Much of what I write on this bog is frivolous — but some of it is quite serious. And sometimes — just sometimes — things reach the proper audience.
I received encouraging news today from Aaman Lamba, publisher of the wonderful forum Desicritics, that my essay on the huge garbage problem on Indian Railways was been posted on the online discussion forum of Indian Railways Institute of Civil Engineers. (I had cross-posted the piece on Desicritics, which was where it was picked up.) Who knows if this will generate any real attention, much less action. Typical of Indian engineers, there has been much buzz about triviality and process (in this case, how to resize my photos), and no substantive commentary as of yet. But the fact that someone noticed and posted the essay is a good start.
When I had originally written the piece, I looked high-and-low on the web for a way to bring it to the attention of Indian Railways, but was able to find no feedback or complaint-submittal address. I even telephoned the office of Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who, at the time, was on one of his self-congratulatory tours of American business schools. They refused to provide me with an email address to which I could send the article. The Indian bureaucracy is astonishingly afraid of information. It’s like that old joke about being careful about having an open mind, because you might get something in it.
Let’s see how far this little essay percolates. If one wants to make waves, I suppose it’s okay to begin with ripples.