For those who have not been here before (and you lurking Americans, Canadians and Herzegovinians), I have been living, rather trying hard not to commit suicide, in Chandigarh for the last five months. This and the last few blogposts are my way of asking this city to go fuck itself, royally.
Chandigarh, I’ve been told on more than one occasion, is a planned city. Will someone with even one-eighth of a brain please tell me HOW?
For starters, it is in the middle of nowhere. This is the proverbial No Man’s Land; at least not an intelligent man’s. We have the amiable Pakistanians a couple of hundred kilometers to the west and to the east we have Mr. Mao trying to pry open his eye-slits with chopsticks. So every time an Al-Qaeda junkie gets his panties in a bunch, I could be the first to die. How bloody convenient!
The airport’s not that great either.
I’ve traveled quite a bit to realize that a city’s essence can be gauged from its airport. Bombay – crowded, cosmopolitan, synchronized chaos. Singapore – organized, soulless sellout. Madras – functional. Abu Dhabi – concrete, kitschy, tailor made, man made.
How about Chandigarh?
The airport in Chandigarh is only slightly smaller than the average Bihari cowshed (in case you were wondering, the flatulent, rotund policemen are rightful bovine replacements). The runway, all 200 centimeters of it, was once a cricket pitch for midgets. The last time I saw the conveyor belt operational, there were two moderately ginormous Punjabi women treating it like a personal treadmill. Agitated that their bags seemed lost, they were making their way to the hole in the wall that the baggage usually comes from. After all, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammed, then Mrs. Samarjeet Bhatia must go to her Samsonite, no?
A map of the city looks like this –
A Chessboard looks like this –
The retard, Le Corbusier, who was commissioned to ‘plan’ the city, looks like this –
Dear Mr. Le Corbusier,
Did you drop out of Architecture School after Lesson 1: Lines? Are you not aware of the existence of curves, arcs, bends, circles or loops? If we wanted you to draw a square, we would have asked you to draw a fucking square.
Also, Corbusier Uncle - if you are cocky enough to prefix a Le before your own name, why choose to be sedate when naming localities in the city? Numbered Sectors was the best you could come up with for naming neighborhoods; really? Sector 1, Sector 2 and so on.
And what is with the Mathematics you bastard? How does it help to know that you numbered the Sectors in a way that the sum of two adjoining Sectors is divisible by 13?
It’s Saturday night and I am monumentally sloshed. I’m on my way home and I cannot make out left from right because smartie pants Corbusier here decided to plan a city without landmarks, identity and character. I am lost somewhere between Sector 23 and 35 and I am majorly fucked. But lo and behold! All I need is the power of Math. In my state of alcohol induced incapacitation, I just have to figure out if 23+35 is divisible by 13 and I’m home. Right?
Why no imagination? Is it because you were Swiss and all you ever did was eat cheese and be intimate with cattle that you confused with your women?
And pray tell me what is this ‘monument’ that you have designed?
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It is a hand? Is it something sticking out like a sore thumb?
You are lucky to be dead. For if you were alive, I would first kill you. I would then proceed to cut you up into teeny-tiny little numbered squares. And then I would feed you to 13 hungry, hand shaped birds.
P.S. I had specifically asked for stripes, not checks.
P.P.S. O wise one! Do not confuse this Chandigarh with the other hypothetical one existing in a parallel universe.