I took a walk around Duncan road on Eid. It was sad, with few people and loads of vehicles parked.
Yadavji, a cobbler, sat under the shade of his umbrella with the hope of some customer. On these times of lockdown, one doesn’t know when may face a situation of broken sandal/shoe/handle of a purse.
Mumbai, free Parking city
There may not be any other international city apart from Mumbai, that allows this kind of free parking. The two-wheeler menace just grows as no authority can control them.
Lockdown impact: Entire city is for car parking
The empty streets tell a different story…
An Eid that was not celebrated publicly. Rarity, not to see people do Eid shopping, go to offer prayers and exchange sweets. Yet this comerardie between two youth raises your spirits…there is hope.
This is Suhas Rele, who since 1965 has been selling newspapers. He used to have 3 milk booths, but sold that business and now does charity.
He only sells limited quantity of newspapers and usually by afternoon his quota is sold out.
One fine day towards the end of March, our lane was declared part of ‘containment zone’.
A new form of untouchability we experienced. NO deliveries, no shops were allowed to be kept open, except for chemists and dairies. Even then, the dairies would shut within an hour or two.
The Prarthana Samaj market was forcibly shut down by police, obviously, because a death was reported in Brahman sabha hospital, which is situated in this lane. Imagine, for nearly one month, we got NO fruits, vegetables or groceries. All the names forwarded by family and friends of those who home deliver groceries had a mandatory minimum amount or rupees of purchase.
For the first time I dreaded being left in the lurch by the authorities. Thankfully, my childhood and a school friend bailed me out.
Never before, believe me when I say it, even during the Bombay riots or bomba blasts our market was never shut. This was eerie. Dead pan silence. Police moved around like gangs equipped with batons to ensure no vendor or shop was open.
I have been trying various experiments to keep myself fit. Climb stairs in my building (which are easy on the knees), Mylo walk video my friend sent, yoga, core building, 8 figure, walk in my passage, walk in the lane, on the pavement below, name it. Then like few other citizens I decided to up on our terrace, which I realised wasn’t safe.
All attempts to sneak out to breathe fresh air and see the skies.
Living close to Girgaon Chowpatty, we have grown up going to the beach, nearly every day. After the lockdown was announced, I felt stifled, for not being able to see the Arabian Sea.
I never imagined what it is to feel caged, one of the reasons I do NOT like the concept of pets, is precisely that it is a feeling of being caged.
Small things we take for granted– food, our environs, sea, name it we were denied of enjoying it.
The lockdown brought new problems and challenges, especially for the poor in India. We have a huge population of migrant workers who were stranded as all work places shut. They were left without food and feared hunger.
I’m our neighborhood, the owner of Café De La Paix, Gustad Irani, was a Samaritan to 10 migrant workers who were stranded in our lane. He cooked for over a dozen people twice a day till early May, 2020.
The flora and fauna in my compound.. Day or night, Sunday or Monday…do we keep track of it all, anymore?