Friday, June 24, 2005

Unleashing mayhem

Its raining heavily in Mumbai. Just yesterday, I was discussing a revitalisation plan for Mumbai with a friend (I could prepare a proposal, if you want). You know, evacuate all the citizens (Citizens of Mumbai! You have to leave. NOW!). Arrange for a nuclear explosion at the bottom of the sea some 10 kms from Mumbai, ensuring no nuclear fallout and deaths due to radiation. The subsequent Tsunami waves should cause total obliteration of Mumbai and its suburbs- a slate wiped clean.The water should wash all over Mumbai and drain out from the eastern side along the creeks. All the monstrous skyscrapes gone, all the slums vanished. All the temples caved in. All the mosques flattened. All the church bells all the bottom of the sea or silt. The tetrapods of Marine drive will be found at Vashi. The spindly railway tracks looking like earthworms slashed and quartered by devilish kids. The city would be a heap of crumpled metal, debris and brackish sea silt. But for a city floating on 10 meters of land-mass, it's welcome addition. Burying the past right beneath, stamping out the excesses, the barbarity and acts of inhumanity. Starting afresh - with a clean slate. A, B, C...M for Mumbai. Somebody should cover the disaster live. Destruction of the city.
It is anyway a ghost town, a megalomanic city whose soul is long dead. In the quest for lucre, people were trampling on others, fighting for space, being inhumane or indifferent, just barely surviving. The city had itself taken a form of a uncontrollable monster, with its own mind, surreptiously enslaving its people - making them think that its alright to slog, suffer, scour, bear, beg, grovel now, because there will be a better tomorrow when they will be free from all this. Of course, there is no tomorrow for Mumbai. There never was. Those who realise what there were trapped in, work harder, just so that they can get out of it. And those who can't, romanticize the misery.
Anyway, so when the destroying is done, then build the city from its ashes. Brick by brick. Need by specific need. Invite people on case by case basis. Isolate the island. Allow along specific port of entries for people who want to start their lives again. Monitor who and what goes in. For that will decide, what becomes of the city. A more diabolical version of the earlier monster or a living, pulsating space, which is a tribute to the human spirit. One we claimed Mumbai embodied, but never did.
All this will require planning on a massive scale and will take a period of almost 10 years for the city to resurrect. It needs to be well-thought out, the nuclear explosion has to be just right and needs to be simulated using some advanced computer programs Biztact  and BARC could help), else the waves will rise as high as Pune (Nnnnnnnnnooo!!!!).
The idea I propose is presposterous. Its partly is derived from this character Ra's Al Ghul, who I first came across in Batman - The Animated Series and have been fascinated ever since. I had long forgotten the name, but I didn't know even after watching Batman Begins that he was responsible for partly shaping the character of Batman himself.
The point is that the idea is far fetched and may sound batty. But if we don't act now, then nature is going embark on its own balance-restoring mechanism and destruction will happen anyway. Unfortunately, we won't be prepared then.
Probably the rains will never stop.
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