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Friday, August 24, 2007

A Pilgrilm through mumbai continued....


I’ve got tried all conveyance options available between thane and Andheri. These days I use a combination of them. Indeed my favorite is local trains; when there is a bit of low rush. Local trains in Mumbai are fast and pollution free; and from childhood days I loved trains.
Trains have a wonderful level of fascination to people. I remember my childhood days; it was not that frequent for me to travel through train. Instances of train with red coaches ( by the way red coaches are on a merge of extinction, now 90% of trains are colored in shades of blue) at humayunpur and over-bridge railway crossing in Gorakhpur was a fascination to watch. Gazing and chasing railway tracks with occasional instances were filled in the boredoms of bus journeys. I remember one such rare journey between Barailley and Nainital; where a large sum of Kilometers of road was adjacent to meter gauge railway track. Irony to my life! I’ve never ever travelled in meter guage trains.


Back to the pilgrim in Mumbai! If you travel through any of the three nerves of Mumbai (harbor, Central or Western) during non-peak hours; it will be a complete paradise. My first experience to Mumbai local was such a good experience; when I took and changed Harbour Locals from Andheri till Kharghar in the summers of 2006. Got seat and eventually window seat, and was amaged to see Thane Creek before Vashi. That sea water was unexpected sight,by virtue of that much long rail and road bridge. By the way, an extension of Thane creek is seen from my home in Thane.


But Thane has its own Chowpatti, a lake which is visited by folks in evening time. This place has its name but better call it Thane Ka chowpatti. Thane ka chowpatti is near to railway station and these days an overbridge project is commissioned on one of its side. To add glory to its view it has two man made islands. The one in center can be reached through boat, and it looks fabulous in night when the green plantation of this island shines in yellow light. Each and every color of idols, decoration and plantation comes to life in the effect of yellow flashlights surrounded by opacity of lake water in night.


Thane is full of fabulous views, another such view is the mountain seen from my living room. Sanjay Gandhi National Park begins from this mountain only which is hardly a kilometer away (that point is Tikujini Wadi). One can see a big green velvet cover over the hill, this grassland, herbs and shrubs between rocks and trees add up a million dollar value to the beauty of the hill. There are many such mind blowing sights in Thane.


There is one hill in Vikhroli, which haunted me a year back when I was a traveler in Harbour line route. I used to wonder in which part of Mumbai is there a hill with so many lights. Over the eastern side of Hiranandani Gardens, there is a hill which is home to many people. During night, when these people switch on their lights, it appears as a mountain of lights; and viewed till greater distances like eastern expressway and Habour line (before Vashi) and from Airolli (Harbour Line). Between Thane and Airolli too there are many spectacular views.


The stretch of Powai Lake, which is stretched more by the traffic congestion during rush hours. Powai Lake reminds me about the great RamGarhTaal in Gorakhpur. The two great lakes that I’ve seen are NainiTaal and RamgarhTaal. Naini Taal is great because of its uniqueness which resembles an enormous natural glass of water; happened by virtue of mountains on all sides filled with underground and rain water sources. Greatness of RamgarhTaal in Gorakhpur is defined by its enormous stretch and depth, which I felt endless before I saw Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal at different instances.


The biggest problem of Mumbai is road traffic. There are few critical bottlenecks, like Kanjurmarg-Powai-SEEPZ road, connectivity between Ghatkopar and SakiNaka and Toll Naka on Eastern Express Way to name but three. This adds fury to commuters. The main reason for traffic congestion is unlimited commuters and variable width of roads. One can’t get 8 lanes everywhere. Mumbai is rapidly growing. It’s a big bang and will continue to be.
Be it local trains or roads, they are always filled with commuters who move from places to places. It is like a pilgrim only; the folks going for their jobs, duties and business are devotees only. Since, knowingly or unknowingly they are contributing towards the GDP of a nation. In spite of heavy rains and corresponding troubles, most of people don’t bunk their jobs. They conform to their duties.


RajeevSrivastava


img: view of Eden Woods/Thane Creek from my home's window

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