Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pedestrian Tuesday

So how many of you enjoyed Bhutan’s first pedestrian Tuesday? It sure was a different Tuesday for most of us especially for those who have to commute to work. The road along the swimming pool complex was deserted except for a few taxis plying on the road. 
Honestly, I was a little excited to walk to office from Changzamtog where I live to Kawajangsa. This would be some burning of extra calories in me, I thought to myself. Energized with a good breakfast, I started my day towards an effort to reduce carbon footprint. I had this freaking thought that the streets would be filled up with people walking to and fro to work or to run some important errands just like you see in movies. 


Just a handful of people were seen on the road. Am I too early or late? Does no one walk to the place where I work? It was a great disappointment! :(. Just then, I saw Dasho Neten Zangmo hurriedly walking to office, oh what an inspiration! Then I plodded on. 

    The greatest inspiration -His Majesty the King bicycling at the heart of the city.Pic courtesy: Kuensel, 5th June 2012
The once busy road with heavy traffic gave a deserted look. It had been so long that almost all of us walked to office. Thimphu must have been like this back in the 80’s with just a countable number of cars. The feeling was of being transported back to those times when I had the road to myself. I felt incredibly awesome. 

Then people came out of their houses on the way and I could see the number soaring. One look on the face of the passerby and I get this feeling, “Hey I have seen him/her somewhere.” And I get this hazy feeling of “where could it be?” until and unless my head don’t stop reeling. So foolish of me :P. 
Past 45 minutes and finally I reach the vicinity of my office. I meet my Secretary at the entrance who had also walked down to office, oh another inspirationJ. As soon as I reach my office, instantly I put on the fan and lie down, oh how exhausted I am early morning. 
I could not do anything for the next 15 minutes. This is because of the 1st Tuesday, I console to myself. The sun had been mild yesterday fortunately; otherwise there would have been too many casualties at the hospital with heat strokes. 

Speaking of casualties, I had an aunt who was referred to JDWNRH for an immediate surgery from Punakha. Unfortunately they were here on the 1st Pedestrian Tuesday and God knows how much time they took to reach the hospital.
They were diverted all the way by the traffic police towards Tashichhodzong, and from there again had to come through the outskirts of the town towards JDWNRH. Then parking their car, they had to walk to the hospital which my poor aunt could not do because she was suffering from hemorrhage. When in that condition, imagine her horror to walk. 
Finally they had to catch a cab to reach the hospital. What is to happen to our rural community who happens to visit the JDWNRH on some unfortunate Pedestrian Tuesday? I believe there won’t be an ambulance to ferry every sick person.

On a Pedestrian Tuesday, there would not be any absenteeism at workplace, however there would be less public frequenting the offices which is the case I saw yesterday. It was a huge sigh of relief to see the office car parking lot empty too. Otherwise we had to rush for parking space both at office and home. With crammed parking spaces, thanks to our planners, it has literarily been a race against time to catch a good and safe parking space for one’s car. Since I had guests at home, I had to miss the walk to home after office. 
The cabbie charged me frigging 80 bucks from BCCI hall. Wooh that was quite a loot the cabbie did. In case I am not well but emergencies at work make me to go to office, I would not be able to afford the extravagant taxi fare. 

As long as I do not have to tend to kids at home and drop them to school, I would be OK with Pedestrian Tuesday. And my heartfelt sympathy goes to those new parents who have to juggle between home and office frequently. 
God bless them and let the decision makers have some solution to it just like they do things on their whims and fancies like the one they did now. After all who are we? Just some experimental mice! where everything can be experimented on us. Or let the mother with newborns  have holidays on every Pedestrian Tuesday: P

Till then, I pray for no rain on Pedestrian Tuesday or scorching sun.
I pray not to fall sick on Pedestrian Tuesday.
And hope this pedestrian Tuesday will lead us far as a country.


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