A few weeks ago, I was taking a 1:45 pm flight to Bangalore. I left office at 12:15 pm – on a normal day, the airport (about 12 kms) is a 30-minute drive at that time of the day. Little did I know that the Shiv Sena was out in full force on a weekday afternoon protesting against MHADA at Bandra. The result was that all the approach roads from South Mumbai were absolutely packed with traffic with huge backups. A police inpsector suggested that it wasn’t going to clear up for a couple hours.
I got out from the car, took a taxi in the reverse direction to the Matunga train station, caught a train to Vile Parle, and then incentivsed one of the auto drivers to get me quickly to the airport (after three of his ilk declined to do the journey). I reached the airport counter at 1:20 pm, a few minutes before they would have closed it – the flight was on time.
I met someone else on the flight who also just about made it in time — it took him two hours to do the 18 km journey from South Mumbai.
I really think if we are going to move along as a nation we need to get paste these morchas and bandhs — they are a complete nuisance and waste of time, and cause great inconvenience. Everyone has a right to protest, but not at the cost of causing grief to many others. Or, we can stay resigned to the “This is India” syndrome.