Thursday, April 13, 2006

Of Deserted Roads, Half Burnt tires, and Sorrow

Since yesterday afternoon, things are not quite normal. After the news of sad demise of Dr. Rajkumar, the Kannada matinee idol, things have drastically changed - at least for the Bangalore Roads.

While describing the experiences of today, I will not go into any reasons, and I'll quote only what I saw, and what I felt. That way, I guess I'll be able to keep myself unbiased.

Today, my journey to office was dreamlike. At (probably) the most crowded crossroads of the Bangalore, a.k.a. Marthahalli junction, the traffic lights had a day off. At ten O'clock when otherwise it is a terrifically crowded junction, today, the traffic lights wore a blinking yellow look. And I rode at around 50kms/hr through and through. Boy, I'll cherish this experience forever.

On my way back home from office, the situation was no different. But I was riding at a more leisurely pace, looking around for signs of life. The road wore a complete deserted look - really - I even looked out for a camel, but even a camel was not there! On any other Thursday evening, the road is overflowing with all sorts of vehicles and the air is half filled with smoke and honking sounds. Today, it was, well, s i l e n t.

At couple of places I saw rubber tires burning. The smoke had died down, but the black remains remained. Probably, the rage of the mob had ceased burning, but a strange tension still remained.

I was looking out for some open joint that was open, but all were closed down. Only at one place I saw one pani-puri vendor serving a bunch of customers. Otherwise, I guess, all the shops, well, with the exception of medical shops, were closed. On the 8kms stretch from work to home, I must have seen three-four shops open. Such has been the impact of yesterday's events.

As the procession went via my Institute, I heard that a small mob actually broke inside, pelted a few stones at the Coffee Board, and made its point. Within a few minutes, the Coffee Board was closed for the day.

I am relieved to hear that they did not enter the library or departments!

And then, there was this news of three people who lost their lives in the police firing at the Kanteerava Stadium...

Such is the story of today - of deserted roads, half burnt tires and yeah, last but not the least, of sorrow too...

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