I’ve always had one recurring dream, that I am flying…yes I have the immense sense of freedom & although I had to fight for it earlier or now simply get it, I feel the ultimate symbol of freedom is to fly literally…NOT fly a plane as pilot or fly in a plane as a passenger.
I envy birds & after seeing Iron man it gave me more & more the itch to fly. I thought with this sea link my one dream can be fulfilled, sadly it won’t! Recently I went on the Bandra –Worli sea link as I suggested to the editor our auto-journo should take a high-end car and take a test drive across the Mumbai’s new sea link. He first thought I wanted a free ride! I explained in my style I would be paying for the toll & going personally in a taxi don’t need free ride…rather nothing free…when I said it is for the Sunday edition his news sense surfaced!
Finally he alerted the auto journo, she gave me couple of names of cars which really didn’t sound worth the drive. Later she said the Audi showroom had agreed to send the new Q5 vehicle…now we were talking I felt. We left for Bandra in her car, she loves driving is an understatement…anyways, this was the very next day after the launch we were heading to the Sea link. I was quite excited to see how Mumbaikars have received the news of the new link.
We took a little while to get to the sea link, however not as exaggerated as many have stated. It was a village jatra –fair. Mood of festivities & we were the cynosure of all people. Imagine where people have hired cars, taxis, brought out their Hondas, here we went in the Audi Q5 with the hood open & windows all rolled down!
The way people showed us their appreciation was not out of any jealousy, but a positive envy admiring a grand vehicle on a grander sea link…it was amazing, I’d never have imagined. One young exec rolled down the glass of his window and said, “This car’s worth it all,” he clapped his hands. While yet another old uncle, actually must be a grandfather rolled down his window and waved at us.
We had quite a few attractions one being the vehicle itself. Then the fact that my lady colleague was at the wheel was a bigger attraction. I too stood up and looked out of the roof. It was thrilling, my closest to flying, really speaking. I mean if we minus the plane journeys which don’t give you the flying feeling, no way man.
The people’s encouragement and appreciation actually changed this test drive story totally. From an ordinary auto story I am sure it has become a mood piece, it should. Considering this IS the spirit of Mumbai city. The fact that someone else’s luxury is not seen in an evil way. It was admiration in a positive way. I definitely think this positive
I also admire the way the taxi drivers after their gruelling day took their family to enjoy the sea link. Even the otherwise most average middle-class Mumbaikar who is caught in their daily struggle went out of their way to enjoy the ride. Yes, the reason being the Congress politicians got their demand to remove the toll tax for first three days. It is a political decision, so is the inauguration which was rushed, so what. We have had worse political decisions being taken regarding the slums.