Saturday, June 06, 2009
A different Park
Manju's post got my somnolent neurons into a desperate Brownian motion of sorts.
Not that the timing is of any relevance, but a a month after I was born, the British Governor General left India . (Two independent events. No connection) . But we became a Republic, and have been constantly held up to the world as an example of a wonderful democracy, since then. It gives me the right to vote, to opine, to object, to suggest, and have an understanding that a mechanism to listen exists, on the part of the government....
Seeing the evolution of politics, politicians , people, information, and electronic devices over the last half century or so, leads one to surmise, that too much , most, or all, of this, has lead to an information glut, reduced attention spans, less thinking and more gut reactions among people, particularly in parts of the country where education is considered a business.
And so you hear more and more about various types of citizen rages that involve indiscriminate destruction of stuff that our taxes pay for, like trains, buses, hospitals, and so on. On a personal level, this ..
In the old days, specifically in the age the Ramayana happened, folks had a solution. Anyone who had a sudden angry rage, kind of retired to an Anger Chamber or Krodhaaghar. There you were on your worst behaviour, could curse, shout, throw yourself around, and depending on your avoirdupois, you did or didn't cause destruction. People who wanted to communicate with you, already expected you to be mad about things, and approached you accordingly with backup reinforcements or whatever . Basically, usage of the anger chamber implied that there would be less destruction outside.
In this day and age, entire populations get enraged, and anger rooms are impractical. What we need are what may be termed Temper Parks. While huge expanses of lands seem to be currently available for statue parks, the following is an attempt by an ordinary citizen to define requirements for a such a park.
1. Every suburb of a big city (like Mumbai) to have compulsory Temper Parks. Smaller cities to have such parks just outside city limits. Housing enclaves that build such temper parks for use of their residents, will get a 5 year tax break. High walls mandatory. Open 24 hours.
2. The government will subsidize setting up of Effigy Arts, a public sector organization. This set up will specialise in having ready basic skeleton effigies, which will be enhanced to resemble assorted required types, on request. This organization is expected to give employment to a large amount of artists, designers, combustion experts etc. Effigies will be available on 3 days notice, and quicker ones possible under the Tatkaal scheme.
3. A Hitting range will be mandatory. In peaceful times this may function as a rifle shooting practice range for our police and and shooters and archers. In times of crisis, preference will be given to shoe and chappal throwers. Throwing of eatables will not be encouraged. Enraged types are encouraged to do some initial warm ups before starting the throws. For a special fee , some effigies may be fixed as target, and shoe throwing exercises conducted at them. The BCCI and Tennis Associations have suggested that students may be given special catching practice/smash-returning practice here, and the government may agree, if helmets are worn. (We wont talk about who is manufacturing these).
4. There will also be a Shouting range. This will be a dome shaped Circular screen which will continuously show , in 3-D, various historical events , interspersed with pictures of police rushing in from somewhere. the bottom of the screen will constantly run various karaoke slogans and shouts , and folks will be encouraged to participate and shout slogans and march around to their hearts content. Pepsi and CocaCola are currently the lead bidders for providing free refreshment outside the Shouting range, the condition being that the drinks be served in earthen bottles, which can then be banged down and broken, in keeping with the spirit of "Tasting the Thunder"
5. Old junked cars, train bogeys, banged up buses, crumpled rickshaws, dented motorcycles and entangled bicycles found unclaimed across the city will be brought here and held in a special recessed enclosure, sponsored by The Bihar State Station Master's Association. Agitated railway action aficionados, can rush in here with burning rods and stuff and torch things . Accidents will be kept minimal by sound activated programmable water sprinklers at high pressure, which will respond to any sound of the type, "xxxx murdabad", where xxxx can be programmed to be anything but the ruling party.
6. The large scale increase in Engineering colleges across the country is supposed to be dedicated to setting up robots . These tested Robots will be installed nationwide in the Temper Parks. These robots will be dressed up differently on different days .Like Police on Monday, doctors on Tuesdays and Thursdays, suburban train motormen on Wednesdays, and ministers on all other days. Enraged citizens can vent their ire at these in a distributed fashion, picking and choosing their pet peeves.
7. Anyone who still has destructive energy left over after burning effigies, throwing stuff, fighting hand to hand, and shouting, can rest for a while, in chambers sponsored by Kingfisher, listening to a remixed version of "Emotional Atyachar" or Julio Iglesias singing "Light my fire". Those interested in scientific relaxation will have a jogging track around the circumference of the entire park set up.
A slow jog, besides slowly relaxing your body, thinking about families , the small but cosy house, young children waiting at home , worried parents, and troubled wife, was guaranteed to flash visions of reality in front of some, as they exited the Temper Park, tired from all the histrionics and physical effort.
A short walk down the road and there would be a traffic intersection. There would be police all over. Cars with red beacons, motorcycle escorts, guys running beside slow moving cars, and the temper Park champions would gape with mouths open, as they saw the man who instigated them to protest and agitate , drive by with his supposed enemy in politics/government, smiling and nodding through the evening gloom reflected in the tinted window panes......
P. S. As expected , the state government has ordered the installation of unbreakable, non-stealable, video monitoring systems, to record the usage the usage of these parks. In times of low Temper Park usage, they plan to show live sessions of the State Legislative Assemblies and occasionally the National Parliament.