Fiction · Little stories · Short stories

Arsee’s short stories 173

THE MUMBAI TELEGRAPH

Thursday, 17th January, 2055

Mumbai/Innsbruck, Reknowned inventor and scientist Mani Shankar Reddy passed away this morning at his home in the Alpine Mountain town of Innsbruck. The cause of death has been put down as a cardiac arrest. Mr. Reddy is survived by two sons, a daughter and an adopted son from his same sex marriage to his long term fellow scientist Allan Arthur.

The world mourned the passing away of the great mind with the third daughter of the fifth Prince of the Royal Family of Hargarnistan calling it, “a huge loss”.

Mr. Reddy was a scientist whose inventions have helped in making our homeland India, a much better place to live. Sharad Tipnis of the Municipal Commission elaborated on his spit and splat invention, “It was really a very simple thing in actual.(sic) We had most of the citizen’s DNA in our banks so when anyone would spit on the road the person’s saliva would mix with the atmosphere and the street lined with a special chemical. As soon as the spit landed it would create a splat. A huge green sign would form on the road and read something humiliating. When I spat to try the splat it read, “Tipnis, you disgusting pig! Stop spitting!” Then it also got shared on Facebook and Twitter, I never spat again!”

However, the spit and splat did become controversial when the Minister of Human Resources came under a lot of attack after he spat and his splat read, “You corrupt dog! At least refrain from staining the pavement!” The Government did consider discontinuing the splat but the people’s rage prevented that from happening.

His most famous invention still remains the rickshaw GPS corrector. According to Pramod Shrivastava from the Road Transport Authority, “it was a revolutionary idea.”

By the year 2022, there were so many rickshaws on the road that traffic laws became a thing of the past. Rickshaws took every short cut they could. They even drove into one gate of an apartment complex and out of the other. Such was the abject disdain for the law that the Rickshaws even drove into malls and swimming pools. It was like the rats from the Pied Piper story.

Mr. Reddy created the Rickshaw GPS corrector. It was really simple. All the Rickshaws were fitted with GPS devices that recorded their travel from the designated “home” entered into the system. This home could not be re entered. Everytime you broke a traffic law the Rickshaw would lock down and the driver would have to trace his way back “home” and start again. There was no other way the Rickshaw would go, unless you towed it.

It is said that Bhola, a notorious Rickshaw driver from Bihar, had to restart his journey sixty eight times and at the end of sixteen days of restarting he had to be taken to a home for mentally unstable rickshaw drivers. A truly remarkable invention.
In the words of the Late President of Bhavnagar Ras Mandal Hansal bhai Jhaveri, “Reddy bhai is a jam among jems.”

With inputs from Noone.

-Arsee.