KARNATAKA

Waiting, waiting

It was nothing less than waiting for Godot on Mahatma Gandhi Road for a few Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials on Monday.

Only the “Godot” in this case finally arrived unlike in the Beckett’s play.

With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B.S. Yeddyurappa supposed to seek vote of confidence from legislators in the State Assembly, officials from the public relations wing of BBMP were informed that the Chief Minister would first garland the Ambedkar statue and then the Gandhi’s statue at noon.

As the second statue is maintained by the BBMP, five officials, including two public relations officers and two from the horticulture department, were waiting near the statue with garlands in hand. But with the political crisis taking a new turn and Mr. Yeddyurappa stepping down from office, the garlanding ceremony was put off indefinitely. “But we are waiting here as it was in the Chief Minister’s schedule,” an official said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa finally arrived at 5.45 p.m. much to the cheer of the waiting officials. But the ceremony was over within five minutes. Along with this the working hours of the officials also came to a close.

Do not disturb

It is bad enough that no government official is available for comments during weekends, the only consolation being that police officials often oblige. However, it is a different matter when a cricket match is on.

On a particularly “dry” Sunday, this reporter on night shift did the routine round of phone calls. When she called a police station to check if any accidents or crime had been reported late, the police official on the other end was not at all forthcoming. In fact, he snapped: “No incident has been reported. Please do not call and disturb us again; we are trying to watch a crucial cricket match between India and Pakistan.”

Highway to near-hell

You might curse your fellow road user and hurl the choicest epithets at that motorcyclist who just brushed your car. Yet, you endure the jam-packed roads, listen to the non-stop rattle of the RJs, and add new meanings to slow motion. You accept the Bangalore roads as your own, join the herd and move on.

But hit the highway and be prepared for some real perception change. The Bangalore-Mysore road is of course four-lane, and yet not wide enough. With KSRTC buses occupying the speed lane, fast-moving cars and SUVs have no choice but to overtake from the left. Leaning on the horn only falls on deaf ears. Yet, that is only part of the story.

After dark, the highway only gets meaner.

Danger lurks at every bend.

A family approaching the city was in for a shock as a tractor rushed at their car full throttle from the wrong direction.

If the car driver was not alert, a collision was certain, because the tractor had just one light on.

One quick twist of the steering saved the day, and a lot of lives.

AFSHAN YASMEEN,

CHITRA V. RAMANI,

RASHEED KAPPAN

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