Yesterday's Mumbai edition of the 'Times of India' (front page bottom) carried an interesting story. It seems that 14 elected representatives (lil' corporators actually) and a 'Tree Expert' of the Pune Municipal Corporation decided to go to for an all expenses paid trip to the city of Okayama in the Land of the Rising Sun to study preservation of trees and gardens. The greater objective as stated ever so humbly with reverence for public welfare is to build a Japanese style garden on the lines of the Korakuean. (we'll call it the K Gardens)
I would love to visit Pune after K Gardens is built. In fact I'm looking forward to trekking through bad roads, wading through polluted rivers, drinking toxic chemicals and bathing in sewage before I reach the succour of K Gardens. Won't that be wonderful. And for this very luxury, the citizens of Pune will have to pay a small price. i.e. Foot the bill of these 15 clowns. For all I know the trip to K Gardens might actually be like taking part in those reality shows a la 'Survivor' except that on reaching you may be a lung short and toxins in your body for company.
Thankfully two men have decided that they'd rather have both lungs and minimum toxins, hence a petition filed and won, complete with the blessings of the Bombay High Court. In fact, the good ol' HC has not totally dumped the plan of K gardens. Who would not like a stroll down there, after a hard day of making hard decisions like the men with white collars and black coats do. Hence the judges have kept options open for our 15 scholars, albiet at their own cost. "Education is expensive" they might have said with a grave look just before the gavel landed with a thud.
Now comes the best part, and what follows will speak of the ingenuity of the Indian politicians who have as in the past gone down with guns a-blazing. With true soothsayer-isque powers our 15 scholars foresee trouble, and they have made an alternate proposal to visit J&K! Are they trying to convert Pune into another Dal lake? They are not telling