The neighborhood we live in has two new eating joints. One is situated opposite two (well established) restaurants. The other new restaurant is about half a kilometre from the above mentioned. In addition to this there is yet another fast food chain in between and a coffee shop on this street and two other coffee shops on the adjacent road.. Then there is a branded jeans store, a textile 'biggie', a unisex saloon and many other shops. And I forgot the supermarket and yet another pizza joint and a few other upcoming eating places and shops and saloons. All the above are situated in a one KM radius.
Good news is n't it? One need n't travel by a vehicle....Just a few minutes walk would help you to meet all your needs. A hair-cut? walk it down. Forgot about the 'Urad dall' just as you are about to switch on the grinder...No problem...run to the store. Or forgot to buy a grinder... head to the electronics giant across the road. Guests coming...Don't wait for a home delivery...stroll across to the nearest pizza outlet and instead of waiting for the pizza, hop across to buy some dosas.
Sounds like fun? I really don't think so. With no one really bothering to create some parking space for people who dine or shop, the whole place is turning into a parking nightmare. Though the street we live in has no restaurant or shops, people who drive down, park their cars here. No one seems to think when they park. When one enters the street, one needs to be wary of the auto rickshaw stand at the street corner, the Toyota Innova parked immediately behind it and a Scorpio parked opposite. If this is a motorist's woe, I cannot even write down in meaningful words, the predicament of pedestrians.
I may sound like a hypocrite here. I want my shops and restaurants within walking distance, yet nurse a grouse. It is not about the commercial spaces themselves, but where they are placed. None of the restaurants or departmental stores I am referring to, having parking spaces for their customers. In many cases, old houses have been converted into swanky new shops. I am not even hinting at those tiny boutiques or antique places located in by-lanes. Every morning and evening the road looks like there is a perennial traffic jam, but in truth it is only an array of vehicles waiting for the signal to go green. Parked vehicles encroach the road so much that the others have to move at a snail's speed.
I can either go on lamenting or do my bit. As of now, we walk (however difficult it might sound!) to places within a kilometer or go around in the two-wheeler to places within a five or six kilometer range (with the kid that is. Without him, the distance really does n't matter!) or take the car only where there is no problem of parking...for us and others.
P.S: I began this post to write about a couple of restaurants that we have been frequenting off late, but had to put this down first, because whenever we come back home after a meal, we are unable to recognize it because of the haphazardly parked cars.