxes so we have every right to dirty the city we live in. Try and keep our religious sentiments to ourselves and not let others suffer at our happiness. Gods want to take a break, just for your information, tired with the blatant use of loudspeakers and Bollywood songs we beat out to him.
The next time, try and respect the amenities and not damage them or crib about them. We have allowed ourselves to be who we are — so irresponsible and with a careless attitude. Don’t say Apna time aayega! Think! Aapka time aa gaya hain to make a change...only you can do it!
Co-ordinated by Dinesh Raheja