It's been a week of chaos on the roads and the reason is obvious. The flyover project in the Srinagar city. People are getting jammed in an apparently unresolvable traffic mess. An hour-long ride is a day-long grind. There can't be any magic solution with the traffic department. Whatever is to be done is to be done on the ground. No expert methods which can pull us out of an agony which is likely to prolong as long as there is some completion in sight. The trouble is inevitable. Every repair, every reconstruction necessitates a set of problems. We don't grumble about the problems we are facing. We can't wake up and suddenly fly over the flyover. The trouble is all in anticipation of a comfort, a relief. We hope it comes soon.
But what pains us is again the same so-called VIP movement. In an endless chain of vehicles tailgating each other where even ambulances can't move an inch, one wonders how do these goddamn VIP-drivers thread their way through. How a path blocked for all is suddenly thrown open for a fleet of SUVs escorting a VIP. They can run over the dividers crushing through the pedestrians and there is no law powerful enough to tame them. They are a law unto themselves.
We don't mean our Very Important Persons must shed all their `Importance' and instantly look ordinary like us. Higher the position, greater the impression, louder the arrival. But the way our ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats, police officers, judges pierce their way through an ordinary crowd makes us crawl like worms. Are they really that insecure that unless they are garrisoned from all sides, they can be swooped on by some invisible monster floating free in the air? Do they need security for security or for status? Why we all have to be insecure only to make our VIPs secure. Why are they in such tearing hurry? Will the world perish if they – for a change – behave like normal human beings.
A humble request to all our VIPs. Enjoy your status as celebrities, but please don't forget that we too exist. If you let others breathe at ease, that will – in no case – snatch your stardom from you. Your drivers can't do that, your security guards can't let people move on the road, unless you instruct them. You have a right to be important, but we have a right to be ordinary. Why should your movement on the road cast terror in our hearts? What is our fault?
We don't ask for moon. Don't give up your status, you still are VIPs. But do us a favour. Slow down till you have a fly-over. Then you can zoom past the roads with red lamps, sirens and flags fluttering fast to announce your arrival like Maharaja's guards would announce the arrival of their lord. Give some space to people. That will be a great favour to the nation.