Saturday, January 12, 2008

Johannesburg in Summer




Johannesburg in January is like Kerala during the monsoons. It rains all over and the visibility is poor. Mists are rising and you will feel gloomy wanting to sit indoors.
There are occasional power cuts and the traffic lights are also not spared. Despite mismanagements in many areas of administration, the city is still beautiful and there is pomposity all around.
I stay in the Intercontinental hotel near the famous Wanderers club, in Sandton. All these areas are more like up market residential colonies. These are indeed the legacies of the past.
Just opposite to the Hotel is a famous big mall named after Nelson Mandela. There is a big bronze statue of the great man in this area.
While driving down to the Crown mines area, the navigator, Riaz showed us the area where Mandela now lives. Though ailing, he is still active for the benevolent and the charitable causes. Riaz says that the days spent in a jail make a man live longer because such days are rather free of worries and tensions. He seems to have a point. In India the Sanyasins (Sage) live longer than the Grihasthas (Sanskrit for householder) because of the same reason. A Grihastha’s life is never easy, I can vouch for that. After all, the food eaten by a Sanyasin also is donated by a hardworking Grihastha.
There is no time for any sightseeing as the official meetings keep me tight. On Sunday, I go to Durban.
Johannesburg, 11th January 2008.

4 comments:

Kariyachan said...

Hi Mr Varma;
Indeed a very impressive article. There are much more to be seen and understood in Johanessburg.

Very rarely does one realise that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the very first attorney of 'color' in South Africa, and that his office was set up in Johanessburg.

The guided underground mine tour at 'Gold Reef City', visting Soweto, Apartheid museum etc would give you an much more better picture about the history, and the rise of Johanessburg as the 'Gold Capital' of the world.

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thank you, Kariyachan. I appreciate your comments. In fact during my previous visit, I had the mine tour of Gold Reef City, as also, the Joburg Zoo . Of course, the Soweto/Museum visits are yet to be done.

Through the writings of Wilbur Smith, one gets a wonderful idea of Africa, the gold rush and its enthralling past.

By the way, are you stationed in Joburg? I shall try to look up during my next trip.

Kariyachan said...

Yes Sir;
Very much I am in Joburg, It would be my pleasure to be of any assistance, next time when you are in Joburg. I shall mail you my contact details.

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thank you, Kariyachan. I shall be in touch.