Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bal Thackeray: the MAN who made Bombay in Mumbai live in fear of its life...

Thackeray, who had described himself as an admirer of Hitler, was a formidable force in Mumbai for more than four decades even as he grew increasingly frail. Many shops, restaurants and other businesses shut down after his death was announced, as his followers prepared to mourn him and others anticipated violence by members of his right-wing and often-militant political party, the Shiv Sena. Streets out of downtown Mumbai were clogged Saturday afternoon as office workers and others rushed to get home to avoid getting caught up in any possible scuffles. Throngs of police officers were standing by and guiding traffic through busy intersections.

ek tha tiger...

I was at the famed Lamington Road to purchase a Hard Disk for my laptop. And I had reached there only five minutes ago that all shops in succession put their shutters down. And soon what I saw on the streets of Mumbai was something I vaguely remember to have witnessed in the last few years. Almost all the streets have a fear dominating in their atmosphere. People rushed in the taxi, autos and railway stations to reach home asap. Trains had an unprecedented rush at 5 pm  People wondered as to how suddenly a huge crowd has come on the street. This is a confused crowd. This is a crowd of common people. This is a crowd that wants to be home safely.

...the city that was Bombay lived in Mumbai in bits and pieces and in different corners. Bombay lived under constant fear of its life from the threat of Shive Sena and later MNS.

Bal Thackeray, the tiger, the emperor in his last years too had not lost his ability. His ability to bring the city to a halt. But this time Shiv Sena should avoid any involvement to forcibly call a bandh. The city will naturally come to a halt - as it has lost its Tiger. The nation feels and Maharashtra mourns his death.

At 7:00 pm, Mumbai

The city is deserted, we see ten to fifteen people moving around and forcibly shutting shops. My sister's friend was purchasing a packet of bread. She was pushed aside, and the shop was forcibly shut. There is no life on the street. There is dead silence. A senseless fear dominates the atmosphere of Bombay.

Story until Midnight, Mumbai, before I jump on my bed...

Autowalaas are shamelessly exploiting people stranded in the city. The Auto Fare which is already sky-rocketing is now being openly avoided, and Autowalaas have been demanding what they feel fit.

Most of the restaurants, eateries, and shops to buy necessities like Milk, Bread, Eggs, Food, Vegetables are shut completely. The working class population dependent on the make-shift hotels will perhaps have to sleep on empty stomach.

A few areas heavily dominated by Muslims have road-side eateries open, and the business is unusually high. For instance, a road-side Kebab Pav stall experienced an unprecedented customer attraction so much that he exhausted his entire week's stock. Later he started selling Omelette Pav at a ridiculously expensive price. Still he had a crowd around his stall.

Most of the TV Channels in Mumbai have been blocked. Roads are deserted. Shops are shut. It's out of fear / respect - nobody wants to judge. All they want now is to sit at home safely...and get bored. As luck would have it, I've Internet to kill boredom.

Sunday until 1pm, Mumbai

A sea of people are moving on the streets of Dadar and Bandra. Malls are shut. Shops are shut. Yes, there is a sense of mourning. There is a sense of a loss. The fear in the atmosphere has now faded. There is a sense of unusual togetherness in the city. More than a million people on the street, and there is no sign of violence. It's not fear that dominates the atmosphere at this point in time. This is an expression of sorrow caused by the loss of their loved Tiger. People have flocked in the city from outside of Mumbai. The crowd this big on the street can't possibly be from inside the city.


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Faraz Salat

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Admirer of all things that make up a global human society.