Many physicists today postulate the existence of multiple universes, even when sober. We used to live in a world of infinite possibilities. Now we live in an infinite number of worlds. India shines. Democracy thrives. The economy booms. A hundred flyovers bloom. This is not that India. If you see your picture here one day, don’t worry. That’s not you.
In a move which analysts have described as ‘a giant leap into the nineteenth century’, Uttar Pradesh Police will be issuing 800 bicycles to policemen in Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, and Ghaziabad. The bicycles will be equipped with sirens, flashers, and small but tasteful man-purses.
“In an era of drones and stealth weapons, we wanted a police force that was simpler, cleaner and closer to the soil,” said a representative of the UP government. “We have also field tested the equipment. In nine cases out of ten, test subjects were able to overtake and apprehend absconding buffaloes. In the tenth case, the buffalo knocked over the bicycle.”
As part of this audacious metamorphosis, each of the four cities will now have state-of-the-art Police Control Rooms, equipped with the latest in surveillance and law enforcement equipment. A Rapid Alert System will quickly capture information regarding crimes in progress, which will be relayed instantly to the Cycle Squad Chief, after which bicycles with flashing sirens will shoot out of the police station in hot pursuit of the criminals. In cases where criminals lose control of their vehicles due to uncontrollable laughter, the officer is authorized to take a fifteen-minute hiatus in order to recover his breath, after which he is to apprehend the culprits, or provide them medical attention, as the case may be.
Most police officers have been supportive of the move.
“Obviously we would have preferred it if the election symbol of the Samajvadi Party had been a motorbike, or a Mercedes, rather than a cycle,” said one of them, “But look on the bright side. At least this didn’t happen when Mayawati was in charge. Her symbol is an elephant.”