The Oleander Avenue


Update for week ended 20 Nov 2009

For those who read my updates regularly, you would recall that I usually choose the quieter “backlanes” of Bandra Kurla Complex to reach office, instead of the more crowded main-roads. The silence and ability to view the green mangroves, grassy opens, skies above are good enough compensation for the lack of good roads, and disorganized pedestrians (both the human and the canine varieties) on this stretch. The roads are now (i.e. for the past 350 days or so) being dug up to be repaved and cemented to “improve” infrastructure in this commercial belt of Mumbai – but I would have been happier if it really did improve. But like all things in this city and state, no-one bothers and the common man (and women and children) can rave and rant about the inadequacies, and yet remain unheard. On one of these stretches, one side of the road was dug up and concretised and left inoperational for over 2 months, until someone wanted to unearth the other side of the road. Thank God, for small mercies, that the stretch was not blocked off, but the half ready concrete stretch was thrown open to traffic. The drivers had to be very careful, because there were open culverts at the edges, uncleared debris to dodge, leftover rods, concrete littered carelessly and last week a felled tree trunk as well. The green, leafy oleanders have been colourful sentinels for a couple of years brightening up this road with their spiky, shiny green leaves and trumpet shaped yellow blooms interspersed. And last week, the tree fell (or was felled) to lie on the road, uncared for and forgotten. The leaves took a while to dry up, and before it turned to a heap of brown, I noticed that the never give up attitude that nature has, enacting before my eyes. The felled trunk lay on the side, but at the edge where the tree was still rooted to the ground, sprung numerous shoots of fresh oleander that have also started flowering. The resurgence was a feast for any sore eye, who cared to glance at nature’s triumph.

The D Street Boyz were struggling with the set of “new” directives that would upset their infrastructure and ability to work well and were a worried batch of Boyz. They had to dodge some bad news from the economics departments, from India and abroad; start worrying about how the local Central Bank would go the Real South American way; how the already choking traffic in our cities would worsen with farmers walking in with their canes. So the worried Boyz weighed down their sorrows and the SENSEX alike about 130 points until one of them got a phone call from his National B.K. Complex counterpart about the road work in the lane behind his office. Not wanting to burden himself with more woes, the D Boy was about to conclude the conversation, until he heard some nice words, like green, oleander, growing. And then he realized that there was hope and that he was looking in the wrong direction. He immediately asked for a picture of the street and then D Street did not remain the same. It turned green too and like its natural self, it sprung up so fast and so high and stayed at 200+ points above previous day. It closed at 17021. On a weekly note – this was a week about hope and green thoughts, ignited by children’s enthusiasm, nurtured by thoughtful adults and at times mystifying like the vermilion reds and noisy, but indifferent like cartoon shows. In some way, today’s redemption of 236 points was also in keeping with the week’s spirits.

The picture that the National BK Complex Guy sent to the D Street Boyz is the same that I took early this morning; take a look.

And if any of you know what happened to Peter, please let me know.

Cheers and Have a Nice Weekend….

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