Dictators like Hosni Mubarak and Gaddafi have been taken by surprise by their peoples’ uprising as they have not been seeing the ‘Writing’ on their walls.

Well, such a contingency will never happen with us ( We of course, do not claim to be dictators, not even dictation- givers) as we keep seeing not only writings on our own wall but get to see a lot on our neighbors’ walls too!

I am not referring to any sexually explicit graffiti like ‘S loves Y’ or ‘M is a p…..’. What I am referring to are the recordings maintained by sales persons or survey- conductors (data collectors) on our walls for the edification of their successors that is, to tell their colleagues that the house has already been covered by them. The fact that our gate pillars are painted a dark green provides them an ideal, clear background to record their hieroglyphics as if it is their birthright. When we catch them doing so, they nonchalantly retort, “But we have been asked to write here. You can wash it off later”. But, who will do the washing? The Company? No way! For them it is one writing. But for us house owners, it is nothing less than 3-4 per day, sometimes in different colored chalk like pink, blue and sometimes even indelible ones. If our neighbors thought of avoiding this by having an off -white wall, they were totally mistaken. They have a jet black metallic gate, don’t they? All the better, as a background against white chalk.

Earlier, the Census people had a horrible way of writing with a dripping black pen or brush to say that the house had been covered. We would be told not to erase those marks too. Thank God, someone up there has had a bright idea. They now have a cute white circular sticker of 1 cm diameter that is stuck unobtrusively on the main door.

Democracy demands that you go round with a purple stained finger nail after every election. But who says that our walls are public property? Who is to stop this atrocious habit of defacing the walls painstakingly painted with one’s life savings?

Incidentally, someone of our acquaintance has the habit of washing the car only once in a blue moon. This was not out of any ‘Save Water’ awareness but due to sheer laziness. Once while the car had been parked outside, two girls had approached the car and had left behind a sensible advice in the dust accumulated on the car ‘Clean me’! That I call is the real “Writing on the wall”, a writing which shames the owner to action.




21 responses »

  1. Dear Vimala,

    Nice one this. Even frustration gets a humorous angle when you write apart from the message being driven to the point…

  2. Sonal Shree says:

    I can always trust you to come up with something so significant out of the issues majority see but do not observe. Brilliant take as usual.

  3. vimala madon says:

    there is no respect for people’s property not only for recording of data but the stickers stuck by sales persons? These are the only occasions when I come across glues that really stick,come rain or shine. And as for the trend of tying ‘no parking’ signboards, if I did not remove them as soon as they were put in, I wouldn’t have a gate to show.

    Incidently, I reversed one of the larger signboards and had painted on it two smiling dogs and two fierce looking owners with the message: ‘Never mind the dogs, beware of owners!’

    • vimala ramu says:

      Yes, even I have been saying the same thing. The only product that is strong in our country is the glue.They just don’t seem to come off. As for the parking board clandestinely stuck by a bank, I was there just in time to see and stop him.Your painting on the reverse was really a good idea!

  4. vimala ramu says:

    Thank you, Pankaja for your astute observations.

  5. Nuggehalli Pankaja says:

    I think it was Morgiana of Alibaba tales that first made good use of ‘ writing on the wall” (Be it in ‘sign’ or ‘ mark ‘language) So, it is an ancient practice !
    The allusion to the dictators is good!

  6. Beyniaz says:

    Right on Vimala. ..and please write on.

    • vimala ramu says:

      Thank you, Beyniaz. Thanks for reading and commenting on what must look like a boring,civic problem.

  7. Sreedharan says:

    I can live with this as long as the Banks dont go around writing notes saying that you owe them Rs …. ? at which time may be I should shift homes ? That`s scary, isnt it ?

  8. Vimala Madam,
    I wish I could tell you in a serious voice that a future MF Hussain or Pablo Picasso is LURKING in one those boys! But no. Jokes apart, I know how horrible the problem can be. I remember the time when the municipality (or corporation) used to drop fish in the wells (this was in Vellore town, in early 70s) to eradicate Malaria (after borewells, only the fish and wells have been eradicated, not the mosquitoes) – They used to paint a black square on the wall where the corpn/municipality guy will write in chalk whether fish has been dropped or not. One of our neighbour’s naughty son, always used to write some date on the black sqaure with the result many of the houses in our street never got to see those fish! until the boy’s father got transferred….

    • vimala ramu says:

      That’s true, Mr Om. Any writing on the wall will always tempt others too to add their own contribution , all at your expense.

  9. vimala ramu says:

    Oh,God, don’t tell me they are coming round again?Thanks for reading,Shernaz.

  10. Shernaz says:

    The wall near my apartment has a nice red-painted census graffiti plus two stickers. And we have been told they’ll be coming around once more!! It’s good the stickers are barely noticeable. Enjoyed the read.

  11. gc1963 says:

    Vimala, does our democracy really depend on our purple stained fingers any more?

    Enjoyed reading your take on the issue. I was not aware of the sticker. If they are using the same, its good.

  12. Sneha says:

    A nice take, Vimala. Do the census people have a sticker now? They’ve yet again made a graffiti of sorts outside my house!

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