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Archive for August, 2009

There are two categories of people who get my goat…The ‘Scissor’ians and the ‘Lamp Lighters’…
The former is a group of blokes who are widely given to going around  and cutting ribbons and  declaring all kinds of enterprises open.  If you take your daily newspaper and and run a casual  eye over the photographs that appear in them  you will not miss these ‘veterans of the scissors’ , caught in vivid action.

A ribbon – golden, red, yellow, the colour is immaterial- is strung across whatever that needs to be opened . A group of expectant ‘hangers-on’ hang around in the background  so that they get prominently framed in the picture that is sure to be taken to perpetuate the occasion.  The enterprise owner,  his garishly painted up wife bedecked with ornaments and other paraphernalia,   and possibly all his ‘kids and kin’ in colourful  apparel crowd around,  jockeying themselves to be close to the place where the VIP,    about to do the surgery  is likely to be stationed …well,  as close as the scissors would possibly permit. A silver salver is kept ready  for  the VIP  with the ‘star’ of the function  lying in wait on a red ( or yellow or golden)  muslin cloth spread on it. The VIP picks  up the instrument of mayhem with his stock smile, looks around ,  beams with satisfaction and  the ribbon gets its ‘come-uppance’…. All around , the people clap dutifully and  lo ! The premises are thrown open.

After that act of bravery the  ‘Cutter’  makes the  first ‘buy’…Of course, if it is a gold outlet, the purchase may be symbolic and for all we know could be returned under the counter 😉

This farce is a frequent ritual  … The VIP involved may be a minister or a film star or even a junior star singer still wet behind the ears. But the act is invariant in its execution. There have been cases of  fully completed government projects  lying in suspended animation,  waiting for a minister or a VIP of an  appropriate clout ( and ability to handle a pair of scissors, ) to materialise and do the job. Roads, bridges and hospitals that have been constructed with people’s money and are badly needed by the society, all lie frozen in time  for want of a  ‘Scissorian’ to make the scene. What a shameful state of things in this God’s Own Country!

Then there is the second variety whom I call  the ‘Lamp lighters’…

Any function that is some function needs to be ‘inaugurated’ by a VIP, by lighting a ‘kuthuvilakku’ ( a tall ornamental lamp). These  will have an odd number of , shall we say, ‘ wick-ports’. The more important the event the larger will be the size of the ‘kuthuvillakku’ but the number of these ‘wick-ports’   may not change in proportion…

( thank God for that , see later for ‘why ?’…)

This  lamp will occupy the better part of the stage, the other part being cornered by the ‘Badger Blokes’.  They all wear  large-sized  colourful  rosettes displayed prominently on their shirt-fronts, making it absolutely  impossible to make out who is hiding behind it… maybe intentionally so. The lamp is first lit by the chief guest . It is  then   passed around like baton in a relay race to the lower rung  lamp-lighters, all  rubbing their palms together in expectant glee and eagerly waiting  in the wings for their  turn to come.   Fortunately the ‘torching ceremony ’ will be comparatively brief , thanks to the limited number of ‘wick-ports’ on the lamp.  Otherwise the ‘lighting’ act  would have gone on and on till closing time, since  invariably there will be more guys on the stage , with rosettes of course, than in the audience.

Chief performers  for both these events are generally drawn from the lines of collectors, ministers and other  social heavy weights . On  any given day you can bet your bottom paisa that there will be enough of these ‘shows’ splashed across the media to make you puke.
In some cases , if one is lucky, one may also see both these acts being  perpetrated by the same bloke  at the same venue…and that can   give rise to some hilarious possibilities…

( click here>>> ) scissorians-and-lamp-lighters1

Often  I ask myself, don’t these guys have any other useful work to do  than floating around looking for scissors and lamps…?

No wonder the affairs of our State are in such a disarray…

Long Live the ‘Scissor’ians …!

Long live the ‘Lamp Lighters’…!

JAI HIND!

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MPs and MLAs are considered to be Law Makers of our land … So when they attempt to break their own laws the man on the street gets thoroughly rattled… Ain’t it a case of the fence eating the crops… ?
Such a thing was however reported a few days ago in the media and the news made shocking   reading . Readers started asking themselves : do we have any hope in hell of a good governance anywhere in this country? The answer came loud and clear….

NOPE!

You must be wondering what the hell I am driving at.
Let me explain…

Many bridges in our country are contracted out on a ‘Build-Operate-Transfer’ basis ( BOT , for short ). For such an arrangement to be workable the contractors are required to charge and collect a ‘toll’ for every vehicle that uses the bridge after it is thrown open for traffic  ( Read ‘Inauguration’ ).

