Even as Delhi moans and groans like a house of ghouls at the idea of having to live like the rest of the 99 per cent, who, leave it to a Dilliwala to believe, is content not to partake of a "lifestyle" that the capital offers, you know, the rest of us actually wanting to complete our reading for the week on the 2hr and 30mi trudge from overcrowded suburbs to offices in a mad rush falling off trains and under the wheels of buses for the sheer thrill of swiping in half a minute late and having our work day attendance marked down to half; the rest of the 99 per cent has been gleaning much entertainment from watching them fling themselves against the grills of their ivory towers. Given that women, cabs, men dressed as women and women dressed as men, journalists, politicians and anyone who is the current or former prime minister or his cabinet's kith or kin or daughter-in-law, is exempted, besides which it won't apply post midnight, and no challans will be cut at peak hour, and 10,000 new fume spewing autos will add to the motley polluting mob, the lone milk man wheeled his squeaky cycle down the path with a sigh at the memsahib accusing him of adulteration. Bit rich that. Delhi, that capital bunch of leaders, as Mihir Sharma, put it, has voted against favour of breathing.
Or of anyone else breathing, that is. So the rich will buy more air purifiers per room, consume more electricity, parade their lessening dependence on nebulisers, move on, we hope to gas masks with oxygen tanks, and probably, if someone can patent it, movable bubbles, which they can ride on with wheels as the middle class and below choke and die by the way side, preferably in a specially-made corridor that doesn't prove to be the BRT so that those pesky commuters can get out of the way and it can be converted back into a fast lane for the national-affairs-to-see-to Dilliwala. Right. They can't even see their sky, the rest of the nation is thinking. Failing which they will all move abroad and send postcards back home on how lovely the air is there and one can't understand why the 99 per cent wouldn't just hold dual passports like the rest of us, Modiji is making it so easy now, instead of doing these odd shenanigans.
So while you can bet your last bail dollar the film fraternity in Mumbai has already called up Google to order driverless cars, there now having been precedent for no one having run over the homeless, Delhi, to whom the driver is an integral part of a blame-apportioning class system which allows those on the top rung to breathe easy, will be having none of that. So for every seven-year-old girl who is gang-raped and must stand bleeding in an AIIMS ward for four hours to be seen to, the capital will build helipads on its roof so no VIP will have to even make the dash through traffic. Because lord knows we need more of the latter than the former and that's the guy we need saving.
Delhi operates on a cycle of spiritual harmony: for every man who breathes there must be someone to choke. For every man who sins, there must be someone to take the blame. And for every odd man out, there is an even amount of lucky number plates for sale. The soul of the nation breathes easy, and the skies, or a conscience, has nothing to do with it. That climate is clearly not changing any time soon.