Thirty-Six years of my life were spent in a city that is said to have been built and rebuilt seven times. Known as Delhi it was where my heart lay in all these 36 years. But professional need of my husband took me to another city, Thane, in Maharashtra.
But naturally before coming to Thane I had all kinds of imaginative phobias I was carrying along with my baggages. The only meager general knowledge I had about Thane was derived in my student’s day. I had read the first railway line built in 1853 under the British ran between Bombay and Thana as it was known then. Being a history student I felt good to land in yet another historical city.
When I stepped in Thane I felt its serenity unlike the noisy capital city. The smallness of the city spanning an area of just 147 Sq. km unlike the vastness of Delhi made me rest in peace. I was all poised to see a beautiful city surrounded by the Yeaor Hills, Thane Creek and not to forget Masunda Talao, also known as Talao Pali.
Fred A. Allen had said in his maiden visit to Paris that the first thing that strikes a visitor in Paris is a taxi. On my part I would say that the first thing that struck me when I set my eyes on this city was its quietitude.This slow paced life was enough to make me sit up and removed my phobia of a fast paced life – a thing I had often heard about Mumbai but dreaded to experience myself. This is what endeared me to the city.
I am also fortunate to be residing in an area which at first glance looks no less like any neat foreign locale. As a resident of Hiranandani Estate I have got the opportunity of residing in a location which makes me so accessible to the malls, grocery stores, cinema theatres etc. The Estate itself makes my life so self-sufficient with facilities of a hospital, a shopping arcade, a school and all kinds of eateries. To top it all the greenery that surrounds this area has kept me far from the maddening crowd. I simply love the blend of nature and modernity that comes with living in such a splendid residential area. All this is offered to me in Thane and that speaks voluminous of the fact that I love this city.
“What I like about cities is that everything is king size, its beauty and ugliness”. I second Joseph Brodsky’s view when it comes to comparing it with my own city. I would be too faked to view or write about Thane in all its beauty. For how can I be blinded to its potholed roads, open sewage, open garbage, dirty bus stand or railway stations.
But why still do I love Thane, lies in the spirit of the people. After all, what is a city, but the people, true the people are the city (Coriolanus III).The people here have strove to give Thane a complete makeover. It is seen in the increase in the number of trees being planted or taking up rain harvesting projects seriously or even applying solar generated electricity in some Residential Societies. One needs to applaud the people here for enabling Lord Ganesha to get an eco-friendly dip in the recent past. The women of my Estate have struck to the grounds when it came to convincing people on the ban of plastic bags or for that matter in educating the people about the segregation of wet and dry garbage. The city may have been described by me as slow paced but one cannot but admire the awareness level of Thaneites which makes up for an alert and active populous. This is what makes Thane a cut above other cities.
In the end I would like to conclude without sounding exaggserated that I have affection for this great city. I feel safe in the neighborhood of man and enjoy the sweet security of the streets. If my country has a spiritual soul, my city has a beautiful face.
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