Well, at least that was what  the contractor guys thought all this time but apparently that is not likely to be!   Man proposes but MP disposes, or soon ‘he’ will , going by the moves that these people have initiated in the Parliament to get themselves  exempted from paying the toll…

And for what? Ah…! Thereby hangs a tale …

The MPs are said to be planning this move not  because they are poor or have no money to pay for the tolls .They seem to have  managed to look after themselves very well  with more perks, more remuneration and more of everything that you and I have to pay for…thank you!
These calculated moves are  claimed to be for getting relief from waiting with other ‘mortals’ in the ‘Toll-Q’ to pay up! They apparently feel it is an ‘embarrassment’ they can well do without. Maybe , they also think that  their job is such that even a minute wasted in abiding by the rules they themselves are party to,  cannot be tolerated  because it will all affect  adversely the ‘People’s Work’   they have taken up on themselves…

…Little things like opening a glittering  showroom  and making the first  buy  , inaugurating a much delayed and partially complete or partially incomplete ( depends upon your point of view) housing colony  ,  jockeying for a   much sought-after seat on the dais during  a   meeting which will have more guys on the dais than in the audience, going in 5-start comfort to flood-hit areas , ‘evaluating’ the agonies of the suffering masses of their constituencies and then ‘declaring’ their moral support, all from   a safe distance, just to name a few… !

The list goes on…

What more, this demand from the MPs has been viewed very favourably by the Minister for Road Transport and Highways ! And what took the cake   was the revelation  by the MPs while lobbying for their case ,  that the earlier Minister had exempted himself  and his ilk from paying the toll, leaving the poor MPs and MLAs at the receiving end.
That  ain’t fair, is it,  folks?

Close behind its heals comes another  joke… one  ‘bright guy’ who is an ex-Top Brass of the Reserve Bank of India had a fantastic solution to the problem…
Round off all toll charges to the nearest 10 , 20 or 30 rupees.
Then  there will be  no waiting for the MPs to collect the small change…Just fling the note in the toll-keeper’s face  and swish past with elegance..no time lost!
The rounding-off exercise had apparently started with the rupee, then to the nearest 5 rupees and now with this earth shaking ‘formula’  it will be another important  mile stone !

Thank God, the ‘Rounder Guy’ didn’t go any farther than that …like this…

click here>>>mps1

Read Full Post »

MPs and MLAs are considered to be Law Makers of our land … So when they attempt to break their own laws the man on the street gets thoroughly rattled… Ain’t it a case of the fence eating the crops… ?
Such a thing was however reported a few days ago in the media and the news made shocking   reading . Readers started asking themselves : do we have any hope in hell of a good governance anywhere in this country? The answer came loud and clear….

NOPE!

You must be wondering what the hell I am driving at.
Let me explain…

Many bridges in our country are contracted out on a ‘Build-Operate-Transfer’ basis ( BOT , for short ). For such an arrangement to be workable the contractors are required to charge and collect a ‘toll’ for every vehicle that uses the bridge after it is thrown open for traffic  ( Read ‘Inauguration’ ).

Well, at least that was what  the contractor guys thought all this time but apparently that is not likely to be!   Man proposes but MP disposes, or soon ‘he’ will , going by the moves that these people have initiated in the Parliament to get themselves  exempted from paying the toll…

And for what? Ah…! Thereby hangs a tale …

The MPs are said to be planning this move not  because they are poor or have no money to pay for the tolls .They seem to have  managed to look after themselves very well  with more perks, more remuneration and more of everything that you and I have to pay for…thank you!
These calculated moves are  claimed to be for getting relief from waiting with other ‘mortals’ in the ‘Toll-Q’ to pay up! They apparently feel it is an ‘embarrassment’ they can well do without. Maybe , they also think that  their job is such that even a minute wasted in abiding by the rules they themselves are party to,  cannot be tolerated  because it will all affect  adversely the ‘People’s Work’   they have taken up on themselves…

…Little things like opening a glittering  showroom  and making the first  buy  , inaugurating a much delayed and partially complete or partially incomplete ( depends upon your point of view) housing colony  ,  jockeying for a   much sought-after seat on the dais during  a   meeting which will have more guys on the dais than in the audience, going in 5-start comfort to flood-hit areas , ‘evaluating’ the agonies of the suffering masses of their constituencies and then ‘declaring’ their moral support, all from   a safe distance, just to name a few… !

The list goes on…

What more, this demand from the MPs has been viewed very favourably by the Minister for Road Transport and Highways ! And what took the cake   was the revelation  by the MPs while lobbying for their case ,  that the earlier Minister had exempted himself  and his ilk from paying the toll, leaving the poor MPs and MLAs at the receiving end.
That  ain’t fair, is it,  folks?

Close behind its heals comes another  joke… one  ‘bright guy’ who is an ex-Top Brass of the Reserve Bank of India had a fantastic solution to the problem…
Round off all toll charges to the nearest 10 , 20 or 30 rupees.
Then  there will be  no waiting for the MPs to collect the small change…Just fling the note in the toll-keeper’s face  and swish past with elegance..no time lost!
The rounding-off exercise had apparently started with the rupee, then to the nearest 5 rupees and now with this earth shaking ‘formula’  it will be another important  mile stone !

Thank God, the ‘Rounder Guy’ didn’t go any farther than that …like this…

click here>>>mps1

Read Full Post »