By Dr. Madhav Prabhu
Disclaimer: Read this only if you have humor and understand sarcasm.
Pot holes are good, yes and let me present a perspective to this.
Firstly potholes are a parallel economy. Well, you don’t agree right, then let me explain. Potholes appear every year and when the rain goes off, there are tenders called for repair of the roads. The engineers are called to design the road, the shape, the inclination of the road and all that, so that the roads are safe and they do the job with so much love, that they are blinded by it and forget that the roads are meant for vehicles and not for a moonwalk.
Then come the contractors who make the roads and they employ so many workers, the making of the road has only one prerequisite that it needs to have potholes when it rains. It’s an arrangement between the authorities and the contractors so that both have work to show the next year. Then there is the accounts settled, the commissions and here we have all the stakeholders working together like a team. Now imagine there is no pothole, what will happen, no work for engineers, the contractors have no tenders, the daily wage road repair guy has no work, the corporators have no work, the politicians have no work and taxpayers money will go in fix deposits or lie unutilized, what a loss to the taxpayers if its not going in the pothole. So much loss of employment, now you can imagine why the everyone wants pot holes right.
The effect on the economy does not stop here, you need more shock absorbers, more tyres, more spare parts, this boosts the manufacturing industry and in turn the automobile industry. It causes spinal and orthopedic problems and this boosts the medical and pharmaceutical industry. The pothole is the answer to a dying economy.
We elect politicians to work, even if it is double work. If work was done of good quality we paralyze the ways and means to run this parallel economy which provides so much employment. There are British landmarks in the city and nothing happened to them for years, but I guess the British were selfish, they wanted to carry all the money home so they ensured that their construction lasts like the old railway over bridge, imagine the money they saved and stole from us, they never repaired it. They made quality over bridges to deny the people of jobs every year, we are free from the British and now the taxpayers money needs to spend every year so that so many people get jobs from the potholes.
Secondly, potholes prevent accidents. The road from Dharmveer Sambahji Circle to GIT had one accident every day for the last one year but, down came the rains and the potholes gave their darshan and low there are absolutely no accidents at all. Potholes are saving more lives than the traffic police who can now concentrate on helmets and collect fines. If the potholes were not repaired last year, there would be no accidents at all. Vehicles just cannot over speed and you can even walk faster than a car, would the speeding rickshaws ever do this without the potholes. The potholes are adding so much joy that now you don’t feel like putting meters to rickshaws, or even wait for signals. When we search for the road in between the potholes we become cautious drivers thus taking care of our own lives, we don’t need police to tell us to wear helmets our friends the dear pot holes forces us to do it.
Potholes are romantic, yes you have to believe me. Remember when you were in college and went on a bike with your honey, or even when you were newly married and your wife was smaller than your bike, you drove slowly, you suddenly accelerated and braked and a slight touch was so romantic, hmmm all this is only for the romantic and not the domestic people. But potholes force romance, you have to spend more time together on the roads, there are small dhakkas which bring you closer to each other and there is that moment between the rider and the pillion where romance is on the air. In fact the road invites you, encourages you to be as close and even if you fall you can spend some romantic time in the hospital taking care of each other, would you otherwise find time to look after each other.
Potholes are good for the environment, firstly they are excellent sites for rainwater harvesting, the water otherwise would run into the gutters and wash away, but pot holes provide sites where water is stored and harvesting can be done to increase the groundwater levels. They can act as temporary sites for tree plantation and increase the greenery. People avoid vehicles, three is less smoke so there is less pollution. I wonder if there was anything other than the pothole which can do this.
Potholes make you health conscious, you don’t want to take your vehicles and damage them so you decide to walk, actually, you reach your destination faster when you walk so it forces you to exercise. There is weight loss, decrease sugars and no need for a diet, you keep missing site of potholes and this forces you to get your annual eye checkup done. Potholes are like yogic gurus they test your patience and make you calm, it’s like anger management. Even your doctor cannot give you so much incentive for exercise.
Potholes are photo opportunities. Yes, the media loves potholes and pictures related to potholes. Ruling parties can take publicity by promising to destroy the potholes, the opposition can take publicity wit potshots at the ruling party for creating potholes, aspiring politicians can get photo ops by doing dharnas at the potholes, potholes gives everyone publicity without any differentiation, potholes are truly democratic and secular in their nature. Imagine politics without potholes.
Now, are you convinced potholes are good! I don’t understand why people are after the corporation and the elected representatives when the pot holes are so important to our lives. But the politicians really care, they know that potholes are good for us, they only think of our overall development and that’s why they encourage potholes, when will we learn to acknowledge their silent sacrifices.