Madness (BH: D294)
May 25, 2012
There is only a narrow separation between stupidity and madness. Sometimes it is around 20 feet deep. Like the major excavation project that the public works department was conducting this morning at the Vellayambalam Junction.
The half of the road that leads to Sasthamangalam from Vellayambalam resembled the opening sequence of any Egyptian fantasy based Hollywood classic. Three men revealed their presence only by the regular, frequent appearance of one end of their pick axes.
The digging was not drinking water related, for it had gone deeper than the big, thick pipes. It wasn't for telephone cables either, they already formed overhead piping for the diggers. A few confused morning joggers joined the single traffic policeman in silent admiration of the massive excavation.
But all the fun was happening on the other side of the road. Since the onward half was completely blocked, now the open half was used by the to and fro traffic. And here is the Indian genius and stupendous belief in its 33 million gods: There wasn't a single indicator about the diversion.
Morning drivers hurrying up from Sasthamangalam were absolutely bewildered to find huge government buses coming against them through a lane that was till the previous night been going the other way! Pedestrians carefully watching only one direction till they run to the middle divider froze on their path when tires from the unexpected direction screeched just in time next to them.
By 9 am, total gridlock. Still no signage or deviation indicators anywhere on the road. The same traffic police who become hyperactive if a dignitary comes along was totally not bothered. Even more surprisingly, it looked like they didn't think anything was gravely wrong with the situation of letting traffic flow freely both ways through one half of the road.
"Is this a land of a bunch of idiots?" I wondered aloud as soon as I got home.
"No, we have strict procedures," Achan advised as Achans are meant to do.
"We will have court commissions and compensation payouts when accidents happen!" he explained.
"Why not take simple steps to prevent them in the first place?"
"...and mess with gods' plans?! How dare we?!"
When coming home late in the evening, a mad man walking in front of the car. Unkempt long hair, blackened dirty torn old shirt and trousers that have aged into knee pants. Shiny reflection of the head lights from his ass. He was busy scratching it as madmen universally tend to do. He was using a 700 MB CD as the scratcher. Good reflection!