Though I have never been to the moon or any other planet, I now, have no reason to complain.
I see the Sun, the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and other celestial stuff in our very own Pune. Before you rubbish it or laugh it off, please bear with me.
First of all, let me present the Case of the Pollution Mask. That is usually this black or dark coloured contraption which is worn over the face by two-wheeler riders to keep the obnoxious fumes away. Since pollution and Pune are getting inseparable by the day, these masks have mushroomed all over the city.
Have you ever paused to think what these things look like? If you haven’t, please do. These masks make people look like aliens. To reconfirm, see a few films dedicated to aliens and you will agree.
And God forbid if you come across these masked humans on a lonely street or at a bend.
Be ready for a shock and probably a “toss and turn” night with the lights on. As a bonus, it may even evoke memories of Jason from the Friday the 13th film series. That is a double whammy indeed.
Now let us move on to the Curious Case of the Craters. Having established that these masked men look like celestial creatures, a look below will confirm that the moon has indeed come down to Pune. Yes, the craters, found on what was once popularly known as a road, closely resembles the Moon’s surface.
The potholes are beautifully spread out and whatever smooth surface left is probably the act of a rare conscientious road builder. Navigating through these so-called roads will make you feel that your vehicle is actually a craft meant for space.
You are often above the surface, bumping along until to hit your destination, God and the municipal authorities willing.
Then those discoloured bumps, called speed-breakers I believe, are made for you to take a sudden jump in the air and land equally speedily on ground again. The rumble strips give a good shake-up to the body, keeping you alert at all times.
And don’t forget the helmet. All space film protagonists wear helmets. You now complete the picture. Of course, the highlight of the whole thing is that you get your chance to test your battle-readiness. You have to take on other vehicles which cut across, ignore signals, don’t use indicators, and drive at speed 120 kmph.
That is your own Star Wars experience. A few traffic police, faces covered with masks that look like something from the Planet of the Apes, may or may not intervene during your progress depending on many factors, including the temperature at that time.
Then consider The Case of Michael Jackson and his Moonwalk. All Puneites are advised to seek out and kindly study the video of Moonwalk. Jackson provides you with the technique to traverse the streets of the city on foot without twisting an ankle.
Welcome to Planet Pune. I rest my case.
#All views expressed in this column are the authors and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.