Saturday Night Fire
It was soon after dinner when we were watching television that FIL smelled something funny. Well, he always smells something funny so we didn’t really pay it much heed but when everyone else began smelling something funny, and the fire engines began tearing down the road, their alarms Nee Nawing away, Hubby Dear followed to the balcony to see where they were headed. And they were headed right in front of our building!!
A flat in a building seemingly under repair or abandoned caught fire. The flames were reflected in the building across making it look ablaze too! The fire engines came rushing but sadly the road to access the building as was the entrance gate was narrow. So it took some time before the flames could be put out. Obviously there wasn’t much damage or it would have made it to the papers ” POSH BUILDING ON POSH ROAD IN SOUTH MUMBAI CATCHES FIRE”
The road alongside the building which caught fire is a narrow lane which has cars parked on one side, and a small 18 ” pavement on the other. The cars obviously belong to those who live close by and who have just made a public thoroughfare their own private garage. What is shocking is that two of these cars have not been used for years – they lie there dust laden and covered with dead leaves and fallen branches.
For years now, the construction of buildings in this city has been whimsical – at the whim of the land owner , developer and municipal authorities. Even if it is planned, the buildings are constructed with just the minimum free space required left free. While the size and number flats have remained the same, in many cases the occupants have increased thereby increasing the load on utilities ( water and electricity) and other amenities – garage or car parking space Not only have the number of cars increased, but their size too has increased making the mandatory free space quite impractical and pointless.
To add to this, we have the total lack of civic sense where no one thinks of the other person. No one thinks of how his behaviour could obstruct or hamper any movement……As long as HE can move, it is all that matters.
In yesterday’s speech to the Indians in America, Mr. Modi harked back to his Independence Day message to us all, when he asked us to build a nation and not just develop the economy. He urged us to think about others and question our every act – is it good for the nation? It is high time that we all take heed to his words and start thinking about the others in our neighbourhood first rather than just our own comforts and comfort zones.
Parking cars on public roads is illegal but parking unused cars on public roads is downright criminal.
Fines are pointless because it seems that fine payers are happier paying fines than buying garage space. Perhaps we should try a new form of shaming them publicly – flashing their photographs on the internet for all the world to see.