Prez CorpsSo what's next for President Kalam now that he's ticked off another item off his childhood-dreams list? A ride on the Darjeeling Toy Train? A lift on Basanti's ta.Ngaa? A Segway segue?
As you can see, I'm not quite enamoured by the Kalam joyride yesterday and see it as "mainly pointless". I wonder if previous Presidents are going "I wish I had thought of that!" (I doubt it though - to his credit, Kalam at least seems to have the fitness for such things). But the exercise was essentially wish-fulfilment without being necessary; a mere perk of the office which shouldn't be encouraged given the amount of freebies on offer anyway. Perhaps one could argue the PR aspects for the air force, but unlike the previous (again carefully managed) PR exercise where the Air Chief Marshal flew a MIG to prove its airworthiness, this one had its roots in a bit of expensive lark.
The current President is supposed to be quite a children's hero, I am told, and one can argue the salutary effects of such an event on a generation of kids aspiring hopefully to the defence forces, but now that I am a (reluctant) adult, I'm not a fan of his usually mawkish statements. Like yesterday's (paraphrase) "All human minds looked beautiful from the air", for which we'll just have to take his word for. On the ground in Pune, his visit meant traffic diversions in the existing patches not dug up, and over a thousand policmen deployed on the short route from Raj Bhavan to the airport making it the densest concentration of policemen in a civilian area since that controversial Rakhi Sawant show.
But like the papers pointed out, the customary repairing of roads on a war footing took place and "Hema Malini's cheeks" appeared out of nowhere. Which inspires me to suggest that instead of Rajnath or Advani, why not the President take to the "Rath" and roam the length and breadth of the country? It will achieve the magical effect of disappearing potholes by his mere presence. The upper classes, me included, have been accused of living in a world far removed from the lower classes. But when I think that the uppermost probably last experienced a pothole about 3-4 years ago, I can only feel fear as to what will happen if the Presidential caravan were to sweep by a golf course.