Thursday, July 25, 2013

Holey Whacamole

Nope, this is not about the game! It is about the pot holed glory that Bangalore roads have become these days, thanks to the rain! So, apparently the roads are fixed every year and every year after the first showers they return to their original state of ‘holeyness’. And no, the roads don’t develop an aura or start teaching us the way of life. Pun intended. 

I honestly think the holes are always there, under the covers all summer, biding their time, itching to pop out at the first sign of rain, threatening to be unearthed by so much as a strong gust of wind. They are a car’s best fiend. That was NOT a type. I did mean a fiend. I cringe at the thought of driving on the road these days. I think my car has programmed the current potholes on my regular route in its microprocessor and I find it veering itself to one side of the road trying to avoid being tilted at a 45 degree angle while going over the newest addition to the relief features of the ‘road’. It hardly ever helps though because in some stretches, the road is entirely missing. The choice is between a 45 degree angle and a 30 degree angle. Take your pick.

Actually I think if I go over the same pothole in both directions, my wheel alignment would actually get balanced. In fact I would probably save some money. Although nobody in their right mind would EVER get their wheel alignment checked in India. Even if I get it checked (I don’t know why I would do that), I wouldn’t spend money getting it fixed. I saw an advertisement the other day that offered a discount on wheel alignment and I couldn’t help feeling bad for the poor guy who not only opened that business but also spent money advertising it. You might as well take that money and throw it out the car’s window. Or collect all such monies towards a road fund J. Because the taxes we pay go towards the ‘Swiss’ fund of the local politicians.

I think I can take the kids of our community on a field trip to the local pothole and explain quite a few geographic concepts if I spend 20 minutes there. It has ridges and valleys, mountains and hills, seas and oceans, rivers and deltas and by next season it may also boast of its own little eco system. It would be a nice case study in geography and science. I think Bangalore city officials should take advantage of these models created by nature and charge tickets for children to use them as study material. At least the potholes would have a purpose in life other than trying to break poor commuter’s backbones.

Sometimes I think it is a conspiracy by orthopedicians in Bangalore. They probably spend a lot of money appeasing the rain gods so Bangalore area sees a lot of rain and the roads are never free of potholes. The more people break their backs going over these potholes on their daily commute, the better business is for them. Or it could be a lobby of car companies who want the existing cars of the roads to die a painful death so sales would go up.

By the way, for those of you who don’t know already, these roads get ‘fixed’ every year. Which translates to the contractor getting paid to lay a new road but to save a ‘buck’, the metaphorical kind, they end up patching the road instead. Why fix the whole thing when only part of it is broken? How will they buy the latest model of the Audi if they don’t have a road to ‘fix’ next year? 

So, until the tender gets passed this year, we will be in our ‘hell hole’ and wait for the patches to come so we can move on with our life. Until next monsoon.

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