From: Rohit Punnoose
NASA Mission on Bannerghatta Road
Well, it was that time of the night when loneliness is your only companion, and shadows the only followers. It was around 2.00 AM in the morning.
I was bouncing away merrily on Bannerghatta road, when some bright lights stopped me. It took me a few minutes to realise that it was not a movie shooting. It took me a few more minutes to convince myself that this was not an alien landing either.
Though there was a modicum of clarity, there was a shade of doubt too. I proceeded to gamely question a well-clad man of foreign origin. "Shhh" he cautioned me.
Softly I asked him " What's happening brother". "NASA..."he whispered, "I am Dr. Morgan from The Lunar Exploration programme". Like all of us, I was sure I was drunk, or he was!
On watching a few men in spacesuits bumping around I realised he was speaking the truth. On further enquiry, he told me, that NASA had tried to create surroundings that would resemble the rocky, crater filled Moon's surface and had failed miserably. This led to a desperate search for test sites on planet earth.
Very few in earth qualified, only Iraq (An exploded Oil Well), Sri Lanka , and our own Bannerghatta road.
Of course, we were the lowest cost proposition, with Iraq ruled out as a high-risk venture, Sri Lanka because of the prevailing ceasefire, it was expected to have decent roads soon. What matched their needs best was the irreproducible surface that Bannerghatta road offered.
The Mars rover and Endeavour were bouncing away too, on the rugged surface.
Suddenly, I spotted the CM standing quietly in the distance. I walked up to him and smiled. He nodded, smiling softly. I looked at him enquiringly and asked him "Was this your idea"? My eyes gazed at the dilapidated piece of broken earth in front of me.
"Yes" he said almost humbly, too modest to acknowledge the enormity of his effort. "So, what's in it for us?" I probed. "Millions of dollars, that's what they have promised, once this gets approved as a broken earth site it will be used regularly. I also have plans of breaking up the other roads, which are happening under the guise of flyovers" he confided.
I shuddered at the enormity of the attempt. How all of us mortals, cribbed, raved and ranted every time we came across a broken road. How blind we have all been, eyes shut, we refused to view the big picture.
Every bad road is a million dollar opportunity. I bade quiet farewells to Dr. Morgan and the CM and quietly rode away.
As I reached the BTM flyover and my tyre went flat, I pushed my bike smiling softly.... a million dollars in every bad road I told myself...what do you think?
Disclaimer --> any reference to any person dead or alive is purely intentional !!!