The Pothole Management Committee
The other day we met a very important person - the Chairman of the Pothole Management Committee (PMC). Along with him was a team of people with...
The other day we met a very important person - the Chairman of the Pothole Management Committee (PMC). Along with him was a team of people with important designations like Vice President, Project Manager, etc. We were impressed that someone was doing something about potholes and were curious to know what the PMC does.
‘Why do we need a pothole management committee,’ we asked directly. ‘Simply because pothole management is the key to our country’s progress,’ said the Chairman. ‘Without proper management of potholes we will be in trouble? Did you know that potholes directly affect our health, economy, business, finances, emotions, culture, relationships, growth and so much more?’
We were astounded.
‘Wow! Really?’ we said.
‘Potholes create physical health problems like slipped discs, broken heads, fractured bones, etc by bouncing you or ejecting you from your bike, car or rickshaw’ he said. ‘They also cause mental problems because people go nuts trying to find the road amidst the potholes. It causes great emotional and mental stress. A major part of the health industry runs exclusively because of potholes. In fact they are planning to start pothole injury centres soon. A specialised subject with specialised doctors.’
‘OMG! Really?’ exclaimed my friend who is prone to OMG attacks. ‘But do potholes affect relationships too? Isn’t that stretching things too far?’
‘Of course,’ said the Chairman wisely. ‘People are not their normal sweet selves after dealing with potholes every day. By the time they pick up the phone or go to work or home they are ready to erupt. Since they can’t shout at potholes they shout at people. And voila, we have relationship crises. There is a link between the growth of counselling industry and potholes.’
‘I never saw it like that,’ said my friend. ‘Did you also say it affects our culture?’
‘Yes, people are moved by potholes, literally,’ he said. ‘Moved enough to write songs, poems, articles and books. One filmmaker in Mumbai is planning a movie set in a pothole. Potholes have changed people’s language and behaviour – for the worse some say. The culture industry is growing in leaps and bounds.’
‘Will potholes also impact our growth?’ we asked. ‘We find it hard to believe.’
‘It will. Put a person in a box and bounce him or her hundred times a day. What do you think will happen? All the bones and cells in the body compress and they become compact people. Scientists are researching a new phenomenon - people from pothole-infested places may not really be obese – they might be just growing horizontally thanks to potholes.’
‘Err, and how badly do potholes affect finances?’ we asked with great interest.
‘Drastically,’ smiled the Chairman of PMC. ‘Not just for vehicle repairs but repairs to you – physically, mentally and spiritually. After the physical and mental costs eat up your medical insurance and mess up your finances, you will turn spiritual and either hit the bottle or go to the Himalayas.’
‘This pothole problem sounds dangerous Chairman?’ we said alarmed. ‘How do you plan to go about it?’
‘Very carefully and systematically,’ said the Chairman of PMC. ‘Pothole Management is a complicated subject. Potholes come as big, small, wide, shallow, highway, mud road, multiple, cluster, ridge…oh so many types. We have expert teams for each type of pothole and the latest technology and equipment.’
‘So how many potholes do you manage in a day?’ we asked. ‘Thousands,’ he said and beamed at us.
‘You repair thousands of potholes every day?’ we asked. ‘And there are so many out there still?”
The mood changed. The Chairman and his PMC team looked at us angrily.
‘What are you talking about?’ they asked menacingly.
‘You are the Pothole Management Committee right? You repair potholes right?’ we squeaked.
‘I just explained to you that our economy depends on our potholes,’ said the Chairman patiently. ‘Health industry, counseling, banks and credit cards, culture…without potholes they will collapse. No jobs, no loans, no nothing. And you want us to repair potholes?’
His team started surrounding us with shovels and pick axes. We were suddenly afraid.
‘What do you do then?’ we asked.
‘We are saving the economy, can’t you see?’ he said. ‘The person on the road does not know the importance of the potholes around him. All he is worried about is the road. So roads, which are bad for the economy mind you, are laid by the government, to keep the public happy. But the real deal is in potholes. We are the unsung heroes. Our boys are constantly working at any point of time to save the country.
New roads come up and threaten the country’s progress, and our teams are there working tirelessly, making all kinds of potholes, day and night. Then the road department fills them again, creating more jobs and business opportunities in the bargain. Again we dig potholes, creating even more jobs. I hope the government will recognise our good work and give us some awards.’ We wished him and his team a pot of good luck and left. Soon after, our bike hit a well-hidden pothole and we fell. My friend looked at our injuries and smiled. I asked him why. ‘We may get awards too,’ he said taking a selfie with the pothole.
By: Harimohan Paruvu