In spite of all that was said and written about the Metro Bus Project, the residents of Islamabad are now stuck with this Mass Transit System and may have to make the best of it. While the entire route and its glittering stations equipped with latest technology, are being given a final finish, what is likely to happen within a few weeks of the post inauguration period is something that we can all visualize - with a sinking feeling. But do not fret dear readers, for there is always a ‘bright side’ to every situation.

The mere thought of an air conditioned station interior will draw people (not necessarily commuters) suffering from scorching summer heat like flies. Soon these stations will present the spectacle of humanity in all shapes, sizes (and perhaps even gender) enjoying a refreshing afternoon siesta on benches and even the floor. Efforts by the guards to shoo them out will result in futile chases across the premises. Nevertheless, while the unending ‘Keystone Cops’ episode will continue, the government would have provided the public with much needed relief from the heat (as a good alternative to load shedding) with the fringe benefit of much needed exercise for potbellied security guards.

The lifts and escalators will be seen as joyrides by young men (and perhaps some old ones still young at heart), who will have a rollicking time undeterred by guards and their pathetic efforts to stop them. I however urge you to look at the positive side of this free for all recreational activity that will refresh minds and titillate brain cells to invent more creative methods of destroying public utilities. And do not ignore the fact that nonstop usage will enable quick detection of faults and flaws in the system.

The short steel pickets (threaded through with plastic rope) demarcating the bus route from the road, will be either be bent or uprooted out of existence. This will be done for the sheer fun of damaging property installed from the tax payer’s money or to make a quick buck (for steel fetches money). In the first instance it will provide a much needed evocation to a section of our society and second, help in reduction of poverty.

Soon graffiti, spit and betel juice will cover walls and fixtures giving everything a very Pakistani look. The result may even attract tourists in droves to see and photograph a new modern art form depicting our unique culture.

The show stopper in our story will materialize, when a mob of stone throwing and ‘danda’ wielding morons, stage a protest anywhere along the route. Glass sheets will shatter, fixtures uprooted and vandalized, but the flip side will be that the glittering stations covered in glazing from end to end would have provided an effective window for crowd catharsis and the rabid mob will go home satisfied with the day’s work.

And now to a totally different subject. I have come to the conclusion that much of the national work force and those that supervise government projects are squint-eyed. Ample proof of my theory is available as one drives along newly constructed roads and avenues in our big cities and is confronted by the sight of out-of-alignment street light poles and fixtures. The same holds true, whenever flag poles are erected temporarily to welcome important visitors. I have yet to see a line of these poles in perfect vertical or horizontal harmony – hence QED.

I am also of the opinion that this nation is suffering from a rare sub continental disease called ‘Shortcutitis’. Symptoms of this malady include an unstoppable urge to take the shortest distance between two points no matter what the cost and risk. Individuals suffering from this sickness can be seen squeezing through iron barriers dividing major roads or climbing over them to get to the other side, in spite of the fact that an overhead bridge exists just a few yards to their left or right. A large segment of these patients will also manifest the disease by daily crossing and re-crossing a lush green tract of grass till the spot becomes a hard packed path, where nothing can grow.

All said and done, we are somewhat akin to that charismatic green thing known as the ‘Bitter Gourd’ – bitter in taste, but deliciously good when properly cooked. What this errant nation therefore needs is a good cook. Our search for one has so far been in vain - who knows, he may be just around the corner waiting to be discovered.