Tag Archives: mumbai

Quarantine Musings #14

2 am in a city, during lockdown, feels completely out of place. Except for the sound of crickets and frogs, I can now hear absolutely nothing.

Mumbai – fondly called as the city which never sleeps; is now sleeping. It feels that not just the people residing here, but the city in itself is suffering from the disease. I hope she heals well and wakes up sooner from her nap. People are waiting for her to heal, the railways are waiting, the airplanes, the local businesses, the big multinational companies; everyone is counting on her.

On another occasion, it would have felt way better- to experience the silence within a city, the calmness and the fresh air to breath. But under the current crisis, it just doesn’t feel good.

Get well soon, Aamchi Mumbai (literally, ‘Our Mumbai’). And also, get well soon, Mother Earth.

— Suri


What are Quarantine Musings? Just some random, trivial, light-hearted (or maybe even deep?) thoughts that pass through my mind during these lockdown days.

Quarantine Musings #13

So finally, the rains have arrived in Mumbai! Of course they were here even before, but what are rains without a ‘heavy rainfall orange/ red alert’ or without news of waterlogging in the city?

I had to go outside yesterday, to buy essentials, amidst the rains. It was raining cats and dogs! It was fun though – to go outside after a long while and even more fun to feel the rain falling on you. I’ve always liked the rains (without the thundering, of course).

But one thing became quite clear to me, rains and face masks don’t go well together; unless you’re carrying an umbrella – which I wasn’t. I had a raincoat on and so my mask was completely drenched with rainwater by the time I returned home.

I haven’t traveled outside a 2 km (about 1.3 miles) radius since mid March due to the lockdown restrictions. When was the last time you traveled a farther distance other than for the usual ‘grocery shopping’?

— Suri


What are Quarantine Musings? Just some random, trivial, light-hearted (or maybe even deep?) thoughts that pass through my mind during these lockdown days.

Quarantine Musings #11

Monsoon in Mumbai feels so eerily different this year. Each year after bearing the scorching heat of the summers, we find ourselves longing for the rains. This year the longing phase was so abrupt.

Of course, this may not be the actual onset of the monsoons, it might just be a by-product of the Nisarga cyclone (which I had mentioned in my previous post Quarantine Musings #9 )- which quite conveniently has dodged (and saved us!) away from the city to other parts of the state.

We have been receiving these pre-monsoon showers for a good four days at a stretch. And yet we already have the hashtag #MumbaiRains trending on Twitter!

As local trains aren’t running anymore (except for essentials), in light of the current lockdown guidelines – I wonder whether we would still be hearing news of waterlogging on the railway tracks, like each year?

Monsoons remind us Mumbaikars of bhajiis and vada pavs and garam garam (hot) chaai (tea). This year instead of buying it from those roadside stalls, shops and tapris, we’ll have to savour them by cooking it up inside our own kitchens. Now that should surely be a healthy change!

Wishing you all a Happy Monsoon!

— Suri


What are Quarantine Musings? Just some random, trivial, light-hearted (or maybe even deep?) thoughts that pass through my mind during these lockdown days.

Quarantine Musings #10

I miss the beaches

and the mountains.

I miss our esplanade

the Marine Drive.

I miss the rides

to the markets and the malls.

I miss the bookstores

the smell of new books.

I miss the freedom

to just walk, and walk and walk.

— Suri


What are Quarantine Musings? Just some random, trivial, light-hearted (or maybe even deep?) thoughts that pass through my mind during these lockdown days.

Waiting For a Rainy Day

Sitting quietly by the windowsill, I was watching the colony of tiny ants, patiently carrying cubes of sugar, lining up in a queue and walking slow but steady. My eyes follow their path down from the windowsill through the curvy pipes and then straight into the grass. The grass is fresh but in need of water. I went inside to grab a jug of water. As I was pouring water into the potted plants, I broke a sweat. I had hardly done any work! Yet the heat of summers along with the humidity in Mumbai is enough to be soaked in sweat within minutes.

I was longing for the rain. We all do it, right? Towards the end of summers, when the degrees soar up insanely, we all know who to wait for. Especially in Mumbai, where winters are dull and summers are hot, our only saviour is the rain. That’s the one thing which we have in abundance!

It’s quiet tonight. Rains have already arrived in the southern parts of India, slowing traversing it’s way upwards. The thought of rain excites me. Of course, I’m not fond of the thunder which follows the rain.

Our relatives from countryside have already notified us about the arrival of rain at their place. It’s so close now. I can totally feel it. It was breezy some time ago but now it’s even more windy. And it’s considerably cooler now. Signs of rain. It’s night time, so I cannot actually see the clouds clearly, but I’m sure it’s cloudy as no star is visible.

I hope it rains tonight. I hope it lowers the temperature.

Dear Rainy Day,

I’m Waiting In Anticipation. Come Soon.

Yours Truly,

Suri

– Suri

Sanitation survey

Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScPhbsTaQ_O_5rWWiQ8wonSHTdBv0HHXm96lbAJMtPFnXdEdQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

!! Attention dear Indian readers !!

     Maintaining sanitation in India is a major issue. Lack of access to clean toilets has an impact on public health and dignity. The result of this is usually open defecation which is associated with serious public health issues. According to the Swachhta Status Report issued in 2016 by the Government of India, ‘in rural areas, the percentage of peope practicing open defecation was estimated to be 52.1%. In urban India, this percentage was estimated to be 7.5%. Out of the 3788 villages surveyed, 13.1% villages in India were found to have community toilets. Out of the sample villages, at all India level, 1.7% villages were found to be having the community toilets but not using them.’

     Many new toilets are being built around the world to help end open defecation. Unfortunately, many of these new toilets, still remain unused because of improper maintenance; they are not cleaned regularly, are poorly managed and smell bad. As people experience discomfort using these unmaintained toilets, they continue to relieve themselves in the open where the air is fresher, dodging the idea of visiting a public toilet. Poor management and hygienic maintenance are very serious issues. A well-kept toilet will encourage proper usage and prevent deadly diseases.

     Hygienic sanitation facilities are crucial for public health. It is estimated that up to 5 million people die each year from preventable waterborne diseases, as a result of inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. Sanitation is a necessity for a healthy life as this issue is directly related to a person’s health.

     We are designing an IoT (Internet of Things) based system to track the upkeep and maintenance of public toilets. Our system is divided into 5-6 subsystems based on the requirements of the authorities. It will provide the toilet usage data, the maintenance data, the water usage data, etc. to the authorities.

     In order to ensure best practices and standards in toilet ethics and toilet design, we need to integrate conventional cleanliness strategies with modern sanitation technologies. To make this idea more people oriented, cost effective while considering needs of people into account, we need to interact with the potential customers and with the users. This can be done with the help of this survey. Using this platform, we are sure to gain tremendous insights into the actual needs and necessities of the people who have experienced the problems first-hand.

     Using the results of this survey, we will have a fair idea of the current conditions in public toilets and the steps to be taken to overcome the problems.

     Sanitation is a sensitive topic in India. We would like to overcome this hurdle and contribute to the betterment of the society. Spare us your 5 mins to fill in this survey. No personal details are required.

Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScPhbsTaQ_O_5rWWiQ8wonSHTdBv0HHXm96lbAJMtPFnXdEdQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

     Please fill and share this survey form with your friends and with as many people as you can. The data collected through this survey will provide us valuable insights for our project.

 

 – Suri