Counting potholes

Swalpa Connect MaAdi

“Let us start filling them up,” said one eager first time Corporator, “I know a contractor who can do it on a warfooting.” “We don’t do things like that in this place,” counselled the wise old one who had just come back from a New York tour to study breeding habits of the urban mosquito. “There has to be a procedure and a five year plan, then another five year plan. First, we need to count and tabulate all the potholes in this town.

Then we classify them as axle- breaker, spine-scrambler or car- crumpler. Then we get someone to do a treatise on the species. Then we need to go on a world tour to study potholes in different countries and file a report on how ours are different. Then we float tenders and so on….so you see , its not easy job.”

But there was still the media at large, printing photographs of crater like sections of road that tended to swallow up whole buses . So to pacify the media, they decided to go on a marathon Pothole Count. The logic was clear as mud. Once counted and numbered and perhaps labeled with a plaque, (maybe after some great son of the soil and formally inaugurated by him) maybe the so honoured pothole would achieve respectability and stay put where it had staked its claim.

And not steal off in the night to M G Road or St Mark’s Road in order to upgrade its real estate value. Or multiply into a dozen little ones..Besides, counting potholes meant the Corporation knew the strength of the enemy and could  muster up the ammunition to demolish them once and for all. Or at least till the next monsoon. (So must Porus have in the dark hours of the night  sneak- counted Alexander’s storming cavalry).

The only problem was that it rained heavily the very night they finally got the figure right after much tallying of counts from different areas. And the potholes sneakily went and multiplied themselves. (Lightening, thunder and pelting rain stimulate the romantic inclinations of the pothole species seducing them  to cosy up with each other  and furiously multiply their numbers).

The Corporators who spent long trudging nights counting, now had to count them all over again. Then there was the onerous task of classifying and tabulating them.

But that could wait till the educational trip to Europe to study the classification of the East European pothole…which is a vanishing species and must be studied before they become extinct. To this valiant never-say-die spirit of the intrepid BBMP, still on its marathon counting spree, while a million cars thunk and clunk to their death, not to mention the human spines that get jolted out of alignment:

I dedicate this song. (To be sung to the tune of the oldie Counting colours in a rainbow).

Counting potholes in Bang-a-lore,
Everytime the rain has made some more.
Every pothole that I can see
Whispers incompetence to me.
And that’s no way to make a city grow.
Counting potholes in my Bangalore
Stack’em up in  neat numbered row
Quick, get the number right
Before they multiply again tonight
And stretch from Marathalli to Mysore.

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