An uncared for bobbin of cables, lying around for agesAnd so Chief, here we are, shaken but not stirred. The Man from Madras Musings also realises Chief your fundamental wisdom in refusing to move with the times. You have refused to take to cell phones, social media to you is a closed book and for all that MMM knows, you may still be typing out your articles with two fingers pecking on a battered Olivetti. How right you are, Chief, for none of the modern day gadgetry worked when Vardah blew us all cross-eyed.
The cell phone network went first, followed by the Internet and then the electricity. The first and the last limped back eventually, but as for Internet, it took its time to be restored and MMM for instance was left feeling like Peri standing disconsolately outside the Garden of Eden. It is also rather ironic, Chief, that a confirmed Luddite like you had your electricity running most of the time, your telephone worked and your Internet was restored just a day later while MMM who prided himself on being so well-connected found himself well and truly disconnected.
But to have survived it all is the most important thing and that MMM is glad that he has done. Now he must focus on the so-called post-cyclone -activity. For instance, MMM’s neighbour, who is forever expanding his existing building, making it now look like an uncontrolled tumour, sawed away at a tree that stood just outside his premises. It had withstood the cyclone quite well, but he was of the view that it would be best to be prepared for the next one, as and when it comes along. Several others, MMM notices, are also of the same view and MMM feels that if 10,000 trees fell during the cyclone, at least double that number are now being removed by way of precautionary measures.
What MMM does not understand is why the trees are being blamed. What is not being looked at is the way we maintained them all along. The Corporation, in a mistaken zeal for greening the city, has chosen to plant all kinds of alien species that cannot withstand the winds in a typical Madras gale. Secondly, the civic body has not pruned a single tree in many decades. This has been avoided chiefly because any attempt at some well-meaning pruning attracts negative publicity. Surely our Corporation officials go to barber shops to have their hair cut? Can the same logic not be extended to trees?
Lastly, you have these cable operators – they have been drawing wires all over the roads, tightly stretching and often looping them over the trees. These cables have caused more damage to our green cover during the cyclone than anything else. But perish the thought in case you imagined that new wisdom would have dawned post-Vardah.
MMM looked out of his window the other day to see what appeared to be an Indian cowboy lassoing a tree. It was a data services provider’s employee. He was looping the cables over a tree and in the absence of any tools for the purpose was resorting to the age-old method of throwing a rope up in the hope of it getting over a branch. These so-called state-of-art companies are that only in name. Their services are based on ancient tools such as the lasso, the wheel and the pulley. No wonder they collapse at the first opportunity. MMM’s service provider, whose name suggest Action, has been inactive ever since Vardah hit.