Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TUNNEL VISION

I hate tunnels.


Especially the under-passes built near railway stations or under flyovers, for teeming millions to cross over from one side to another. There is one near Sealdah station in Kolkata, and one under the Western Express Highway in Malad, Mumbai, which I had/have to familiar on a daily basis. And, in this case at least, familiarity breeds contempt. Ugh!

They are dank, dirty, musty and crowded. There's water dripping down walls and from cracks in the ceiling, and I shudder each time a cold drop falls on me. There are rodents and cockroaches scurrying along the drains at the side. There are pushing, groping crowds hurrying past in the permanent semi-darkness.

And what amazes me most are the tenacity of the vendors who have made these tunnels their workplace, staying in these claustrophobic surroundings for hours on end, like denizens of a nightmarish nocturnal hell.

And they sell spinach and bananas, garlic (to ward off vampires?) and knick-knacks. I always feel too suffocated to buy. The walls seem to close in, the ceiling seems to press down upon me. I rush as fast as I can, tripping on the uneven tunnel floor, ducking the leaking water, holding my breath to avoid inhaling the stale air.

The sunlight at the end of the tunnel always seems a bit too far away for my liking.

18 comments:

Swaram said...

I wonder too when I see such ppl in the under-passes etc. Sigh! All that they hv do to earn for a living :( I will be waiting to get out of the stinking place :(

manjujoglekar said...

I share your aversion to tunnels, Sucharita. And I agree, what a sad way to earn a living, selling stuff there!

Thankfully, there are no vendors in the two 'under-railway' tunnels near where I stay.

Arundhati said...

I rush through too, looking straight ahead. I have a weird fear, probably something I overheard my parents discuss as a kid - that "anything" can happen in these places. My interpretation of anything at the time was rape!

Jaquanda Rae said...

Sukki, bless up yourself. The post you saw about Lauryn Hill was actually a post from a friend sent to my wall...I messed up with the email settings. It's fixed now. I'm glad you liked the post. I'll relay to him :):)

magiceye said...

there is light fortunately at the end of the tunnel!

sujata said...

over bridges are so much better!! I am one with you on this!

Sumandebray said...

well written.... Looks like someone has gone to the extreme extent to prove how much it matters to reach the other end of the tunnel!
At some places these tunnels are home to antisocials and drug addicts

Pesto Sauce said...

I like tunnels in rail journeys only and not otherwise

吳淑芬吳淑芬 said...

來問個安,誰不支持這個部落格,我咬他.................................................................

Nona said...

The business might be good over there! Why else would someone setup shop inside a tunnel?

Babli said...

I love to pass through the tunnel and enjoy every moment of it. Very nice and interesting post.

Tomz said...

It is a pessimistic post prob'ly being written as a result of looking into matters with a journalistic eye view..However, while reading each word, I felt as if being trapped within a tunnel with the measurements you mentioned..

仁南貞宣 said...

Prevention is better than cure.............................................................

建邱勳 said...

要在憂患恥辱的環境裡,創造我們自力更生的新生活。.......................................................

家唐銘 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest..................................................................

Onkar said...

You are right. I don't know why under-passes are neglected like this in our country.

凱v胡倫 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!!............................................................

Bhaswati said...

I have experienced that sort of passage on foot and have to agree with your observations.