11 June 2007

Lonavala 2

Well the platform 2 exit is an absolute contrast to the other exit. At first glance it looks exactly like the umpteen Mumbai suburbs: Congested, crowded, chaotic. But look carefully and you will find it different in its rows of flower sellers, cobblers, "ready made clothes" shops and traffic. It is actually Mumbai on vacation. The main chowk as you get out is curiously named "Jaichand Chowk", someone told me after the famous traitor!

Jaichand Chowk

Move ahead and a giant Shivaji greets you astride a stallion. Facing the shivaji is the fruit market, named after Jyotiba Phule with a small statue. Reminds me of Crawford Market.


Shivaji


Jyotiba Phule

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar

Further ahead is the Municipal office greeted by the figure of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. For three quarters of a kilometer length of a road the presence of so many national leaders is astounding! Probably it says something about the real politik of the place too. But I just cant seem to lay my finger on it! Actually Lonavala is like a archaeological site in terms of social development. Dig carefully and you can see all the layers distinctly: British Raj and its die hard remnants; Rural India; the effects of new market economy; and of course the various icons of the social upheavals we are witnessing in this part of the country. Dig deeper and and you will find the real India! But if you dont want to act like an archaeologist, just wait for the monsoons and you will be rewarded1
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