What was announced as a “small” spot-fix by Pradip Thaker turned up a very large number of volunteers. Let’s see — six from Regent’s Place, six from the Brookefields/Ryan-School Area, two from Paradise Nest, several from BEML layout, Kundalahalli Gate, other areas. Some turned up additionally with their own labor-staff. A total of twenty pairs of hands! Am I the only one rejoicing at this Whitefield-wide camaraderie?
Yes, we’re taking back public space. It belongs to we, the people. And not just the landscaping just outside our apartment buildings. Wherever we are in Whitefield, our volunteers show up. Sunday morning, at 8:00 AM, perhaps still bleary-eyed, but packed with muscle power.
The open drain at the intersection of 17th cross and Varthur Main Road is not quite history yet. The drain is cleared, the supporting walls re-built, the sewer pipes laid. The cement is setting. Tuesday. That’s when we walk triumphantly over the former open drain, without fear of falling in.
Quite a few of us must’ve lost a kilogram digging out silt and sand from the edges of the road. Kids joined in after the dig-out-the-sand crew, after the broom-crew. Let me underline that: The black-and-yellow pavement painting was done by kids. Street hawkers offered free chai to us volunteers, insisted we drink. Cars passed by, slowed down, bemused, causing a Sunday morning traffic jam. Many gave us a thumbs-up.
Folks, a successful spot-fix, a microscopic yet important improvement to our dear Whitefield. A Sunday morning work-out. A lesson in humility. A joining of peoples across economic divides. A sense of belonging. A common defence against abuse of public property.