Musings as the monsoons approach….
How strange to live in a world (or shall I say, a city)
Where distances are measured not in units of length
But in units of time!!
So that when Kiran says
“I am at Bannerghatta. How far is your place?’
I say not ‘10 kms or 12 kms’
But ‘40 minutes–keep your fingers crossed’.
And distances depend on time of day and day of week!
So that when Pramod asks me on a Sunday afternoon
‘How long will it take me to get to your place?’
I say ‘I will put on the tea. You can be here in 10 minutes.’
But when his wife calls on Tuesday evening and asks me the same question,
I say ‘Oh, oh! Our other guests will be here in 15 minutes,
And its going to take you at least 45!’
They also depend on time of year
For after the monsoons, when the roads are more holes than road,
A 1 km stretch is a 15-minute ride
While in winter, with the roads freshly—if superficially—done up,
It is a whiz-past of 2 minutes!
And did you know, distances depend on who is in town?
For when the PM or the FM or any other M visits,
We count distances in hours, not in minutes.
My science teacher, who poor soul,
Lived in as high an ivory tower as is possible,
Will be most deeply disturbed
Because it seems
That nothing is absolute anymore!
PS: I live in Bangalore, most notorious of all cities in regard to traffic. But many others are not far behind, unfortunately. When will we plan for sustainable cities?