What is the Overbridge?

Stand on the overbridge, and watch the traffic of life whizz by..

My interest in overbridges started almost twenty years ago.

I still remember very well, a warm night in Delhi - I had just finished my dinner and had almost an hour to spend before the scheduled time for my daily call to a certain hostel in Alappuzha. With nothing better to do, I was walking along aimlessly when I came upon this pedestrian overbridge and almost on instinct, I went up the bridge. I may even have been thinking of doing a few ups and downs on the bridge for some ad-hoc exercise. But when I reached the top and looked below, I was struck by the unending flow of traffic - it was a stream of lights as far as the eye could see, for it was a very straight road and it being quite late at night, the traffic was pretty smooth.

Something made me wonder where all those people where heading off to. It was an answer I knew well - they were all rushing home. Back to their homes, to their families. If they were lucky, some of them could expect a hot dinner served by loving hands. Some of them would probably go home and rummage through the fridge to bring up something to eat. Many of them may in fact have already had their dinner and were just rushing back home to crash on to their beds. At this time of the night, only very few would expect their children to be up waiting for them. And after reaching home, gulping down a hasty dinner and crashing for the night, what next? Before they knew it, they would be reaching out a sleepy, faltering hand to hit the snooze button on the alarm that always went off too soon, heralding the beginning of another day.

The daily grind on the treadmill of life..

Though in general, each person whizzing by below was actually playing out his or her part of the daily grind, when I thought about it, each person would also have a slightly different story to tell. But before I could let my imagination loose on some of those stories, it was time for my phone call and I slowly came down from the overbridge, still lost in thought.

Ever since that day, I made it a habit to go up there, on to the overbridge, whenever I had some free time. In fact I even began to look forward to these reflective moments on the overbridge. If I had my way, I would have dragged a chair up on to the top and would have settled down there for a very long time; but city folks though quite forward in their outlook in most things, still had some way to go before they would look favourably on such an indulgence!

I left Delhi soon after and moved to Singapore. During the first few years in Singapore also, my wife and I managed to discover a couple of overbridges we really liked. We would take a leisurely walk on top of those bridges on most nights, and on some nights, we would even find time to pause for a while atop.

Maybe its not an overbridge for you, but I am sure all of us have different ways of getting into the zone, as they say - different ways to harness our thoughts to spend some time in reflection or meditation or whatever we like to call it.

As the years have passed, there is not much time for actually climbing overbridges now, leave alone sitting for a while atop! But whenever I want to get into a reflective or contemplative mood, I reign in my mind and make the climb up the overbridge, and in my mind's eye I look down upon the traffic flowing by. It is amazing how it immediately helps me to collect and compose my thoughts.

On this site, you will find some of these reflections – they are not specific to any topic or subject; they are in many ways random, because when you let your mind loose, most of the thoughts that creep in are indeed random. But while these musings may be random, they have impacted me and my life in some way and I do hope you will find some pleasure in at least reading about it. If at all they go in some way in influencing your own thoughts and ideas, then I have nothing more to say!

And it is in that spirit, dear friend, that I invite you to come along and stay with me awhile on the overbridge, watching the traffic of life whizz by..

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Comments (9)

Indira says...

for me it is the early morning cup of tea in my balcony.. glad that you've compiled the writings! do keep it filled for blog lovers like me!

Rekha P N says...

Well written, Preethi! My compliments to your husband.

Biju Mangalath says...

Great Job... Dins and Preethi... so finally you have bundled it all together.. Lets hope 'overbridge' takes the writer to the deserving heights...

Preethi Joseph says...

Mahesh Sukumaran.....this is written by my husband.....Dinu Paul Joseph

Mahesh S says...

I know that, from the first line

Preethi Joseph says...

Reghu R says...

Quite a varied list of topics addressed...keep it up.

David L says...

I will try climbing an overbridge one of these days and let you know how it works out! I am guessing it takes a little more than an overbridge and spare time on your hands! It is indeed a simple presentation of some wonderful thoughts. How do I follow the blog if I'm not on social media?

Dinu says...

David, I've been thinking for some time of adding a mailing list - your request is probably just the kick that I needed! Will let you know.

Satish M says...

I like the concept for the blog. Looking forward to many engaging discussions on The Overbridge!

Rajesh P says...

Philosophy on a Delhi overbridge - all that traffic smoke must have gone to your head But seriously, I loved it. Keep writing.

John S says...

"scheduled time for my daily call to a certain hostel in Alappuzha"