An ode to the flexi

The garbage dump was full and on top of it was this flexi. It had been torn asunder by the suddenly duty-conscious BBMP staff who had been whipped into action by the court. They had mercilessly removed the poster which had been put up with so much love and affection by loyalists.

‘See my plight’, the flexi wailed before me. ‘All these days I was fluttering high above the ground and now I have been brought down to the earth and dumped unceremoniously here’, it moaned.

Yes, the flexi had a point. Till yesterday, it occupied a pride of place in the open – on the poles, towers, trees, walls and wherever one could find a place. It told you of someone’s birthday, death, appointment, elevation and everything which, in fact, need not have been told at all. As one drove around the city one could see colourful flexis of different dimensions — some small, some huge and some in between — and of sizes that the budget of the sponsor permitted. On them were photographs of scores of people, again in different sizes, wishing their worthy best wishes and a brighter future.

Underpasses, bridges, lamp posts, meridians, bus shelters were conveniently used to hang them. An overnight job proclaimed the next morning of an impending event. If a VIP was visiting it was welcome all the way from the airport to the Raj Bhavan or wherever the worthy stayed. More the posters, more the popularity or was it more money to splurge?

But suddenly, one fine morning, a learned judge fumed and said enough is enough and declared a judicial war on these monstrous flexis. ‘Rid the city of them.’ he proclaimed.’ And presto! The same staff that had turned a blind eye to the menace saw now with eyes wide open. What was not an eyesore till then began looking like a parthenium weed and it was pulled out. The high and mighty on the posters had to take refuge in the garbage bins.

‘Be not proud’, the wailing flexi told me as I lent an ear. ‘How will you now know who has been made a minister or the 36th vice president of the party’s ward committee?’ it asked. ‘I used to update you on all such matters. Even when some common man died, I would bring that breaking news to you all. Who told you of Nagarajanna’s 62nd birthday, if not through me?’ I continued to listened.

‘By the way, are you aware how the economy will suffer with a ban on me? Many will be rendered jobless. The printing industry will incur loss. The roads will look deserted and many will find it hard to drive on such an unfamiliar terrain…’ it went on. When it said that the worst hit would be the homeless, I was taken aback. ‘For many shelterless people, these giant size flexis served as roofs. What will they do now?’ it asked.

‘This is a small setback. Don’t think we will go away forever. Like phoenix, we will rise again. I am sure some loophole will be found and we will be back again at the same place’ it proclaimed confidently. I had no reason to disagree.

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An ode to the flexi

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