Monday, February 20, 2006


Although I had visualized this post to be a photo with an interesting tag, it is going to be much more than that.

Okay, so a little background about the pictures. The pictures frame a portion of the road that stretches through the Sant Tukaram Nagar (STN) (Pimpri, Pune) area and eventually intersects the Bombay-Pune highway. The stretch of this road from STN to Vallabh Nagar (VN) has been closed to traffic due to a road construction project that is underway. While I was driving through the area a few days ago, I happened to see a couple of motorcyclists get their bikes up the mounds of rubble. (The mounds were at least a foot higher when I saw them first.) I was slightly amused at the sight and casually said to myself, “Wow, this would make an interesting picture for my blog!” Thanks to the appreciation that some of my pictures had received, I, at the time was toying w/ the idea of starting a photo-blog. Things did not get further beyond the thought and I still have it on my “TO-DO (someday)” list. Uff, I digress!
Finally, yesterday evening, I managed to gather the nerve (you won’t believe it, but, I actually consulted a would-be lawyer before I set on my mission) and verve to grab my camera and head over to the site of my photo shoot. I parked my bike in a non-descript corner and slowly pulled out my camera. Summoning a confident look, I perched myself on my bike and took a couple of shots. The delay in my camera can be really frustrating, esp. when trying to frame a moving object. I noticed the amused, curious glances of passing school-kids and other pedestrians. I wanted to get a closer shot and so started walking closer to the scene. I noticed a group of men, looking curiously at me and my camera. I tried to ignore them and focus on getting the pictures. Suddenly two men from the group approached me, asking if I was from the press. I had anticipated these questions and had rehearsed my answers. I stammered a yes, continuing to take pictures, and silently lauded myself for my foresight. The two of them stay put while I was taking pictures and began talking once I was done.
Handing his card, one of the two introduced himself as the Vice-Chairman (VC) of the local Congress committee. Apparently he had organized a rasta-roko at the spot a few days ago. The news had featured in Sakal, a prominent Marathi daily; also some local cable channel gave the place some coverage on their channel. Mr. VC appeared concerned, albeit, I was unable to discern his true intentions.
I believe that the status quo definitely IS a matter of concern for the local residents of the area. Many a brave, including the cameramen of the local channel have fallen prey to these deceptive mounds of rubble. The construction project is not due to finish for at least another year. All the traffic (two-wheelers, four-wheelers, buses, trucks) headed for the highway has to take a detour via a narrow residential street. Students, esp. young children from the nearby D. Y. Patil campus are unaccustomed and oblivious to such heavy traffic in their backyard. Considering the duration of the project, I am not sure what steps could be taken to ensure public safety. Any ideas?
That was my two cents worth….So watch out people lest you are run over!


Kedar said...

Good work Akira. Did you know that the Maharashtra Herald (english daily from Sakal) has a section called "Photo Cop" where anyone can report such conditions, send their own snaps, and they publish it with the name and the details of the photographer. (along with the problem, ofcourse!)

All the best! Such things are needed from the people. (Yeah - I am also inspired by Rang De Basanti)

Akira said...


Didn't know abt the Photo Cop thing until now.


Nikhil said...

I am a regular traveller of this road and the situation is pretty bad. What makes it worse is that although the small lane near ST stand just before the highway is actually a one-way for 2 wheelers only, people also come on it from opposite side.

Kudos for putting this up on the blog. Keep up the good work



Akira said...


Thanks for your kind words.

Frankly, I think this is the least that I could do.

Nandan said...

Nice work and well-written post. Keep up the good work and 'paving the road'.:-)