First world problems in Powai are problems that are relatively insignificant compared to the real problems. These are felt by the privileged section of the society. There is no denying that most of Powai is ‘developed’. With premier schools and higher educational institutes, we are an educational hub. With higher standard of housing, luxury hotels and fine restaurants, we have an elevated lifestyle. The Silicon Valley of Mumbai, Powai has many established and upcoming start-ups as well as offices of high profile companies.
With housing, food, education and work sorted, life in Powai seems perfect. But it comes with its own share of problems.
What if the elevator stops working? What if the air conditioning fails? What if the housemaid doesn't show up today? What if the school bus service providers go on a strike? What if your Wi-Fi is off? Seems terrible, right? Considering that people in certain areas don’t have water, food and electricity, all these problems are cute. These are first world problems and we have a lot of them.
You need to know that there are real problems outside and even though it doesn't directly affect you, you cannot ignore it. First world problems, unlike real problems, can be avoided. Here’s a list of first world problems the residents of Powai avoid:
1. First World Problems in Powai -Having to stand in the train:
This is not a problem because trains haven’t reached Powai yet. We are also saved from the problem of missing a train. Further, we avoid standing in long queues at the ticket counter.
The railway and transport ministry of the past and present have taken special care that a posh area like Powai doesn’t have cheap transportation like trains. However, you can ride to Kanjurmarg railway station or Sakinaka metro station to taste this problem.
It is absurd that a place having so many schools, offices and aspirations (IIT) is not well connected to the other suburbs. A cheap and affordable public transport has always been a necessity.
2. First World Problems in Powai – Watching a disappointing movie in a theatre:
Watching a disappointing movie is very much possible, but not in Powai. Spoiler alert: There is no movie theatre in Powai. You would say that having a theatre is not a necessity. It's not, but isn’t it better if we had one?
Back‘ground’ story: There was a ground assigned to build a theatre. Now, activities like rallies, matches and parking happen on that ground. It’s called the cinema ground without there being a cinema. Some may sense corruption here, some say it’s not profitable, some talk about lack of resources and clearances. I don't know what it is. What I do know is that there’s neither a cinema here nor is this uneven, rocky, patchy place fit to be called a ground. Atleast make it a proper ground!
3. First World Problems in Powai – Removing the ball from the gutter:
This seems like an ancient problem. You remember the times when kids used to go down and play? It was aeons ago!
Earlier, kids used to play in buildings and grounds. Now they have to play only on grounds. As we all know, there’s abundant land in this city to have sufficient grounds to accommodate everyone who desires to play.
People have now started parking on grounds. Fests and rallies happen on grounds. One can only play when the ground is free and dry. Players must take utmost care that the ball does not hit the people who come for a walk. They came for a walk on the ground. It’s not like we have a lot of parks and footpaths.
Earlier, gutters bordering the grounds was a concern for us kids. Now there are too many kids and very few grounds. Many grounds have been replaced by buildings.
Stop blaming kids for switching to technology for games. Not only are our developmental requirements depriving kids of physical play-space but we are also intruding their limited play area.
4. First World Problems in Powai – Speed breakers and potholes slowing down the traffic during peak hours:
The only thing that slows down traffic here is more traffic. Irrespective of the speed regulations, you move only as fast as the vehicle ahead. You don’t feel the speed bumps because of the slow-moving vehicles. This is excellent news, especially for back patients.
If you are travelling within Powai during peak hours, I suggest you walk. I often walk from one part of Powai to another and reach faster than any vehicle.
Traffic here, like anywhere else in Mumbai, is very annoying. But who causes it?
The signals are crossed. One way lanes are cut. The yellow traffic light is always ignored. We have so many footbridges yet people choose to walk across roads. The IIT Main Gate signal is a regular accident spot.
We blame traffic for our daily struggles but inadvertently violate traffic rules ourselves. We cannot eliminate traffic, but we can reduce it by obeying every tiny traffic rule. Don't ignore these seemingly unimportant things: when too many people do it, it becomes a mess.
5. First World Problems in Powai – Lack of waste disposal facilities:
Why worry about waste disposal when you have an entire lake for it?
The water of Powai Lake is officially unfit for drinking. The lake is now home to crocodiles, weeds and sewage. Chemicals and household sewage flowing into the lake has made pollution levels eight times above safe standards.
People from near and far places come to sit by the lake. They might even get wet in its overflowing waters during monsoons. Do they know that they are hanging out near a huge sewage dump? We cannot allow that. We can’t let outsiders come and occupy our garbage space.
I would also like to genuinely compliment the cleanliness of the suburb. You can find dustbins installed on footpaths almost every 100 metres. Certain places have different bins for wet waste and dry waste. Powai is also one of the cleanest parts of Mumbai. Terrestrial cleanliness makes Powai better than most of the suburbs in Mumbai.
6. First World Problems in Powai – Lack of public toilets:
This is clearly not a problem. Agreed there aren’t many public toilets in Powai and the residents wouldn’t need them unless it’s an emergency. There are public toilets in our gardens. There is one in Haiko on the third floor. But as I said, the residents don’t always require a public toilet. It is mostly needed by the people who have mobile jobs.
Now, why do you need public toilets when you have shady roads?
Here’s a list of lanes where you can urinate openly and nobody will object*-
i. The street behind Hiranandani knowledge park
ii. On technology street, before turning toward the street mentioned in i.
iii. The narrow road before turning toward the exam centre on the way to Aarey colony
iv. The one-way behind Hill side in Raheja Vihar
v. The road on the right immediately before Powai Vihar
If you know or see more such streets, PLEASE STOP people from urinating there.
The best we, as citizens, can do is spread awareness and warn people to stop urinating on streets.
7. First World Problems in Powai – Lack of auto-rickshaws:
Even though there are plenty of auto-rickshaw’s around here, they are simply not interested in carrying passengers. We complain about it amongst ourselves, but we don't act against it. Legally the autowalas are not allowed to deny passengers since they come under public transport. They could be initially fined and their licenses could be suspended in case of repeated offenses. But again, who’s checking?
Even though there is enough public transport in this area, it seems like there is lack of it. Many auto-rickshaw drivers don’t do their jobs properly, and we do not have equal number of alternatives. Since there are plenty of auto-rickshaws around, we can’t really complain about lack of public transport. What we can do is pester the authorities to take action. Use your right to public transport, people.
8. First World Problems in Powai – Lack of intelligent and responsible people:
Powai is home to some of the best institutions not only in Mumbai but in India. Lack of intelligence does not reside here, but a certain level of ignorance does. How useful is our intelligence when it does not have a voice for society? I know this article won’t reach the uneducated masses and that these masses are a major cause of several problems. But they do not have as much power and resources to bring about a change as you well-educated people do. You may have achieved a lot for yourself, but the listed problems exist in spite of you. You might have also done a lot for society. That’s excellent, but not enough. Dear citizen, you need to step up for the good of the community. If you have already stepped up in the past, you need to accelerate. Stop snoozing your alarm, wake up!