Many decades ago while in my teens I loved taking the double- decker bus from the city, running up the stairs to the upper deck, rushing to the front seat, and enjoying a glorious ride to the suburbs. As night set in, I would put the front glass pane up, and believe you me, 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 looking down at traffic in front of you from up there, and finding yourself rushing 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 than that, was when the bus started its journey across the old Mahim 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.
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 sinister and fearful.
That was one time I kept my eyes strictly in front, not looking to the side even as I heard the waves roaring, “Bob you coward! Look down at us!”
Today I look at them.
Today with the beautiful Mumbai Sea- Link 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 terrified.
Today, the waters reflect the awesomeness of the Rajiv Gandhi 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 darkness, how knowledge and technology have made harsh waves into friendly ripples, and I know this is what is needed more than ever: To bring light into the lives of people in our country through education and facts and you will slowly get rid of the controls mischievous religious chiefs and sinister political leaders have over us!
In my mind I am back in the same double- decker bus and laugh as I cross the same causeway, but there is no fear anymore..!
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