Fear and the Mumbai sea-link..!


MANY years ago while in my teens I loved taking the double- decker
bus from the city, run up the stairs to the upper deck, rush to the front seat, and enjoy a glorious ride to the suburbs. This was around seven in the evening and as night set in, and I put the front glass pane up, no air-conditioner in the world could beat the refreshing gusts of cool air, driven in by the thrust of the bus.
What was a little scary, was the knot in the stomach feeling of looking down at traffic in front of you from up there and finding yourself travelling at breakneck speed straight onto a vehicle in front, with you not having steering wheel, clutch or brake, but trusting only the driver who sat just below. It was a roller- coaster feeling, with you not being in charge.
But more fearful then that, was when the bus started its journey across an old causeway over the sea; which was one part I wasn’t too fond off; those days the sides of the causeway weren’t lit, had hardly any hutments and from the top of the double- decker you looked directly onto the dark sea below.
It wasn’t a very pleasant sight, the black waves crashing against ominous, forbidding rocks, and being driven back. You could hear the sounds of the breakers and with not much light down there the effect was quite sinister and slightly fearful.
That was one time I kept my eyes strictly in front, not looking to the right even as I heard the waves roaring and telling me, “Coward! Look down at us!”
Today I look at them. Today with the beautiful Mumbai Sea- Link just opened in the background, the rocks no more seen, the waves no more heard, I stare at the calm, pleasant sea and wonder how those restful, rippling, rush of waters ever had me afraid.
Today, the waters reflect the awesomeness of the Sea-Link, the grandeur of the spans and the splendour of the cables. Suddenly the same spot which terrified me years ago now looks like the most peaceful place on earth, because the darkness that once frightened me has now been removed and lights which dazzle look up and say, “Hey it’s a fun place to be in, here in the waters!”
I look at the Sea- Link and am amazed at how progress drives away petty dreads and fears, how light dispels the blackness of fear, how knowledge and technology have made harsh waves into friendly ripples, and I know this is what the country needs to undergo more than ever:
Bring light into the lives of people through education and knowledge and you will slowly get rid of the controls misguided religious chiefs and uneducated political leaders have over us. I am back in the same double-decker bus and laugh as I cross same causeway, but there is no fear anymore..!

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