Right up there with dynamite and the atomic bomb. There’s nothing as chilling as the approach of the JCB.
In a few hours, it can raze an entire landscape: trees, rocks, hillsides, water courses. And yet, there’s no one regulating its use. Any individual can flatten any landform he takes a dislike to. In the last few months, our bucolic surroundings have become a network of flattened lands for sale, connected by four-lane kaccha roads that until recently were footpaths. While I cannot deny that I’ve ‘benefitted’ from the ‘development’ I deplore now, nor the right of the farmers to their share of whatever’s going, I wish our neighbours could see into the future. They don’t know how precious or fragile are the goods they are so eager to sell off.
14th August: On further investigation, I find that our rural neighbours are more intelligent than the urban ones: each of these roads has a ditch running along each side, and at the bottom of each slope, provision has been made for water to run off in its natural direction, towards the lake. A good discovery to make on the eve of Independence Day!