One of the most popular pastimes in the country after cricket, politics, not keeping time, road rage and dirtying the environment is this thing called a bandh.
For those who still live in the British Raj, speak in an Oxford accent or still feel the Queen’s birthday is the biggest event of the year, a bandh is a clarion call given by the government, opposition, political parties, religious organisations or even small outfits to shut down the country, state, city or even a village with a population of 100.
For the others, it is a disruption of daily life and cause of despair as chaos replaces routine.
It serves no purpose except pander to the already bloated egos of the political class or some unknown outfits whose main aim is to show strength with violent behaviour. The netas get voted, stay dormant and suddenly wake up when some political issue gives them a chance to show their strength.
Vehicles get burnt, people die, and life becomes a pain you know where. The common man has two choices – succumb or survive.
Here are some ways to beat the bandh, God and other factors willing.
- Lay out plans on where to sleep in the office in case of a bandh. Make sure to buy those inflatable pillows and keep them at the workplace to increase comfort level when stranded.
- Always pray before you set out. Flash strikes can happen anytime, any day and catch you unawares.
- Always keep Usain Bolt in mind. His running technique will come useful if you have to flee a bunch of blood-seeking Count Draculas on the lookout for victims.
- Keep a couple of chocolate bars in your bag. This will not go in vain. You may spend many long hours without sustenance if stores and eating establishments down shutters.
- If you sense trouble, head for the transport first. Make sure you take off before the mob appears. Run for the bus or the train which, in all probability, could be the last for the day.
- If you are stranded, just claim that you are from whichever outfit which is calling the shots. That way, you have a chance of survival. Throw a stone or brick to impress.
- Always keep your mobile fully charged with a power bank for support. You will need it when you cross the third hour when stranded in a train/bus.
- Ensure that you carry at least a bottle of water. They can be used to quench the thirst during long waits or as a weapon to defend the self
- Always heed to bandh calls. Don’t be conscientious and go to office to earn brownie points. Always remember nobody appreciates and it’s a cruel world out there.
- Staying at home is the best solution if not granted a holiday. You can cook up some unknown body condition whose lasting power is just one day. That way you are safe and sound, with a body without blemish. And you can reach for popcorn, switch on the television and watch the struggles faced by people caught in the bandh with a knowing smile.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.