I had to make a quick dash out today to my doctor, as he is the only person I know who is eligible to be a witness for my new passport application.
Mumbai today is hot – weather.com says it ’32deg but feels like 37deg; humidity 65%’. Not as hot as it will get, we are on the countdown to Monsoon now.
My doctor roves around town at various clinics and today he was in Elizabeth Hospital on Malabar Hill. From Nariman Point i jumped in a cab, had the usual conversations about why I wear a mangalsutra and yes I speak some hindi, and we continued along Marine Drive.
It felt great to have a brief escape from the aircon office into the sun. Sunglasses on, arm on the open window, I came alongside a young girl on the back of a motorbike. She gave me a huge grin and I smiled back. Nothing better than being on Dad’s bike during the day when the sun is shining.
The sky is a light light blue today, with high cloud starting to form. In the afternoons we get some heavier clouds, babies of the monsoon clouds that will start looming in a couple of weeks.
Re-paving work is still going on along Marine Drive, with the new bus stops being finished off. The workers must feel the monsoon looming, no concrete pouring with go ahead after it begins. The new bus stops look modern and very un-Mumbai. They are curved, smooth and concrete, with tall bamboo plants behind and some frazzled shrubs that are trying desperatly to get root in their new shadeless spot, on the sides of the bus shelter.
Down the middle of the road the raised garden barrier has been torn out and replaced by another modern development. Concrete tubes are lined up vertically and cut short to make a kind of undulating row as you drive past. In between it seems new plants will come, short ones that won’t obstruct the view like the old out-of-control hedge used to.
Its starting to look functional, slick and modern. Will the paan spitters, the shitting pidgeons and their dedicated feeders with buckets of seeds return to mess it up. No doubt.
Will some smart city council official suddenly remember that a drain under the newly layed granite needs to be replaced, thus requiring another year of repaving, retiling and reconcreting? Probably.
Will the smell from the sewerage in the sea still make parts of Marine Drive awful to walk past? Definitly.
Has South Mumbai taken a baby step towards looking like an international city of commerce and investment? Absolutely.. roll on the airport renovations, i can’t wait to see our Frankfurt lookalike.