Friday, September 24, 2010

Tongue Lashing

Manmohan Singh hasn’t forgotten his skills as a Professor in Delhi School of Economics for his tongue lashing to the powers organizing CWG and the Chief Minister of Delhi has obviously met its mark. As I traversed the twenty five kilometers to office today morning, I found that my city had transformed in the past twenty four hours.

The mounds of mud lying on the roads like landslides in the Himalayas have amazingly disappeared. Each and every bus stop now has a rain shelter and has been decorated with splendid photographs of beautiful women dancing, shopping or posing in skimpy outfits to slogans of “Shopaholic Delhi”, “Amazing Delhi” and other similar corny captions. It’s a good time to buy scripts of companies that manufacture paint and road signs as the roads have received a new coat of paint, zebra crossings have appeared and the cement tiles at the edge of the road are painted in red, yellow and white. Road signs like “Stop”, ”Pedestrian Crossing” that I had only read about in Automobile Association of India manual in my youth to acquire my first driving license are now visible on the road. Each and every government office has large blue and white signs in English and Hindi. Leafy plants have been planted in the dividers between the road lanes. Every monument has a red signage and the multitude of informative road signs makes one feel like one is in the pedestrian tourist district of Rome.

Hundreds of traffic police seem to have appeared out of thin air as every signal now has both a man and woman cop. They have obviously been given new uniforms which all of them have inaugurated today. The sleeves are rolled down to the cuff and buttoned up. Belts hold up the perfectly pleated trousers. The slums on the way have either disappeared or been pushed back from the periphery of the road.

This transformation has taken twenty four hours. The city is once again buzzing as every hotel lobby is streaming with visitors for the games. The area around Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium looks rather spectacular with the stadiums rising into the well lit sky like space ships. Apparently the army has been called in to repair the fallen pedestrian bridge in record time.

I know, one is shaking ones head and wondering that if we have the potential to transform in such a short time why did we have to face such international disgrace. However, it’s not a good idea for “Delhiwallahs” to pack their bags and depart for holidays at this juncture. Even visitors who are planning to cancel their trips to India due to bad press coverage and mismanagement of the preparedness should rethink their move. I told the kid in the morning that she did not need to put the regular mosquito repellent for her practice at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for as a veteran in the Rajdhani one knows when the last straw is about to be placed on the camel’s back and when the government will get its act together.

I propose that all cabinet ministers are put through teacher’s training to augment their disciplinary skills, what say thou?


  1. Absolutely spot on Sharmila. Why only disciplinary skills....they need to be trained to be honest, committed , non corrupt ...and the list goes on. I doubt if there's any school whcih could impart these skills to our corrupt bureaucrats and politicins.Most are beyond redemption.

  2. It's too little too late. But let's hope no more disgrace comes our way. Really it's such a shame, when the whole world is watching.

    We dilliwalas can only wish things don't go worse than this.


  3. Aal izz well and we hope and pray it ends well ;))))

  4. Wonderfully written post.

    Your post paints a spectacularly different picture of Delhi as compared to all the stories on the TV and the news website.

    It is always nice to see such a transition. And as a proud Delhite, you must be hoping that things are this good - now and always.

    But one thing is for sure. This kind of transition was expected to be done some time back. But as always, better never than late.

  5. Of all the CWG jokes making the rounds, the most appropriate is probably the one that surmises that the word "Calamity" owes it's roots to the Sanskrit word "Kalmadi"---Eg--"The games are going to be a complete Kalmadi", or "It's a Kalmadi waiting to happen." While he is not the only "Gillty" party to the loot and pillage (surely Delhi babus have a glorious and uninterrupted history of this), the Prime Minister's gentle slap on the wrist at the eleventh hour is too little too late.
    Today's news tells us of an Indian athlete who's bed, (no doubt crafted of the finest sawdust that the remains of the siphoned funds could buy)collapsed whan he sat on it.
    While the games will go on, and India will win a record number of medals, thanks to star international athletes having already pulled out, you can be sure this is not the last of the collapsed bridges and beds.
    It is no coincidence that the games now have a new PR Chief, who presumably will get more dirt swept under the carpet than dirty linen exposed in public. More 'Kalmadis' will happen--we just may not get to hear of them.

  6. It's great to know that my Delhi has changed. Thanks for informing Sharmila.

  7. I enjoyed reading your post as I always do...great to know about the last minute cleaning look under the carpets too, Sharmila, it may all come back to the streets the day after the games...:D
    We are Crisis people...nothing else propels us ever!

  8. it is rare to find a person who gets into politics to serve people and the country... now the only aim is to serve themselves and their family for ages to come! but there are still few gems around... I agree!

  9. Did this really happen? I amazed to hear this....

  10. A right time for citizens to ask for accountability for every invested penny and reckless action by people concerned.

  11. Nice read. I just wish that Mr. Singh had cracked the whip earlier this year and we might not have got such a bad press.

  12. Even after several years of experience in the field of politics and having able bureaucrats under their control...if these ministers are still not able to run a country then I think nothing else will help.
    But yes I think having a better role model other than our soft-spoken and shy PM might have helped.

    P.S: This is unrelated but if you like my entry for the 'Share Life' contest pls do cast a vote. Vote only if you like the post though...thanks :-)