Monday, October 22, 2007

A clever ploy

-by KParthasarathi Monday, October 22, 2007
The stench of urine from outside the compound wall was unbearable for Raman. It was a long stretch of a road with no shaded trees. There was just one big tree opposite his house that provided some cool. There was a small transformer box adjacent to the tree. The small hidden enclosure encouraged every passerby to relieve himself. It was miserable for Raman and his family. The doors and windows on the front side of his house remained always closed.
Raman put up a notice board cautioning prosecution if people urinated there. It was of no avail and someone threw cow dung at it obliterating the caution. Someone suggested his painting the wall outside with pictures of gods from different religions to dissuade the miscreants from desecrating the place. Initially it had some beneficial response but soon lost its efficacy. His representations to the municipal corporation did not help. He was at his wit’s end not knowing how to end this menace.
It was then his wife suggested a strategy. He collected a couple of short pieces of cable with the end revealing the wires. In the night when it was dark he inserted the cable wires in the earth with the ends protruding above. He wrote on the wall with a chalk piece “DANGER” prominently. What could not be done by appealing to their civic sense or the religious sentiment was resolved by appealing to the sense of fear. Men fear death as children fear darkness. Raman played on the strongest emotion of mankind namely fear to achieve his objective. Soon a cycle mechanic set up his wares at the place and a coconut vendor piled tender coconuts for sale to thirsty people.

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