A lot of my posts revolve around commute, riding etc. That would be because I ride from Malleswaram to Koramangala and back, every day. That’s two hours a day and 32 km, on a tiny little Scooty Pep. Well, it isn’t much, compared to those who travel to Whitefield or Electronic City, But it feels like a lot, especially because of the roads. I don’t have an elevated highway that takes me to office. I go through places like Guttahalli and Viveknagar, where the roads are as terrible as the surface of a pineapple.
But we need such roads. Why? They create employment and help the already employed flourish! I’ll tell you how.
When there are bad roads, we need people to fix them. So the BBMP hires a few people, who do a shoddy job by applying tar on wet roads, so that the tar comes off in a week and their colleagues have some job to do later. They’re all probably very concerned about each other, making sure there are roads that need fixing at any given point in time. Isn’t it wonderful to have such thoughtful people!
Next, bad roads mostly affect our vehicles. Mine oft gets punctured, at a frequency of, say, once in two months. Other than that, there are issues like the spark plug getting cut and the battery dying. But that isn’t because of the bad roads. Anyway, I have found mechanics at every corner of the city – Kanakpura Road, Banashankari, Viveknagar, Malleswaram (that would be my dad). Most of these mechanics are doing well, because they charge three times the cost price, except my dad, who charges three times lesser than the cost price (I have no clue why). It’s damn annoying. They think Oh this pretty girl riding a Scooty Pep won’t know anything! Let’s just clean the carburettor with her own petrol and charge her Rs. 500! Stupid pricks.
The number of mechanics required is directly proportional to the number of bad roads. Also, the worse the roads, the better the mechanics’ business. We must appreciate how bad roads are bringing bread and butter to the tables of so many households. There are also tyre shops and helmet sellers on the roads, who need bad roads. Even if you don’t want to wear helmets in Bangalore, you have to, if you care for your face. When the tar has chipped off, they generally fill it up with sand or mud, that mud is blown into your face if you happen to be riding behind a bus. That’s when a helmet is most necessary. Not because you will speed and crash and crack your skull. There is no question of speeding on these roads, because there are speed breakers after every two pot holes.
While those are the most primary set of people who profit from bad roads, doctors also make the most of it. Bad roads cause slip discs and spinal problems. They cause accidents and injuries. (Oh don’t blame the accidents entirely on bad roads! Accidents happen all the time!) So of course, we need bad roads. What would doctors do otherwise? (Remove corns, I suppose? But I believe my corn grew because I only wore hawaii chappli in Chennai, and my feet were exposed to roads that were full of slush. That is what affected my foot. And why were the roads full of slush? Potholes.) Whoa! I’m beginning to think everything comes down to bad roads.
Next, bad roads cause distress among commuters. Bad roads cause road rage. I yell at every single person on the road. He honks, I yell. He cuts my path, I yell. I go through a pot hole when I’m riding fast, the first thing I yell is “Son of A Bitch!” An otherwise peaceful person, who cringes at the sound of bad words, swearing comes naturally to me while riding. But after parking my bike, I’m a peaceful person again. But there are some people who push it too far and remain angry even after going home. They yell at their wives and kids, smash flower vases in the house (like they show on TV), and that could cause problems. So, enter therapist. A counselling therapist in Bangalore, I’m certain, gets so many cases of anger management and the cause just boils down to bad roads.
Apart from physicians, therapists, mechanics, automobile service and spare parts people and the tarring fraternity, policemen have a lot of work to. Someone tries to avoid a pothole, swerves to the right and a guy who’s trying to overtake crashes into him. Boom! Accident. Now the traffic police have to involve themselves. So it keeps them going, adds some spice to their otherwise bland days.
Apart from all these good deeds that potholes do, you know, sometimes potholes can cause true, childish happiness among commuters. Everytime we drove on bad roads, my sister and I would go “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” and our voice would vibrate and bounce along with the car. It used to be so much fun! We’d laugh gleefully, looking at the bad roads; our laugh would also vibrate and change pitches.
Recently, I read this article somewhere, about how most of the complaints doctors get are of slip discs and they attribute it to bad roads. I think on an average, there are articles about potholes in newspapers at least once a week. They make for good fillers. They engage readers in a way that every reader can relate to it. So, in a way, the bad roads give story-idea-craving journalists something to write about! They also gives NGOs something to fight for. Certain groups of people even go ahead and fix the road, feeling productive, feeling united and good about themselves. Also it gives people some sense of ambition and hope, when they make Facebook pages like these.
Now there are so many good things happening because of bad roads and we want to do away with them. The very idea is unthinkable.