If progress is measured by your getting double of what you got earlier, our State and City have certainly advanced. The Man from Madras Musings had better make his meaning plainer. Till October or so last year, chances were that you drove or walked along with nary a thought in your mind other than demonetisation. You then came upon a road where you found that there were more policemen and women than normal. You then came across bamboo barricades behind which the colour-coded faithful were standing in attendance, ready to break into ecstatic dances accompanied by drumbeats borrowed from a neighbouring State as soon as an eminence passed by. Posters pasted on all the walls and some banners erected in the hope that Traffic Ramaswamy did not bring them down warned you that a walkabout or a drive about was imminent. You made sure you immediately ducked into an alley that you knew led to an alternate route to your destination. These blockades though painful were short-lived at best and you knew that once the entourage and cavalcade had gone by, the drums would fall silent, the dancers would cease to dance, the posters would come off, the banners be taken down and the policemen and women would go back to maintaining law and order. And you also knew that only one road was blocked off at any given point of time.
Things have changed. Nowa-days two roads get blocked off – one to a garden and the other to a thoroughfare once named after a former and eminently forgettable Corporation Commissioner that was renamed by a thespian-in-power after another thespian who specialised in playing the role of a scholarly old lady. And so you get two in the place of one. That by itself is progress. The second measure is that these thoroughfares remain perpetually blocked, no matter what time of day or night. And that is more progress. The barricades are forever up and the policemen/women are in attendance all the time. Progress yet again. As for the posters, they now sport two of everything – the original and a shadow that is rapidly becoming a doppel-ganger of the original. Still more progress! Of course the drums do not beat and the dancers are absent. Not so, however, are the bordered-dhoti faithful, who keep coming in, in busloads, singing, rather in the manner of those who came to witness a miracle, Hosanna. The search for a parent is apparently over and we are blessed with a new one.
There is plenty of activity in the area though whether all this will lead to achievement of any kind beyond the purely personal is open to conjecture. We as a nation are experts in mistaking activity for achievement and if MMM is not mistaken the current spate of activity is just that. MMM believes that Ichabod about sums it up.