P.G. Wodehouse’s dream takes flight in Mysore

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN overhears a conversation between two pigs before the start of their day in Mysore:


First Pig: “Hi! How have you been? Long time no see. Are you still doing the old route?”

Second Pig: “I am fine, thank you. Our route is still the same—“The Shit Route”. We start from Bogadi, then thro’ University, we come to Jayalakshmipuram, Vontikoppal, Railway hospital, Jaladarshini Guest House, DC’s residence and office, the Palace, Siddartha Layout and end near the foot hills of Chamundi. Now we are around 20 in our group. How about you?”

FP: “More or less same. We start from Exhibition Grounds. After doing N.R Mohalla and Lakshmipuram, then thro’ the Mayor’s and Commissioner’s office, K.R Circle, Chamaraja Double road, JLB road, Railway station we end at Bannimantap. Looks like we do almost the same distance.”

SP: “How’re the facilities in your route?”

FP: “Couldn’t be better. Every second junction, MCC has erected a nice big stone sty, which is quite clean. Around that on the roads, are the…. eats. The grub is great with all types of garbage; newspapers, rotten vegetables, eggs, leftovers… a mix bag of fresh, vintage and heritage stuff. It’s like this all along the route…. By the way, you had some stomach problems, didn’t you? How are you now?”

SP: “Ha! That was quite something! In one of our scavenging rounds, I ate some plastic bags. It was hell. Luckily, I was close to a hospital… Along with the hospital wastes, they had thrown some medicines, which had crossed expiry dates! When I ate that, my stomach ache vanished. Now I can digest plastic sheets from 1 micron to 3 mm! No problems. There is another group, which has mastered chewing off videocassettes, floppies and CDs with virus! We are ready for the ‘IT Boom’ in Mysore.”

FP: “We were scared when they started the Nirmala Mysore Yojane…”

SP: “You are referring to the defunct Mysore cleanup programme? Well, we were just 500 feet away from the dais when they inaugurated the function. We had a good party that day. Our piglets got to taste plastic cups and plates after the function was over!”

FP: “What about the future?”

SP: “I think we must group together and fight for our rights. During Dasara, they bring elephants, horses and camels from outside for the Jamboo Savari. They don’t encourage local talent! We know Mysore roads in and out and can help out, if they want to change the route! We will appeal to the districts–in–charge minister to include us who, I understand, is planning to make it a Grand Dasara this year.”

FP: “Very true. I heard the tourism minister is planning to have a Ropeway to Chamundi Hills. There used to be a temple there…. Now that a township and Kalyanamantapa has come up, I am sure a lot of leftovers will be available for us. I hope MCC will provide some ‘stalls’ for us at Chamundi Hills too. If we can go in the cable car, it will be a good picnic.”

SP: “Even if MCC does not provide a car exclusively for us, we shouldn’t grunt too much! We can always share the car and go with the general public as we are presently doing—by sharing the roads with them.”

FP: “That’s true… Some day, I would like to go to the Hills by the ropeway. It would be like flying.”

SP: “You know, more than a quarter-century back when P.G. Wodehouse named one of his books ‘Pigs have wings’, he must have had us in mind. We have indeed waited long enough.”