Gravel, tar and a road roller

The year was 2011 and I was preparing for my GRE which was out of 1600 back then and I remember associating the word ubiquitous with the road that is right across my flat called Pankha which means a fan in Hindi, Pankha Road.

Discover Prompts through discovering on WordPress would keep giving topics in the month of April and today it was street. Here I am writing about the street right across the colony that I have called home since 1986.

It is a peculiar state of affairs. The road divides or segregates constituencies or economic parity quite prodigiously. Towards our side is what we call Southwest Delhi constituency with flats, bungalows, parks, markets and schools whereas the farther side of the road is a decrepit village that has metamorphosised into brick and cement with development taking a back seat and a haphazard way of living. It is also the Outer Delhi constituency with a lot of migrants from neighbouring states. No harm intended.

When we had moved in initially, the road was notorious for at least 3-4 accidents daily because of illegal deconstruction of the straight road to make gaps in the divider for illogical short cuts through the middle of the road. Mom had one such accident when a man riding a scooter hit her at speed while she was trying to cross the road with dad. Recovery was painfully slow for Mom and required extensive physiotherapy sessions for her arm.

As of now, there is a flyover over the stretch of the road in front of my house which took 10 years to see the light of the day. The reason is simple, there was a Congress state government while the Municipal Corporation Councillor was from BJP for two consecutive terms. Even when the flyover was made, there was litigation required to remove a house encroaching on the descent causing traffic snarls or bottleneck.

There are two metro stations that lie on the road and one of them is at walking distance. Ever since I can remember, the road built from gravel, tar and a road roller has been as much a part of my address as life itself. It is an eerie place today due to the lockdown and the lack of traffic and subsequent honking. I guess this story does have a silver lining.

Discover Prompts, Pankha Road, Street, GRE,Delhi, constituency,
Pankha Road, Janak Puri

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