It Takes More Than A PhD To Understand These Notifications!

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Life is, and this is going to sound like a bit of an understatement, tough these days.

For all of us and in varying measures, of course, but I don’t think anybody will object to the use of the word itself. And it is tough for a variety of reasons, most of which are too onerous to get into right now. But some of these reasons, dear reader, need not exist. And it is these reasons that will be the subject of our ruminations today.

Government notifications. That is what we shall speak about. Why, would somebody please explain, must they be so very complicated?

This isn’t meant to be a diatribe about lockdowns, and nor is it meant to be a critique of any specific government or political party. We leave serious analysis to the rest of the world, for the world seems incapable of doing anything else right now.

But it is a lament directed at the plethora of rules that have descended upon us, much like a plague of locusts (ok, scratch that metaphor).

Remember the no-more-than-five-shops thingummy?

Briefly, for those of you who don’t, an explainer: there was a notification about how not more than five shops could be open on any road during one of these lockdowns. The notification, sadly, didn’t clarify much beyond this point, leaving our noble city’s citizens rather at sea.

Which five shops? Who decides? On what basis? When you say road, are we talking MG Road level streets, or aspirants to that level streets, like maybe Bhandarkar Road? Or something in between these two worthies, or even smaller? And on and on.

Or the famed middle seats in airplanes kerfuffle. Will people be allowed to sit there or not? On what basis? Does the duration of the flight matter? On that note, one question I have not been able to get an answer to is if my fellow citizens will give up their endearing habit of crowding in the aisles upon landing, for god forbid those thirty seconds of their life be stolen from them. 

Ola and Uber being allowed to ply, but only for essential purposes. Essential means what, exactly? And again, who decides? But my favorite bit is the following, excerpted from this article:

“…clarified that shops on roads facing North to East and South to East will open on odd date while those on the other side – North to West and South to West – on even dates.”

I have a PhD, and I say that not in order to brag, but to explain that the Indian education system thinks I’ve got some special skills.

Now, I do not know if that is true or not, but I confidently state that even if I do, said special skills do not extend to being able to decipher the code above.

Every time I read those lines, there is a definite and urgent throbbing of the temples, and an overwhelming urge to go sit quietly in a corner.

Ah, but is today Wednesday? And what time of the day is it? Because, you see, there was, I think, a notification about corners of your homes…





#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same. 


Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni