State of development

The boom-town on the periphery of the national capital has done it again.

The State High Court has prohibited any future permission for construction till the authorities informed it how and from where it would get water for the city.

In a sea of mediocrity in a forever developing nation, it stands proudly as a beacon of development and growth.

It has, swiftly, scaled the final pedestal of the development scale. It has crossed the final hurdle by successfully consuming and eliminating all fresh water resources in its geographical area. And this milestone has been achieved in record time. To understand the magnitude of the achievement, it should be noted that the record so far was held by a town in a western country where it took over a hundred years for the town to finally consume all available water and end the cycle of renewal that nature, till then, was forcing upon the town. In case of our boom-town, it took barely twenty five years. This record is unlikely to be broken in a hurry.

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry felicitated the Chief Minister of the state for this unique achievement.

In a rousing speech to a huge crowd on this occasion, he said:

This has been the result of the vision of our forefathers, because of which, over the last two decades, despite this being a water deficient region, and despite there being no plans for providing water, merely on the basis of empty promises made by successive governments, this city has emerged as one of the most preferred destinations for investors and house-buyers witnessing massive construction due to the boom in the real estate sector in the region.

He paused while the audience clapped and cheered lustily.

This development would not have been possible without the continuing support of big business, with its endless ability to get around  rules and regulations with impunity, and our policy makers and law enforcers, with their unique ability to act tough where no need exists, like mandatorily extending school summer holidays by a week, and look the other way when there is a need to act, like murders and rapes. With the constant support of these two pillars of a vibrant, democratic society, we have consistently built where we should not have and drawn water where there was little available. The result is this vast, gleaming city of high rises, eight lane highways, shopping malls and restaurants, the yardsticks for progress, to match the best in the world.

He paused while the audience again clapped and cheered wildly. He took a sip of water, bottled over a thousand miles away, in a place that had not yet seen any development, and continued:

All of us know how water was being wasted on frivolous uses. Like drinking. When we should have been drinking water from bottles transported from a thousand miles away. As we have done so successfully in the past, we have gone to the root of the problem to solve it. The problem has now completely been eliminated. If there is no water, there is going to be no wastage. We don’t believe in half-measures.

While our development on the water front (pun unintended, we don’t have a water-front any more, as we have become developed) are in the limelight because of this record, I must remind you that our achievements on the other vectors of development are no less stellar.

Amid thunderous applause he took another sip of water bottled a thousand miles away, said thank you to the crowd, waved goodbye and stepped off the stage.

In an unrelated development later in the day, Chief Ministers of other forever developing states, like the one where the water the Chief Minister was drinking was bottled, met together to discuss how they could emulate boom-town’s record of consistent development. At the end of the meeting, they have agreed to set targets for each of their states for choking off all fresh water supplies, reduction in forest cover, and building eight lane highways, tall buildings and shopping malls, in a time-bound programme.

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15 thoughts on “State of development

  1. Good one as is the case with most of your posts..Have you noticed how much water washing machine consumes.. Automatic ones consume much more.. I could wash one week’s used collection of formal shirts and trousers in five buckets of water.. One for soaking and the remaining for rinsing. Now the automatic washing machine consumes more than two buckets for soaking itself followed by copious quantities for pre rinse / rinse etc. Modern state of art living is water intensive which is okay with European countries and other areas where weather is cold and vegetation is different with no dust floating around where dresses don’t pick up dirt the way they do here.. The plush lawns are also water guzzlers…

    • Thanks Subri. You are right. We could do with a lot less. Some people don’t realise it and some, perhaps, don’t care. I also think many people are aware and conscious. I was impressed to read somewhere that Leonardo Di Caprio, a big movie star, is so committed to the cause of conservation that he even bathes sparingly. Now, his girlfriend may not be impressed (just guessing!!), but his actions certainly make a statement.

  2. Di Caprio bathing sparingly must be music in the ears of makers of expensive perfumes / deos… I had a colleague who used copious amounts of personal products.. I used to tell him that he bathed in cologne and after shave lotions and not in water !

    • Ha ha! Maybe there is a hidden agenda behind this. In his next perfume ad he can now say “I never bathe, but abcd perfurme leaves me feeling and smelling fresh always. Try it. It is also environment friendly.”

    • Unfortunately, human greed is boundless, and cuts across barriers of language, caste, culture and geography. As long as I benefit, and as long as the damage I am inflicting is a debatable issue, like expected future problems, how do I care about others?

  3. What about the air, though? Listen to a recording by Zia Mohyeddin ‘Lahore Ka Geographia’. That’s another story. But what you’ve said absolutely concerns me and a few other people – and let me be clear, it’s not that I am doing anything (or I am capable of doing anything) to prevent whatever bullshit is going on but I still want this to stop. I haven’t even completed my two months in this city and I’ve already started disliking it.

    When you walk across those malls, AMEX kind-of buildings – it might feel great, and it does. But at what cost are we getting that ‘great feeling’ is a concern. Water supply has been a constant problem around here, I’ve heard (Though, there might be privileged areas where people might not be so bothered about that ‘ever-existing’ thing called water.

    P.S. – Do not miss on ‘Lahore Ka Geographia’ recited by Zia Mohyeddin.

    • You are right. Air is as big a concern, if not bigger. Then there is electricity, of which we have experienced horrendous early warning signals over the last two days with the collapse of the distribution grids. And transport, which, in my view, is a potential flashpoint for major conflagrations in the very near future. Also, in my view, let us not be defensive about not doing anything. Firstly, if we are conscious, we, personally, will lead a life that will hopefully not add to the problem. Besides, through these exhanges, we are also raising awareness about the dangers that we see. Maybe others don’t see them, or they don’t agree there is a danger. But, at least, with voicing these concerns there is opportunity for debate and resolution.

  4. So disheartening. What is worse is that people actually believe them! Its like a shining apple from outside while totally eaten inside…the state of our country.

    btw…thanks for dropping by. have started following your blog

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