Give them their due
As soon as Diwali holidays started for them, I’d my niece and nephew chasing me to take them to the Queen’s Necklace to see crackers and also to burst bagful of them. I think, I myself have not been to the Marine Drive to burst crackers for quite a few years now. So this was a perfect opportunity for me to happily oblige them.
So, just before sunset we had hit the shores with a couple of bags in our hand – all set to celebrate Diwali. I’ve always loved watching sunset. Every sunset presents you with a new variant of nature’s landscape. As I was busy clicking snaps, the kids were feasting on bhel, paani-puri and all sorts of ‘Indian junk food’.
In no time after sunset, it was dark and the people were coming in hordes to see the spectacular skyline. The variety of crackers one witnesses at Queen’s Necklace on Diwali evening is only to be seen to believe. As the crackers started going up in the air, the kids just couldn’t wait anymore. And then it was our turn to empty the bags on the floor and be a part of the hoi polloi.
The celebrations went on till late in the night and we had one of the most memorable evenings of our lives. As we were leaving the Marine Drive – a glance around, and it kind of made me nervous. There were empty boxes scattered all over. Add to it the rubbish created by the burst crackers. What was a beautiful place just few hours ago, was turned into a horrible waste-land.
I left the place with a heavy heart.
Next morning took me to Churchgate at early hours. And as I turned left from Wilson College, something hit me hard. The place that was in mess only last evening was sporting absolutely spic n span look. I was mighty impressed. And certainly it wasn’t a miracle that the magic wand had done.
For once, I really appreciated the efforts put in by the municipal corporation staff, who am sure would have worked overnight – at the cost of celebrating Diwali with their family members – to clean the 3 KM-long stretch.
I think the municipal corporation staff deserves appreciation – from the state administration and from caring Mumbaikars as well. While we take potshots at them at every possible opportunity, we must give them their due, when it is due.