Mumbai. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (B.M.C.) decided to pay tribute to the legend, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, in their unique way, by digging up a road in Goregaon for the 24th year running.
At the first light of dawn on Thursday, the B.M.C. put up their ‘Work in progress. Inconvenience not regretted’ signs on the busy Aarey road and started digging it up after performing a small ceremony and putting up a hoarding of Sachin Tendulkar. Hundreds of workers were spread across the length of the road, manning excavators and wielding hammers and power tools. Sources have confirmed that the road will be a complete mess by the time the Mumbai test match gets over.
A senior engineer employed with the B.M.C., who was present at the site but did not wish to be identified told this correspondent that the plan was put in action immediately after the Maestro’s blitzkrieg in Sharjah, way back in 1998.
“We first started digging this road way back in 1989, when Sachin made his debut. At that point of time, we actually used to do some work like laying pipes and utility lines. However, we dug up Aarey Road in 1998 out of habit, only to realize that no work was to be carried out. Just a week before this happened; Sachin had played that memorable knock against Australia, ripping their bowling attack to shreds. So, we decided to dedicate our act of digging up this particular road to Sachin Tendulkar. That year, the B.M.C. decided in its annual meeting, where usually no work is done, to dig up Aarey Road as long as Sachin Tendulkar played test cricket. It has since become a tradition known only to the employees of B.M.C. This year we decided to go public, as the God of cricket has decided to retire.”
On being quizzed about the reaction from the public, the engineer added, “People in this suburb have always been very supportive of us. Every year we dig up this road for 3-4 months, and put up random signs and no one has ever questioned us. Now, when they realize that it was all a tribute to India’s beloved son, people will actually congratulate and compliment us. Look at that man, so cheerful, waving enthusiastically from inside his car.”
This correspondent pointed out to the engineer that the man seemed pissed and was actually giving him the finger. His glee unabated, the engineer added that he hoped to draw a big, fat bonus this year that would make the B.M.C. Commissioner’s driver’s salary look like peanuts.
A senior citizen, residing in a building on an adjacent road, and privy to the contents of this conversation had to be hospitalized for a severe heart attack. Apparently, he heard the engineer’s explanation for the ritualistic, yearly digging of this road. The citizen was going to miss God’s elegant straight drives, but was ecstatic at the same time that the road would not be dug up from next year.
However, he collapsed suddenly, on hearing another B.M.C. employee’s remark that they were planning to dig up the adjacent road every year, as long as Sharad Pawar vies for a post in the M.C.A., the B.C.C.I. or public office. The senior citizen’s condition was serious at the time of going to press.