On my daily route is what I call a semi-village. Semi because it is situated all along the alley that links two arterial roads of the bustling city. A quaint place where time manages to stand still for a few minutes in the form of languid cud-chewing bovines and minute chicken scratching the ground, before rushing on. Here, goats test their mountain climbing skills by scaling dangerous mounds of foul smelling garbage that passes for the banks of an equally foul smelling greyish "river". For waterfalls, we have a huge rotting pipe which spews copious amounts of brownish effluents into this toxic stream. Assorted cans, plastic bags and other flotsam add to the charm of this river.A rickety bridge; with twisted steel pipes for side supports serves to cross this Poison River.
Humans being humans have no qualms about living around this exotic scenery and go about their business of selling fish, joints of meat, vegetables, flowers and assorted candy.The locals seem completely immune to this breeding ground of unnamable viri, since all children roaming about look uniformly healthy and well fed! Curiously all vegetable and flower shops are clustered around the river banks as if this could take away from the overpowering stench of the water! Street dogs fight for scraps of meat while matrons fry huge mounds of golden bondas in ancient and huge kadais. The metre coffee is alive and kicking here!
Running through the length of this village is the remains of a road. Every year a layer of tar is carefully added just before the monsoon so that by the end of it a bit of gravel is visible here and there. It would seem that the very idea of laying a road in this fashion is to spin an industry out of it. The shops that sit cheek by jowl along this "road" certainly suggest it.
"CAR REPAIR" says a signboard on one,"PAINTING AND TINGERING WORKS"! While another proudly proclaims itself as a shop for "VALKANISING" and " WHEL TRUVING". I didn't get that. Anyone who understands please do decrypt!
This thriving industry has spawned another - building materials. Each shop sells the same materials, remarkably, they are in complete harmony in spelling out the materials they sell with one exception..... "RUBBIEZ" "RUBBEES" or simple plain "RUBBIS"! Spanking new "villas" erupting all around the bridge suggest that recession is a word that this village does not have to contend with.
Every now and then this happy scenario is punctuated by a traffic jam at the bridge and the whole village including the cud chewing bovines stop to comment on it and eventually untangle it! Must say, we city types are the ones that cause the pause!