On Tuesday, I saw a miracle. For a few moments that evening, I was as happy and awe-struck as when I had received a ten-speed racing bicycle on my thirteenth birthday.
As a rule, I avoid using Sohna Road at night. The flying dust, terrible in the day as it is, is impossible to drive in by night. Plus, there are no (working) street-lights, right from Badshahpur to Rajeev Chowk. The feeling is probably akin to driving in the Afghanistan darkness. Not that I was there, but the shock and tremor of falling shells is recreated by the jarring potholes on Sohna Road – not forgetting the peat-thick perpetual dust storm. For some obscure reason, the authorities refuse to repair or light up the road. It is not the deserted stretch it was five years ago. The trucks, buses, and eighteen-wheeler rigs with feeble headlights on that dark stretch, do not promise a sane ride to the commuters.
On Tuesday, however, it was different. Very, very different. I was getting off nary-a-bump NH-8, to get back to the office on Sohna Road, via Rajeev Chowk, at 8 pm. I was tired, and not ready to handle the Sohna Road experience. Imagine the absolute delight when I saw high-wattage sodium lights lining the central verge as far as the eye could see. And working, too. I slowed down, thinking I had taken the wrong exit. I paused, to take it all in. That moment, seeing the wide road lit from end to end, and in fact stretching to eternity, was like seeing Mumbai’s Queen’s Necklace. Every car was brightly visible.
At that moment, I realised how much a well-lit road means to a Gurgaon commuter. As a citizen, I would very much like to thank the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the Roads & Building Department for that moment. They work very slow, even excruciatingly slow; but sometimes even their half-completed, corruption-ridden work brings a smile to the people. Please do urgently complete the street-lighting on Sohna Road. It would mean a lot to the people living around the darkened stretch. And may the light shine on you too.
Imagine how little things can still cheer