DIARY OF A DIVORCED DELHI MALE
The new Pay Potty Pee (PPP) model in IndiaVeeresh Malik
18 January 2013, 04:45 PM IST0
A few weeks ago, on a train coming back towards Delhi, I was doing what I like best -strolling on the platform of a small way-station. Our train had come to a grinding halt there because the incumbent guard had decided that he had had enough, and so without a worry in the world, leaving a small hand-over chit behind, tucked away next to the emergency signal and guard's brake, he had abandoned our train and jumped on to another train going in the other direction. Leaving behind a large contingent of children, women and men, including more than a few holiday makers returning home who were now certainly going to miss their Harbour Line connection at Panvel.
Have you seen Panvel Railway Station after the local trains stop for the night?
Anyways. Enough of horror movies. Ramsay Brothers may consider using it as a location.
So. There was a Railway Officer in the train with us, also with his family, and he confidently told us that getting hold of a new Guard who was required from another zone of the Indian Railways, not from Konkan Railways, was going to take a few hours. Eventually, it took 3 hours, and at the end of it I still could not understand why a railway guard from one Konkan Railway zone could not take us a bit further into another zone, Central Railway. I mean, red light, green light, how difficult does it get?
Because of which the train reached Delhi 3 hours behind schedule too. But it was fun, pelting through the green fields and yellow mustard flowers, till we hit the grey grime of Delhi.
I am sure the Indian Railways have their reasons for such joys. But this one is not so much about railways. It is about toilets.
As things stood, while walking up and down the platform, we came to a public toilet at one end of this station, in the sort of no-man's land between railway territory and the rest of the world. You know, the dark parts, beyond the yellow boards which always tell you, also, height above Mean Sea Level?
Now, it was clear that I could not hold, as my bladder to me told, what had reached a threshold, walking around in the cold. So to the loo I went, relieved a penny well spent, stepped away with all fair intent, till a man said "2 rupees to pay me you are meant".
Enough of this juvenile poetry, no?
Looking closely, I saw a sign behind this man, it said, 2/- urinal and 5/- latrine. "So how do you make out if a ladies has gone latrine but pays for urinal," asked I, to which he said. "I know", with the wisdom of ages. "And what do you do if a person does not pay on coming out", and he said, "that also I know who will be not paying type. For them, there is always the railway track. Or the fields."
Pushing my luck further, I asked him, "what about VIPs and such-like", and he said, "hello, I am not a rural simpleton, even I know, VIPs go free". Motto is simple, you potty, pee, pay.
I tell you, at that moment, I saw the light. PPP, which was supposed to mean "Private Public Participation" or something like that, actually meant Pay Potty Pee - but VIPs go free. I mean, if you have a red beacon or other such symbol, most things in India are already free.
So why shouldn't they go potty and pee free, too?Arre bhai, VIPs can not pee or potty with the rest of us,hai na?
Only question I had was, how do you recognise them without their red lights?
At that moment, the new guard huffed and puffed his way into the guard cabin, and waved his green light at the rest of us. The engine driver, however, was not impressed and we stayed there for another half an hour.
Gandhi ji was spot on correct. We still have a lot to learn from small town India.
And at the end of the train, behind the last coach, a red light blinked at me. Then the engine driver finally blew his engine's horn, and the guard's whistle said:- pee, pee, pee.
Everything is free for VIPs. Are they Below Poverty Line? PMO may look, into this?
Satbir Singh Bedi