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15th January 2008
“I live in the past and can't help it. The past had the freedom that comes with owning a motorcycle in a city with wide roads and the presest has the full body massage one gets in a Mumbai local”

Public transport is for losers - This comment by Homer Simpson sums up my opinion about public transport. Yesterday I promised to tell you more so here it is. In the final years of school and during college I traveled in DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses extensively and since the time of my travel was off peak and I usually had all the time in the world, I enjoyed it. When I started working, I experienced the incompetence of DTC which couldn't run enough buses and the greed of private operators who saw humans as sack of potatoes and their buses as Lorries for transporting them. I guess they were running buses because they liked carrying sack of potatoes that would get on and off the bus themselves and not have to be loaded or unloaded. Anyway, I promised myself that I would get out of this shit as soon as I can. I bought a motorcycle as soon as I was able to afford one and more importantly as soon as I got a green signal from my parents.

With motorcycle came the kind of freedom that the car manufacturers talked about in US decades ago. I was free to go anywhere anytime I wanted and that was a beautiful feeling. It was the best of the time as there were four of us- Nitesh, Mandeep, Brij with four Bullets with Mandeep and me being together the most as we worked in the same office. I loved and still love my motorcycle. This dream continued for an year and a half when I went to Australia. There I was back to square one. I found myself using trains and trams once again but that was OK. I still dreamed about riding a bike on the long and winding roads of Victoria but that was a compromise I was ok to live with because the ride in the trains was quite comfortable. The trains were air conditioned and there was generally a place to sit and even if I had to stand, it was not getting a full body massage as one gets in Mumbai locals.

I came back to India and got the motorcycle back and a sometime later I bought a car as well. It was quite a comfortable scenario from there on. I was getting used to the comfort when I was thrown in Bombay. For four years I traveled to office in my car or motorcycle and it was ok. It was not as it was in Delhi, partly because of the poor roads and parking conditions and partly because of my mental block.

Things took a turn for worse when I joined RK Swamy in October last year. I am back to using public transport and not the comfortable kind in Melbourne but something even worse than Delhi that made me resolve to get out of it. It starts at 8 in the morning when I start asking rickshaws if they would go to Andheri Station. Some days I am lucky and some days I have to ask quite a few of them. At railway station, getting to the platform is the second struggle. In the sea of people it is quite a major task. If I am lucky and have reached the platform before the train has come, I can find a seat if I am a little late I have to stand for the next 30 minutes. In the evening it is much worse as the trains are a lot more crowded and the rickshaws are a lot more reluctant to take me home. All this abuse even while I have a car and a motorcycle.

It is very hard to stay positive in such conditions and all day so far I have been looking for some motivating factor that can give me strength to go through it. Mira predicted when I joined this company that I would get sick of travel soon. She was right. She is now worried about what would happen during monsoon as things will get quite worse. I am worried that she is worried.

I thought of trying not to crib about the city I am living in but here I have done it again and no I am not apologetic because this time this cribbing in not because of my refusal to accept this city but the sheer physical discomfort of living here and the bloody waste to time.

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