Don’t Break the Flyovers!

Our personal life and life around us has many things in common. In both cases, issues crop up, they are studied, they are discussed, and decisions are made. In retrospect, we realise that better choices could have been made, more elegant solutions could have been found. As the saying goes, the hindsight vision is always 20/20! Had we been able to make decisions closer to 20/20, things could have been better! Mistakes happen in both public and personal life. The result is complications and stress. This thought gave me an idea of comparing these two aspects together.

COEPFlyover

In Pune’s newspaper, I saw a photograph of the perpetual traffic jam on the flyover system near COEP. The city planners built an elaborate system of flyovers to overcome the traffic snarls in that area. I have read somewhere that by making flyovers, planners tend to push the traffic snarls into the next traffic junction where we have traffic signals. But in this case, something else happened; just after the flyovers, there are traffic signals, and the traffic gets choked there itself, even after flyovers were commissioned, not much has changed. At the next junction, which is signal free, there are no traffic snarls.

Life is always in WIP (work in progress) mode. It means that at every stage we keep on processing information that reaches our brain. We, of course, know that our brain is the world’s most advanced and fastest Super Computer. All new data is processed, churning takes place, information is sent back and forth to the stored database/ information in the brain. The result is arrived at, on the basis this churning and processing. The exchange happens so many times during the day that we tend to make decisions, but we process results based on priorities. Sometimes our priorities clash that results in issues.  Humans tend to push the specific problems under the rug or come up with a temporary solution. These solutions are reached, based on the analysis of the available data, to solve the questions based on the current situation. Most of the times, humans don’t consider long term view, and this action sometimes creates problems, slater.

Did you observe any similarity in the above two paragraphs? Indeed, there is a similarity, and we tend to put issues on the back burner, we sometimes ignore problems. City-related matters are handled by humans,  in a very similar way. Ignoring problems affects a large number of people in society. But in our case, incorrect resolutions affect personal lives directly. What needs to be done in such instances? For any issue or a problem, the overall solution needs to be considered and not a short-term solution.

 MumbaiPuneHway

I have displayed a google map of the area in Pune, where there are traffic snarls after new flyover system came up!  The Red circle indicates the snarl area. If we consider the traffic is arriving from 4 to 1, we will know the real problem. The new flyover system helps people to cross the railway line in the problem area. All four points do the same thing. But point 1 has been closed for this crossing long time back. Location 3 has been closed recently. Point 2 and four help in crossing the railway line, but these crossings pass through narrow or congested roads. In the last few years, besides traffic from 4 to 1 coming in the red circle, traffic has been pouring in through the new highway, from the airport, parallel to the river. All this indicates that problem definition and solution did not go hand in hand. Huge traffic volume comes to the red circle area. The answer should have been not to bring traffic to snarl area and divert it via different routes. But the studies were not proper, and hence answers were incorrect. What is the answer? I don’t know. In Mumbai, some such issue about a flyover was resolved by breaking a special flyover to be replaced by another one, which fixed the issue. We have a similar problem in Pune University circle area. In the University circle area, one could see from the beginning, that solution was not correct. On top of the wrong decisions, judgement about future traffic density was also grossly underestimated. The result, the same. In peak hours, a group of policemen is required to handle the traffic chaos manually!

In our lives, we also misjudge many things. Sometimes, we make the wrong investments. Sometimes we underestimate our future requirements at home as well as finances. Sometimes, we do not take decisions and let the problems linger. I have seen this happening in people about their health. They try to ignore issues or postpone the checkups. A friend I met after many years, told me that he is afraid to get himself regularly checked up by doctors. I asked him the reason. He said, ” I am afraid that some health issue may get detected”. I said that is the reason for getting yourself checked.

In the public domain, if we make a wrong decision, we can find different solutions, including from above example, break the flyover and build a new one. Such solution creates inconvenience and costs a lot of money. No individual is directly troubled with this solution. But in our case, family and we are the direct sufferers. Wrong career moves, wrong investment decisions, involvement with the wrong type of people, are described as errors or wrong choices, in retrospection.  But they take their toll!

Friends, try and learn the art of visualising things about the future while taking life’s decisions. We have enough information stored in our brain, learn to utilise it correctly while we decide something. When we have to make significant decisions in life, sleep over it before making the final decision, ask friends and mentors. Don’t feel shy to seek advise. Ultimately, it’s your life!

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