Stumps All Around

Dilip D’Souza wrote about how a stump of concrete remains outside Bandra station. The concrete pillar was erected to support a skywalk when it was being built. Once it was done, no one really cared to remove the now useless stump of concrete. We love to build skywalks but don’t clear out the rubble.

We have such stumps everywhere. I remember with much annoyance how they used to dig up water or telephone or electricity or some such thing in my neighborhood but never pave it over once it was done. Often, they wouldn’t even fill it up again. The dug up mud cause inconvenience for the residents for months! Moreover, there used to be absolutely no coordination between departments. Following Murphy’s law to the word, the telephone dept. HAD to dig the whole road up as soon as it was paved anew.

A couple of years ago my home town got a brand new city bus system. Mucho money was spent and new bus stops made. They had those modern aluminum cladding. The aluminum cladding was put in but the plastic covers on them were never removed. What’s the point of having a flashy design if you never unwrap it?

When I visited India this time, I had to spend a whole night at the New Delhi station. Since I had a 3AC ticket, I got to sit in the “Upper Class” waiting room. Apparently the only difference between an “Upper Class” waiting room and a “General Class” waiting room is the AC. The Upper Class waiting room had a split AC in one corner which wasn’t running because it was November. It also had a false ceiling that I always tend to associate with too much money.

It had a toilet which was, well, a railway station toilet. There also was a huge dust-bin in the corner which was, well, a railway station dust bin. Why they could spend money on an AC and a false ceiling and not on a clean toilet and dust bin is beyond my comprehension. I’d much rather have a clean toilet than an AC any day.


  1. I agree with you, but then, who's going to tell those officials this and convince them as well.... sounds almost impossible...

  2. @caterpillar: True. But then we often forget that we get the officials we deserve. So perhaps if we change ourselves, we'd get better leaders.

  3. Truly stated the sorry state of Delhi station, perhaps you missed to mention those bumped steel benches--they are designed to create maximum inconvenience to sitting person and that are being used in other parts of platform too.

  4. @Arpana: How could I forget those bumpy benches?! My bum is still bummed out by all the bumpiness.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  5. haha is this the "things might seem weird when you go home after 2 years" that you warned me about?

    btw, how do you explain this: The city I live in has a new Hindu Temple which is obviously funded mainly by Indian businessmen who live in the area. They spent a lot of money on prayer rooms and even have money to get priests who drive cars like Mercedes SUV from Chicago.. however I see the same kind of problems you talk about: Overflowing trash cans, stinky toilets and general poor upkeep. I feel like aesthetics, basic comfort and cleanliness are just missing in a lot of Desi people. In India you can blame all the poor maintenance on the administration and corruption, but how do you explain the same things happening in a small Indian community in USA?

  6. @Ankit: habits become cultural after a while. You often do things (or not do them) because everyone around you is doing them (or not doing them.)


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