When you see so many of them marching through the Mahatma Gandhi Road, you feel like laughing. But the situation is different,when you realize that you can not do any thing about it.
They were every where on the road, on the foot paths, in the rain water drains, on the garbage bins, parked vehicles, standing trees.......every where, thickly packed. They moved together creating a huge grey carpet moving over the road.
More and more were coming out from every imaginable place, from the gutters, buildings, even from the open spaces where you thought nothing can remain hidden. Millions arrived from the boat jetty, where the market canal met the backwaters, an ocean of rats.
'Human ocean', the phrase the newspaper reporters use, whenever a political party or religious group organize a rally, tells you that they have seen only water flowing from the city water taps.
There was no one to answer why, how, what for and many other questions about the grand march.
Their slogans were not decipherable. But the rhythmic shrieks that made you thrust your fingers in to your ears, clearly said they were in a really bad mood.
The front ranks were orderly but the followers, they looted the shops, threw down any thing that could be moved. Baby food to booze. Vegetables to hardware.It resembled the protest march of the opposition parties in all respects, but for the absence of the slogan , “Thottitilla, Thottitilla,Thotta charithram kettittilla” (We've never lost, never lost.....have never even heard of losing).
If any one thought 'Perhaps this may be the best time to get rid of them all in a single stroke' surely he did not see the fate of the car that tried to run them over or the pesticide shop owner who tried to spray poison on them.
The municipal workers had fled the city long back. Looks like they had some warning before hand.The fire fighters wanted armored vehicles. The police who said their duty is only to control people not animals, readied vehicles to evacuate the effected (mostly their kith and kin) to safer places.
The march was nearing the City Municipal corporation office. Suddenly loud speakers blared.
The Mayor announced the decision to withdraw the order which prohibited the 'Thattu kadas' (The road side evening food stalls). On popular demand.
The march broke up & the tiny grey protesters vanished in seconds. Traffic resumed, people started appearing on the foot path, Normalcy returned.