The true meaning is lost when there’s no peace, yet there’s balance.
What is learned is forgotten the voices are unheard there is nothing, but shadows of ash when there’s no wild, yet there’s balance.
Not afraid of wandering, but of getting lost in methods that are always the same.
The truth is that, balance is subjective. It is in you as it is in me, but here’s the catch:
Balance blooms equally under the scorching sun, only to shine from the inside out under the shining star.
Balance is a coin with my faces that is not flipped, but felt.
I beg you to stop for a moment to feel that chill against your skin. Let yourself be wild, let yourself be peaceful. Awaken your senses and be both at the same time. Because balance is the dusty road and not the destination. Your balance in life means you’re the invincible coin which was hidden under all earth, and now you have felt it.
As someone with a medium breed dog, unless I have a small breed dog, most cabbies never permitted me to travel in their cabs, around the city for either short or long distances. The typical black and yellow cabs’ experience has been a disaster for me because I’ve had to run around pleading cabbies to accommodate my dog and keep assuring them that he won’t spoil or rip apart the insides of the cab. So far down the line, I felt the need to switch to a more sophisticated service that I expected would have a more defined system in place for passengers travelling with their pets, you know since it’s a metropolitan city and all.
Then, I tried Ola that had air conditioning and was convenient to book through their mobile app. In the beginning, I found that most drivers were reluctant to accommodate a dog along with 1-2 passengers because, according to them, it was against their company’s policy. As far as Ola’s mobile app was concerned, there not even a single utterance of travelling with a dog in a clear and concise way.
Once I was travelling back home from Marine Drive with my medium breed dog, and since I booked an Ola, we had to wait outside the cab for 15-20 minutes as the driver wanted to confirm whether Ola permitted dogs or not. Let me tell you, sometimes your dog barks and especially after a long walk, the dog may not stay as calm and patient because he wants to get home and simply rest. After a lot of arguing and speaking to more than one customer service representative over the phone, the Ola cab driver, not so willingly, let us sit in. The entire journey to where I stay was ruined by the driver complaining and mansplaining that I shouldn’t travel with a dog unless I have my own car, I should have informed the driver and requested for a separate cab because I have a dog (which I did inform, adding with confidence that my dog will not urinate, poop or spoil the insides of the car), and also why I shouldn’t have a dog when I can’t travel in my own car. Even after I paid the generated fare at the end of the journey, the cab driver kept complaining about the smell that sticks to the car after the car is vacant and also that I shouldn’t do this again because it causes him lots of INCONVENIENCE.
After a few such experiences, one more when I booked 3 rides with Ola and all 3 got rejected because the cab drivers weren’t sure to let a dog in during the monsoon season. I had to wait outside Oval Maidan, Churchgate, while it was pouring, for about an hour to get a decent cab driver to agree to let me in with a dog. Since then, I was bound to establish a generalized judgment that this won’t work with any cab company and that companies like Ola do not have any policy regarding animals in place. A long while after that, I completely barred using such services with my medium breed dog. If it’s to travel to my office, for a walk or someplace else, I always, always took my car whenever it was available. Something like this really limits my options in a buzzing city like Mumbai, but it seemed like I had no choice.
Then, I gave Uber a try. Many times I have travelled by Uber and the experience has been phenomenal: the entire booking experience on the app is easy, quick and convenient, the cab drivers arrive on time and are super-friendly, and the costs are affordable. I have booked Uber more than a few times and it’s been a great experience for me. Never had I thought that Uber was so open-minded, calm and friendly towards dogs. The drivers don’t seem to have any problem with my medium breed dog, although I do have to inform them before that I have a dog who isn’t going to cause an issue during the journey at all, but I do that because it’s my responsibility to take responsibility for my dog if things go wrong. Uber has restored my faith in great serviceability in all aspects.
As a dog owner, comfort is the most important feeling for my dog while commuting, and Uber provides just that. Travelling with Uber is easy travelling to wherever I go.
While the devastating natural crisis is being suffered in Chennai, the common denominator that binds every crisis with that of the whole country is as banal as its cities. The workaday talk is not how mortifying floods are, but rather how disastrous it would get if we don’t incorporate the run-of-the-mill precautions into our everyday life to prevent something like that from happening in Mumbai, or in any city.
Let’s focus on what the government is implementing and not implementing, but also on the transparent measures that citizens can put in practice per diem. Nothing gravitating on this earth can prevent monsoon, and in some cases even a temperate flood is inevitable, but floods that at the maximal level cause damages that are beyond reason and convention can be interfered with.
Each level of government has a different role to play in the pre-flood and post-flood crisis, and which out of the two is most important is not valid at this point. Just like the government, the citizens of this country, too, have a different role to play in the pre-flood and post-flood crisis.
The severe flooding in Chennai again proves that India is not ready for extreme weather conditions which are becoming more and more frequent and intense. Such disasters can’t play a role in the awakening of the government to realize that it needs to become more weather friendly, with the growing intensity of monsoon each year from June to September, sometimes even further down the year. But, unfortunately, Chennai’s ill-fate is India’s vivication. The combined parts of performances by builders, planners, administrators and even common people in matters of environmental and infrastructural development and maintenance is abysmal. Much of Chennai has grown without a plan and with no regard to water flows, and without anticipating extreme weather conditions. Then there’s illegal construction. The authority held responsible for this unplumbed show is the Chennai’s Metropolitan Development Authority; without pressing further blame, which it is not the intention, the master plan drafted in 2008 and its short-comings has paid a very unfortunate prices in 2015. What’s next?
Are we waiting for 2015’s master plan to blow-up in our faces, cause damage, suffering, and more suffering in the next 5-8 years?
India’s unsystematic and biased procedures that rise from the ground up almost at the wake of every personal gain, political or otherwise, must get methodical and evenly selective to the means for environmental clearance. The drivers behind these procedures include all government bodies and common people. With the disgraced urban planning and development, which has led to the floods in India’s fourth most populous city, dumping indestructible plastic which accumulates in water channels and storm water and sewage networks, causing blockage is forbidden in the name of humanity, not law. Stop caring about what the media covers and doesn’t, anticipate every nook and corner before flinging these weapons of destructions as they will hit you back one day either by the waves of the sea stumbling on Marine Drive (which happened this year!) or by the floods that take away your freedom, health, sanity, and homes. Think about both human and animal sufferings before you carelessly disrespect your own future by your lazy and reluctant lifestyle.
The redemption of beginning from the start line towards the finish line on a field that’s completely astray can provoke the best and worst out of you. Peace is equality in the act helping effortlessly, but with the lacking of any selfless reasons. Peace is doing good and feeling good about it. Peace sets in when you choose to stop and look instead, with your mind open and free. Only when we’re free of mind can we help others, with the purpose of expressing our reflection of peace and kindness that we have so willingly overlooked under worldly pressures.
A clowder of cats enjoying their meal near a compound.