India Uncut

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Monday, July 10, 2006

India Uncut Ambition 2

I want to be a Pothole Inspector.

I should be Mumbai's designated Pothole Inspector, and my job should be to go all across town and find potholes, and then record them. When I say record them, I do not mean take down their coordinates in a dusty register. We government officials have moved beyond that. I will record it in with my cellphone camera, and send the MMS across to my seniors at Mantralaya.

One day while recording a pothole from a long distance -- I will have 24x optical zoom -- I will accidentally catch some ladies in a state of undress. You see, they live at a slum nearby and water supply is irregular there. So they will be washing themselves at this pothole, which serves as a convenient container.

I will then send the MMS to my seniors, and they will, in the interest of spreading information about Mumbai, send it to all their friends. Soon, my MMS will be displayed on websites across the world. My seniors will call me up frantically -- incoming is free -- and insist that I shoot more potholes. "And make sure some local women are shown besides the potholes," they will say, "so we can, ahem, identify where the potholes in question are located." I will know what they mean.

Soon I will face a dilemma: women don't generally wash at potholes. What to do? I have two ways to fulfill my seniors' demands now: one, pay local women to bathe at potholes; two, forget about the potholes and just shoot women wherever I see them, trusting that potholes will eventually spring up where they are, as they do everywhere.

So for two months I will go hither, and thither, and wherither, hiding near slums, using my 24x optical zoom to great effect. I will capture defecation -- punishable by law! -- and bathing. I will zoomity-zoom and clickety-click, and soon, my MMSs will become a great source of informal income for me, as various parties will buy this government information for me, paying me understandably large sums of money as facilitation fees so that they don't have to go through the rigours of the Right to Information Act. "I am doing a public service," I will tell myself at night, and then I will sleep a good night's sleep till the alarm rings at 3am, and it's time to go to work.

Then one day, when I'm behind a bush and doing government work, some thugs from this slum will set upon me. "What are you doing?" they will bark.

"I am shooting potholes," I will reply.

"There are no potholes here," they will point out, as the scantily clad lady I was shooting glares at me, palloo clutched to bosom.

"You do not understand," I will say. "There could be potholes here." I will take out my identity card and start explaining, while they look through the contents of the MMS directory in my phone. They will then slap me, and kick me, and push me to the ground.

Then, much to my relief, they will hand me over to the police. These schmucks will never get it, will they?

Previous India Uncut Ambitions: Hooch Inspector.
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