This year, the Ganpati festival in Mumbai is different. No, I am not saying that it has suddenly become more GREEN, with realization of the environmental problems finally having dawned. I am also not saying the Ganpati festival this time was less intense or less expensive due to the recent recession. I don’t also want to suggest it was less noisy this year. It was the same huge, fun, noisy, awesome festival that it is every year. It indeed was the Ganpati of the ol, as we have come to know it for almost a century now.
Yet, there was something markedly different this time. And that was the discipline one could see in the way it was organized. The long queues were controlled well. The noise levels were kept in check. Wild celebrations seem well subdued this time. Security is super awesome everywhere. And yet, people are having the same amount of fun. Most importantly though, the traffic on the road has been well managed. Every year, it becomes a night mare to travel on the road, on the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 10th day of this festival due to the visarjan. But not this time.
I am writing this on the 6th day of the festival- the day of the Gauri-Ganpati visarjan. This is the 2nd most crowded day of this festival, and it is safe to say that all these years, it was a wise idea to stay home on this day. However, today, I went to my office as usual. My office is in Thane, which sees some very big Ganpati celebrations and visarjans today. I currently stay in Juhu, which is one of the 4 or 5 beaches in the whole of Mumbai where visarjans take place. On a normal, non-Ganpati day, it takes me about 1 hour 45 minutes to commute between Thane and Juhu, either ways. Today, I would have expected the same journey to go to about 3 hours each time, since both areas see huge huge crowds and traffic.
Surprisingly, it took me exactly 2 hours in the evening on my way back home- just 15 mins more than usual! No big traffic jams, no frustrated honking, all smooth..
All of this is due only to 1 entity—The cops and the traffic police…The way they have managed all of this is simply superb and cannot be appreciated enough….In the hindsight, they keep doing so much for us- manage traffic situations, deal with the bad guys, travel in the worst of places, face so many physical hardships..and yet, they get so little of what they actually deserve!!! This is not to even mention the kind of bad spotlight our cops get a lot of times..i mean, there are bad people in every sector damn it!!
I think it s just time we sit up and take notice,,,,rather, we stand up and salute them for their job…so the next time you are walking on the road, feeling safe, go up to the first cop you see and thank him…you owe it to him….I just did that today, and I feel tremendously happy..we all like our share of praises and thanks, don’t we? Then why not the cops? lets realize we need them more than they need us…