If my experience of going by bus to office was one harrowing affair, from Day 2, I decided to reluctantly plunge into the other option – of taking my car to work. Our office has moved about 3-4 kms closer to home. This means I now need to commute for about 30 kms instead of 34 (each way). To commute to work from my place, I need to use a very creative combination of Bus, Train or Auto all the time, if I am not driving my car. Using this method of public transport takes about 2 hour each way. If I drive down my car – it takes somewhere between an hour and hour and a half each way. I decided to use this option, at the cost of my own personal stress of manoeuvring through narrow gaps in the traffic, day in and day out as my Swift chugs away to office and home.
I have seen people do a host of things while on their cars. Some who drive by themselves, always listen to music, attend phone calls or even cut nails (I know this sounds yuck!)while their hands are wrapped around the steering wheel! Some folks who have a driver for the car, sit back and read the newspapers and magazines, continue working on their computers or talking on their mobile phones. The latter is like a seamless transition to doing what you want and what is more productive from home onto your car and then finally onto your office and same thing in the reverse way. It of course comes with a cost – that of the Driver’s salary, overtime and other whims and fancies that they have. But nevertheless, it bails you out of the anxiety of driving in Mumbai roads.
Having spent a little more than 3 hours on my car each day since the last three days of this week, while commuting to and from office, I am beginning to think if the term “Mumbaikar” (it means Mumbai ite or person who hails from Mumbai in Marathi) is actually becoming “Mumbai Car”? People spent about 15-20% of the 24 hours in a day commuting in the city through various modes including cars. They may be spending more time in the car with themselves than with their family members at home. The car does become one of the most underrated assets on Mumbai’s roads. The most overrated and overpriced asset is of course housing in Mumbai as you pay a fortune to buy one, but have no time for yourself to spend at that home. Especially in a place like Mumbai, I see the car and driver both as an investment that contributes to your productivity. They are the winds of change that transport you between different environs like between home and office, home and gymnasium etc.
Lets see how long I last driving by myself to the city – everyday day in and day out. The temptation is too strong to hire a driver, but I somehow am not convinced of giving someone else the charge of taming my SWIFT while I sit behind and relax. Lets see…only time would tell.
Till then, continue enjoying your second home - the car!