They are back. At least one of them is. And they want to make a statement again. Yet again. Only this time it is a denial. They said they didn’t actually say anything about the flyover. And good old Times of India carried it like it was some shattering world impacting giga news. They had about 30cc (columns centimeter – that’s one column by 30 cm) worth of unworthy news.

Who cares? I don’t care what Lataji said. Or says. I only like to concern myself with her songs(Hey BMC, are you listening!? I hope you know what your doing. There better be a good bunch of scientists and Futurologists on your rolls) . Look at the kind of bhav we give to them. I mean how terribly embarrassing it should be for a government to be reported like this: 

“The Maharashtra government has decided to go ahead with the Peddar flyover project irrespective of objections from singer Lata Mangeshkar.”

I mean You are the Government. How could you bullied by an individual and allow that to affect your governance which is meant for the larger good of a bigger community (comprising,  just for the record, of more than atleast one individual who may or may not heard or even care about ‘aaja re, mein to kab se khadi’) ? More embarrassing is the next line –

“The government had announced during the recent session of the legislature that she had withdrawn her objection and the project would now go ahead.” 

How can any single person hold the country to ransom?? If singing well qualifies you to wring the neck of the government, then having a big nose must disqualify you immediately. And wait, there’s more. Here is the next line to that…

 Soon after the announcement, Lata Mangeshkar denied that she had ever withdrawn her objection.

I am sitting with my head in my hands. Sitting in shame. In disgust. I don’t know if the flyover is a good idea or not. It most likely is. I have been trapped in innumerable traffic jams on Peddar road myself. It is frustrating. And that’s putting it mildly. And if you haven’t been on the jam, then you have to take my word for it. From the cab I have been in, I have consistently seen at least 200 cars each time in front and behind me suffering the same jam with me. We have all inched ahead together. Suffered the same irritation. The same frustration. The same honking from an impatient ass behind us. All of us have lost at least an hour more than necessary in traveling back home from Nariman Point. To me it was not such a deal for I went to South Bombay rather infrequently. But there are people, thousands of them, who do this everyday. And every day they lose that much time, if not more, from their day. From their homes. From their children. From their loving wives.  1 hour of such a loss a day is about 13 whole days in a year of 300 working days, and that’s terrible.  Imagine the number of 3-5 year olds that have dozed off on the couch waiting for papa.

Or mama, as the case may be – before you accuse me of being a sexist who thinks the countrys businesses run because of top-of-the-line men execs.

Most people in the cars are very high power executives. Even if we put an inaccurate number of 1000 execs that drive back from Nariman Point home, via Peddar Road, we are talking about 13 x 1000 that’s 13000 days lost. That’s 13000 man days/year (or shall I say women days – ok lets settle at person days) lost from the lives of the cream of the Indian businessmen. Er…businesspersons.  And that’s about 43 years of top notch talent gone every year.

And my logic is, such a loss is certainly more significant than the privacy of a crooner who wont quit.

Besides, like I’ve mentioned before, the croonist, if thats a permissible word, is becoming an overdose anyway. Would she ever retire?  

Spare us ji. And while I am at it, can you pass on a message to your sister? Please ask her to also spare us ji. We Love you. But we want to love you forever. We have enough cassettes and CDs to get us by. You can please retire and go to Dubai. Leave the BMC and our Town planning scientists to worry if the flyover is required or not. We dont need your picayune niggling, ‘geshkarjis. The poor politico guys have had to deal with your opinions in the parliament  for long. Its about enough now, don’t you think? For Heavens sake! Spare them! Spare us!

If you want to sing, then sing na…dont do this bullying and holding the government at ransom. This is emotional blackmail, I say. 

And, heres the googly. This is what they do after all the hullabaloo. Find a new house for themselves. This is last years news. Sooner or later they would move. And then they aren’t going to care a song about the flyover. Trust me, they won’t care a rats ass about it anymore. But oh, if they are clever, they might do a phased exit. Exhibit concern even if they aren’t anymore concerned, and slowly pan out.  The Peddar Road Residents Association is going to feel quite let down, just watch. Afterall it was never a public cause really.

You and I could have had that flyover by now. And saved at least 43 years of our business talent by now.

Ajib rasta hain ye! Kahan shuru kahan katam?