Monday, July 27, 2009

Autobiography of a Road

I am a road. My name is Mahatma Gandhi.

I don’t know why these human beings named me that. It appears some fellow by that name did something noticeable with his life. So this is their way of honouring him. Having me named after him and then trampling all over me all the time. I find that a little strange, but well, they move in mysterious ways.

I don’t know how this Mahatma Gandhi chap had anything to do with me, but then, roads can’t really choose their own names. I hear I’ve namesakes in other cities as well. That’s alright, I suppose, although I’d have liked to keep the name for myself, given a choice.

The other roads do seem to make a bit of an issue out of my name. They think it somehow makes me better off than them. You get a good name and a good place, and they give you a good body and take care of you so much and so and so forth, they keep telling me. They even point out I’ve got better tyres running me over. Fat lot of difference that makes!

I hear that kind of shit all the time, really. The tyres keep bringing all the latest gossip in town to me. Good friends of mine, most tyres. Since we work with each other so much, might as well be on backslapping terms. Besides, it does get a little lonely otherwise. I do, of course, meet some of the other roads at the intersections every once in a while. But we tend to get a bit bored, seeing each other so frequently. Then again, they think we are a tight bunch, all of us, and they don’t tell me what their other friends have to say about me. Keep me from getting hurt and all that crap.

No, tyres are much better. They do make too much noise about their supremacy though. About how they see so much of the world while we stick around like shitpots. The human beings don’t help matters much, I must say. They’ve devised this utter crap with their language about us taking them from one place to another. I find it extremely humiliating. And the tyres, of course, find it hilarious. Rub it in all the time.

Wait, I've been rambling on uselessly, haven't I? Guess I must introduce myself better. After all, what’s in just a name?

I was born several years ago, not sure of the exact number though. Gets a little difficult to keep track after a point since they don’t really celebrate our birthdays every year. One or two of the other roads argue with me as to why I need to keep any sort of time at all, since it hardly means anything to us, in the condition we are in. But I think it is important. Anyway, coming back to my birth, I was born right here, where I am now. The whole thing is quite similar to how these human beings are born themselves. Requires a lot more people, of course.

One fine day, a truckload of chaps just land up with all the plans and relevant material and get on with the job. Quite painful really, what with all the heating and burning. And then just when one thinks the worst is over, that monstrous thing with those huge metal tyres comes and stomps all over us. That’s supposed to keep us in line, apparently.

I wonder if these human beings are like God to us. They sure have all the ingredients, I should think. Just that they don’t seem to be right and fair and caring and all of those things all the time. I am Mahatma Gandhi, of course, and I get treated a little better. But some of the other ones are in dire shape, I hear. Then again, these human beings die long before we do. Now that’s not how their God seems to work. I am not sure how they know that but they do make a big deal of believing it, so I guess they know something I don’t.

I like late nights the most. After all the traffic thins out and the place is calmer. And the conversations with the tyres, though infrequent, become more vibrant and chirpier.

It doesn’t get dark for me though, with all those yellow lights waking up. But before those things were put in place, I could look at the dark sky without trouble. And see the moon and the stars wandering about throughout the night. Did depress me a little, seeing that even they had scope for such movement while I lay prostrate on the earth. I’ve learnt since that apparently I too am moving about with the earth the same way they do. That makes me feel better about myself, though it still does not make me feel any motion. Mind you, I am not complaining about the yellow lights. After they’ve arrived, I sense that I can see myself better if I wanted to. I probably look better too; the lights must make my complexion glow!

The days aren’t too bad either. I make so many new friends every day. And then there’s the Sun. It also wanders about the sky throughout the day, just as the moon and the stars do. But the Sun looks more powerful. I am told that this is not strictly correct. I don’t know why that is.

The only time I get really pissed off with life is during the rains. That’s when all those sewer pipes down there get all high and ambitious and have their time under the sun. We keep them where they belong most of the time, those retarded fucks. There’s a reason they’re down there below us, I say. But then, the rains come and they take every opportunity to puke their filthy guts out all over us. I don’t know what they think they achieve with this utterly disgusting exhibition. They think this will cause some kind of revolution and people will start travelling through them instead of us? Such absurdity! They did have their moment of glory when they started the underground metro in my city. But I don’t think that’s made much difference to anything at all.

Truth be told, I am quite happy with the way my life has turned out so far. You get used to the world making a fool of itself on top of you in time. It is quite peaceful after that. Comforting even, knowing everything’s alright every day. Yeah, I would’ve liked to go see a few friends in other countries. I keep hearing how roads are more cultured and all that. But, at least, the tyres don’t get to do that either!

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