A moo point, basically …

Arbit/ Random

Intentionally Incomplete

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I worked for a long time at an office complex in Mumbai which was quite swanky tip-top techy shiny. It was the worst possible location to set up shop  – it was next to one of the busiest junctions in Mumbai – it often took half an hour for a car to come from one side of the road to the other. It was ‘equally close’ to both railway lines, which meant that it was inconvenient to reach either.

The office was in this huge building complex which had a ‘nice’ canteen; fancy waterfalls and stone arrangements which had some aesthetic value (I assume); eternally suspicious watchmen who were either too fat to chase after anyone or too thin to hit anyone; and a ‘smoking room’ so that people could smoke in both voices (active and passive).

Given the state-of-the-art facilities, it was always a mystery to see in the office complex this swimming pool with refreshingly blue  tiles which was empty. I remember going to the office as part of an orientation when still a grad in early 2007. We were told that that pool was going to be completed ‘any day now’. The possibility of seeing colleagues go for a swim in full view of the entire office was intriguing, to say the least. Just another reason for all of us to be super psyched about starting our jobs.

I joined full-time in July 2007, and the pool was still empty. As the days went by, I  could never see any visible effort to help the pool fulfill its destiny. I’d seen these things happen in the past – something was constructed with the assumption that you’ll get clearance to build it but the permission was delayed / revoked, so the construction had  to be halted. The pool was often used to host small events with red plastic Neelkamal chairs and a podium with a mic which screeched at regular intervals. I heard rumours that someone threw a bucket of water into the pool (on a dare) but the water didn’t drain out, it stayed there until it evaporated but not before fostering a thriving ecosystem of its own – maybe that was the problem, they messed up the plumbing and were too bored to fix it. Whatever it was, it was a symbol of hope. Of possibility. Of red tape bureaucracy stifling people’s dreams. But mainly, it was a symbol of empty swimming pools.

I left the place in 2010, and the pool was still the way it was the first time I saw it. You could always depend on the pool to stay unchanged. Just the way it was, eternally un(ful)filled.

You can imagine my crushing disappointment, or at least as sense of anti-climax, when I recently found out that the pool had been left incomplete intentionally – one small tile had not been laid or one pipe had not been fitted, due to which the pool (and as a consequence, the whole complex) continued to be ‘under construction’. That apparently helped the owners save tons of tax.

There’s a lesson to be learnt here somewhere – The impact that one pipe/tile can have (Ek machchar …). OR, How an unfinished object can inspire in the unlikeliest way. OR, how ridiculous the whole thing now seems.

I feel cheated, but in a nice way.


Written by sujaybedekar

September 26, 2012 at 12:52 am

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