If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Feb 24, 2009

Anita

Head down St. Andrews road in a north south direction. When you can go no further , off to your left is the Vienna Stores. Its been there forever. Selling bread,chips, ballpens, matchboxes etc.etc.etc. It used to be run by a man called Peter. Peter had three daughters. Who grew up watching the traffic on Hill road get more and more and more. More buses, more cars more people. More fights. Over who had right of way. Wheter the car hit the bus or the bus hit the car. So One of Peters daughters signed up to be a volunteer traffic warden. The Traffic police trained her. They gave her a whistle and a uniform. She took her post at the junction. And traffic snarls were suddenly a thing of the past. In a neat and orderly fashion traffic flowed out of St. Andrews road. Schoolchildren were given right of way. Ambulances could actually get into Holy Family Hospital before their occupants needed the morgue instead of the emergency room. Anita held sway. Over drivers who questioned her authority. Once. Over errant rickshaw wallahs whose customers failed to tell them that St. Andrews was a one way. Or a no entry depending on your point of view. Over kids on motorcycles who thought that traffic rules were only for those who actually had driving licenses. When rush hour slackened Anita doffed her beret and headed back to the shop.
A parent at a local school was run or by one of their own school buses. DOA. An enlightened PTA called in Anita. For a span of duty every morning. To sort out the spaghetti of buses, cars, motorcycles, cycles, maids, parents, drivers and schoolchildren. Voila. Law and order reigns. Rows of children file past. From designated alighting zones. A whistle to hurry any offender off.
And after this Anita goes back. Back to selling bread and butter for her bread and butter. To being just another shopgirl. And you would never guess that this is Anita the Fearless. Who if she’d been on duty at 4.00 am one morning would have stopped Salman in his Landcruiser before it reached A1 bakery.

14 comments:

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Wonderful, Clement. I have seen Anita at work and she's a lady to be admired. I've seen the cops and BEST drivers giving her the respect she truly deserves....
Give us more, everyday Bandra heroes, please.
Take care.
Corinne

Samir Chadha said...

Apparently this warden scheme is a completely voluntary service. A big thank you to Anita for improving our traffic in Bandra.
pls convey our respect to her.

Giovanna said...

How can she do what paid male government employees can't do.

How old is she?

Did she go to school?

Anonymous said...

Karl ra munta Clem

Edwin said...

Yeah, I've Anita at work on my frequent trips down Hill Road, where my mother lives. Anita is a phenomenon like fearless Nadia. I've seen her impose discipline the good old fashioned way, startling hardened auto drivers out of their wits!
Way to go Gal. We who have seen you and your siblings grow, are proud of you.

Edwin Fernandes
ex-Virendra Colony

David said...

Excellento!!! Clement I am happy you wrote about Anita, she is amazing. Have seen her in action very often. You should have seen her snarl at the people who tried to break the rules while she was directing the traffic, it was entertaining!!!. And by the way I am glad you have resurrected before Easter and you have not waited for 40 more days to write hahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Anita is great with the traffic... but their shop is kind of smelly. Puts you off going there even if you want to - just to give the sisters their bread and butter.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the news clement. May God Bless Anita and her family

David said...

Wake up hun where are you???, the Lord will be resurrecting really soon so before he does....give us a good read on Easter!!!!

Sriram said...

Good to learn about Anita; people like her re-affirm our faith in humanity. And it's great to have people like her celebrated in your blog.

Got here thanks to Annabelle and started with 'Putru' :-)

Thank you for the stories Clement, they are quirky, flavorful and fun - here's to more wind beneath your wings.

Anonymous said...

I know Anita and her family. They are honest, good, hardworking people whose presence and store, remind me of what Bandra once was.
Thank you for writing about Anita. She makes life better for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Bleddy Bandra Buggers. Stop complaining about the Hill Road of now and yearning for the Hill Road of yore. You let the bootleggers ruin you and sold the family plot to Rizvi.

F.O to Oz and NZ.

Andre Rodrigues said...

I'd agree with the last anonymous in a way... goodbye ye old lovely bandra of the past with it's small villas and quaint streets, hello crowded bandra, where idiots crowd to watch Salman Khan at bandstand on sundays, where the traffic and the hordes of people come...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Clement, It was high time someone wrote about the good and unselfish work that she does to bring some sanity to Bandra, really appreciate her hard work and efforts.