Sunday, March 21, 2010

letter to Jairam Ramesh

Dear Sir,
With utmost respect in my heart of hearts, I would like to present you with an Indian rock python (I have already parceled it to your address) as a token of appreciation for holding the baton of India in the recently concluded (and miserably failed) Copenhagen summit.
I have no grudges against you sir, for you did your job to perfection, safeguarding the interest of India till the very end but you don't realize one thing. while you were giving a spirited presentation at Copenhagen and promising that India is doing everything it should, someone was backstabbing you, yes sir you heard me right, backstabbing you and do you know who those scoundrels were? you would be shocked, I promise. even i was, but this is what the truth is.
Inspired by your rhetoric (which, sadly, wasn't enough to rope in the world's support towards India's point of view) I decided to contribute my bit towards the cause and do whatever was in my capability. I vowed never to own a bike (though i have a history of abjuring my vows, just like most of the politicians have) and decided to use cycle and use my immense popularity (I have just few lacs of followers lesser than Shashi Tharoor) to promote the use of this endangered 'species'. Since India is so seriously worried about the issue of Global warming, which is made all so very apparent by your taking personal interest in the matter and championing the cause, I thought that a small initiative by a person, who is equally concerned about the issue if not more, would be appreciated. I though that I would be welcomed wherever i would go and embraced 'with Arms wide open' and in the process, would also inspire one or two fellow citizens to help our country what it has promised at the world stage.
My Cycle was living a quarantined life till now, getting rusty and senile in the past two years. I brought her out of that shell and invested a fortune (500) over her to bring her back to life. The hit song "tu gandi achchi lagti hai" of the movie 'Love Sex aur Dhokha' has only come recently but i have been singing and she has been living the song for the past two years because i never gave her a wash but that day i washed n caressed her sweltering and curvaceous body with a very special body lotion prepared from mixing Rin (because its better than tide!!)with water. She was all set to hit the road and I had big plans to make her comeback a memorable one.I planned to go all the way from my home(Palam, the western terminal of delhi) to my present address (Vivek Vihar, Noida) on it; Audacious or rather crazy, isn't it? yeah, that is what my parents also said. My mom in fact didn't let me go as if there were snipers deployed all along the way to Noida waiting for me to appear on the scene and draw first blood!My father lashed me with such humble and endearing words which are more that 'qualified' to appear in this official piece of letter. nevertheless, I still held on to my stand, after all I had given a word to you and to the country. Eventually, they gave in and permitted me to go the next morning.
In the beginning of the letter, I mentioned that you are being back-stabbed. this is how this conspiracy is being carried out. slowly and slowly, Delhi has been turned into a hell for cyclists (if not heaven for motorists), discouraging them to an extent that even if someone wants to, he should not be able to Go Green. I have apprehensions that petroleum giants have a hand in it!
Fly-overs are mushrooming all around the city with the noble mission of making the city traffic free but in the process mocking a humble cyclist. However, at the same time, they give the excitement of mountain biking because going up a flyover is no less than scaling a low altitude hill somewhere in arawalli range.
At few crossings (i encountered the Mathura road- Ring road crossing), the Red light doesn't permit you to go straight. This I realized after waiting for a good 4-5 minutes for the light to turn green. On asking a traffic controller if the light would ever turn green, he replied a bland "NO" because there is a 'better' way to cross the road - through the Flyover! Somehow I maneuvered my way across the road (yes sir, unfortunately, I had to break the traffic rules) and moved ahead to enter Noida, Only Yamuna separated me from doing that but I didn't need to worry because DND Flyway has converted the arduous task of crossing yamuna into a pleasurable experience.
But, I guess I was wrong. My enthusiasm was aborted prematurely when a man wearing orange colored jacket stopped me only after a few meters into the flyway. He informed me that I cannot go through the flyway on a cycle. On inquiring, "why Not?", he told me that it doesn't have an engine!!!! I retorted that how does that make any difference to them. All they should be interested in is the toll, which i was willing to pay, but he wont listen. an elaborate talk with his supervisor also didn't bring us to the negotiating table. I could have moved on despite his refusal but that wretched 'orange jacket' fellow had a walkie-talkie and I have heard that DND is often patrolled!
Dejected, i retreated. I had to go all the way to 'sarai kale khan' to take the Nzamuddin bridge for Noida, under a sun, as furious as I was at that time.( I am not complaining, by the way, I am just letting you know the state of affairs)
Can u now contemplate the sorry state of cyclist in Delhi, the capital of this great nation, where all the major policy decisions are taken. Can u see the gap between what we aspire to do and what we actually do.
Instead of giving cyclists a share of the forex earned from the sale of Carbon Credits they are punished for using one. Go Green ?? that's one more feather in the hat of "the Great Indian Hypocrisy".
Thank you

yours truly
Gaurav Jain
New Delhi