Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A tough lesson in parking!

Posted by Picasa it is not a walk in the park...

As population rises faster than mercury on a summer afternoon, there are few things that tag along. The need for food, the need for shelter, and not to be left behind, the need for more parking spaces.

Like everything else that is proportionally growing with population, parking spaces have their own methods of influencing day-to-day life. For instance, take my case. I have a long and winded waking-up procedure. It is quite sophisticated. It involves several scientific stages. Let me begin with the previous night’s exploits. The time I wake up is very much dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed the previous night. The more I dunk, the more I bunk. Step two involves a little help from technology. Even while in the last stages of consciousness, I have a 98.214% accuracy rate with my alarm timings. It has been 7a.m. with 6 out of my 9 jobs. On occasions I can barely remember, and that very much being the reason, I have mixed more than just drinks. I have mixed PMs with AMs and hence woken up half a day late. On all other days, I wake up at the second of those obnoxious alarm tinkles. Then comes a quick assessment of the time required to perform my Morning Raga before setting off for work. In this case, on all occasions, I manage to fit it within the time left if I were to sleep an hour more. I am excellent at time management during these early somnomaniacal spells – and only then. I reset the alarm at least thrice before I finally decide to part with my bunker. During the space of these adjustments, I have considerably shortened my agenda for the pre-job stage. Breakfast is mercilessly bludgeoned, and bath is truncated depending on the availability of a deodorant.

Leaving my getting-ready-to-office aside, let us come back to the point. How does it influence one’s life? I wake up promptly, get dressed, erase nothing from my agenda, and I speed all the way to work. I am a prompt employee. From satan to a saint in 60 seconds; a dedicated worker from a lazy-bone - No Freaking Way! If I do not do the aforesaid, I stand a sore loser as I reach the parking lot, that’s why. The spaces are taken and I will have to park my bike elsewhere and walk the grueling distance. But knowingly or unknowingly, the lack of parking space has converted me into a better person, an opportunist, a philosopher, a cynic, a fast driver, an early-riser, a punctual employee, an efficient time and space manager, my boss’ darling, and hence a higher pay package earner, a richer boyfriend, a richer friend and so on… Do you want more proof of how It has drastically changed my social life?

The parking space at Origami has also made me a manipulator and a story-teller. It is a tiny 6x20 right in front of our office. A puny little man with an evil heart manages the lot. Let me call him the vulture. He sits there and awaits his prey. He does not feed on the fully healthy and loaded machines that fit into the parking space comfortably. He waits. He waits for the weaker ones that are separated from the pack. He waits for them to stray. And then he pounces. He pounces with deadly accuracy. The pray struggles, unable to move its neck due to an invention known as a handle lock. The cold-blooded shows no mercy as he drags the helpless machine across and away from the lot. The writhe of pain is brutally ignored. He is the servant to the mightier ones. As the tortured lay next to slain, the mighty ones move away. Within a minute the tormentor turns a loyal servant. He drags the prey back and pushes the little bike into the space vacated by its predecessor. The hapless might lose a limb or break an indicator. The vulture doesn’t care. He moves back and eyes all of them. He goes back to his perching point, awaiting the arrival of the weakest links. If any of the weaklings try to rebel, he punctures the tire with the pinpoint accuracy mentioned earlier, and plays the innocent bird. I take special care not to victimize my bike and hence drive away right under his greedy eyes.

A little away from the vulture’s lair is another parking spot. A gentle stretch of road alongside homes that are neatly tucked either side of the road. Unlike most parking-space-seekers who ignore the ‘no parking in front of the gate’ signs, I pay extra attention. That is when the manipulator in me takes over. The supposedly intelligent house owners have arranged rocks to mar the boundary called – ‘that is right where you are not supposed to park you bastard.’ Some of these boundaries are more controversial than the Kashmir border. If there is space for manipulation, I look around, do a quick geometric visualization of how my bike would fit in the gap- that-is-yet-to-be-created, and move the rock. They are heavy, trust me. One more thing the parking thing does to me – it gives me something that I lack the most – exercise. After a brief session of sweating, I stand a proud and panting man – mission accomplished.

The summary of this piece is – Parking has a major influence on your social life – it changes your outlook and instills qualities in you that you did not know even existed. Early to bed and early to rise will get you ample parking space. If any of the parking lot managers eye your bike with greed, avoid them and renew your insurance in case of future situations you can’t avoid. If you are strong enough to displace little boulders – you can ignore the whole article and say – Why the fuck did I waste my time on this bull-crap!

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