Several reports today (July 2) speak of the traffic jams on the bridge as soon as it was thrown open, and at the Worli end in particular. (One of those reports). Of course, some of this is due to people out to see the bridge on a joyride, not least because using it is free for another five days. Some of it was due to "a speed breaker at the Worli exit point", later removed.
Yet consider: What traffic planning went into the design of this Sealink if it cannot cope with people out for a joyride?
Besides, DCP (Traffic) Shahaji Solunkhe offered this: "We are hopeful that within a few days the volume of traffic would reduce."
What kind of planning for a major traffic route "hopes" for a reduction in traffic on its first day in operation?
And why was that speed breaker there anyway?
Of course there's now the political controversy about naming the bridge, complete with all the attendant foolishness.
To start, I couldn't agree more with the Shiv Sena's Subhash Desai, who asked: "Is it a rule that everything in this country has to be named after the Gandhi-Nehru family?"
Think of the conniptions people have to go through in this naming game. Sharad Pawar proposes that it be named after Rajiv Gandhi, of course that has nothing to do with the fact that he was sitting next to RG's widow at the time. Right.
But the same Pawar makes sure to mention that RG is a bhoomiputra, a son-of-the-soil (though you might ask what soil he means since the bridge snakes over the sea), given that he was born in Bombay and spent many years here. He does that in an entirely cynical move to take the wind out of the sails of the self-styled champions of the son-of-the-soil argument, Desai's own party.
Still, they did want it named after Veer Savarkar. Why is that a more suitable proposal for a name for this bridge? That's not clear, but Desai's party boss, Uddhav Thackeray, says (Hindustan Times, July 2) that by naming it after RG, "the government has backstabbed Maharashtra".
Makes you wonder. What is the greater benefit to Maharashtra? The Sealink? Or the name on the Sealink?
But of course, questions like that are meaningless to folks focused on naming things.
And yet, about names ... you also have to wonder.
Why not call it the Srinivasa Ramanujan Sealink, after the brilliant Indian mathematician who died too young?
Or the Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi Sealink, after an uncommonly brave woman?
Or the Subramanyam Chandrashekhar Sealink, after the great astrophysicist who has a major astronomical phenomenon named for him?
Or the Albert Einstein Sealink, after a man whose genius and achievement transcended country and soil, indeed elevating all humanity?
Or the Emperor Ashoka Sealink, to honour one of the greatest monarchs in history?
Or the Bandra-Worli Sealink, because that's just what it is?