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?