24 November 2014
Petites Annonces Gratuite
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Bhishmadev Seebaluck

Bhishmadev Seebaluck

My dear Billy,
Here’s an unabashed definition of democracy: a government of demons, by demons, for demons. No wonder then that the government solution to any problem is at least as bad as the problem itself. Quite often too, they manage to make it worse. It is also said that government is like underwear. That’s why it becomes important to change it from time to time. But you can’t change it for the same soiled underwear.
Friday, 27 September 2013 08:50

Dear Shakespeare : Hospitable hostility

My dear Billy,
Our energetic and fidgety Minister of Tourism is never at rest, either in his office in Mauritius or abroad in any part of the world. He has taken up the job of a globetrotting salesman and attributed himself the task of selling our destination together with our sea, sand and sun, to often unwilling tourists from east and west.
Friday, 20 September 2013 08:45

Dear Shakespeare : Racy, Romantic Rodrigues

My dear Billy,
I don’t know if I have told you before. Even if I have, I don’t mind repeating it, and I can say it again and again: The Mauritian paradise, of which we never cease to boast and are ever so complacent about is, in fact, situated in Rodrigues, and it is being taken good care of by the whole population there.
Friday, 13 September 2013 09:00

Dear Shakespeare : Never postpone…?

My dear Billy,
To what extent have you allowed your life to be influenced, guided or controlled by proverbs, sayings, quotations, maxims and dictums of all sorts coming from the  four corners of the world?
Friday, 06 September 2013 08:59

Dear Shakespeare : Nation of (dare)devils

My dear Billy,
Of the two legged-animals that bestride the narrow world, 1.3 million are, like the dodo, a species existing exclusively in Mauritius. Unlike the dodo, which was a passive bird which has become extinct because of its passivity, the present-day creatures rove fearlessly and in utter recklessness on our grumbling roads daily. If some trudge along the busy streets as if they were out on a leisurely walk in their litchi orchard, others move around in all sorts of vehicles, ever unmindful of other road users.

Of course, my dear Billy there are quite a few who do indeed observe the traffic regulations now and then, and use the road with due care and consideration for the lives around them, but they are soon honked out of the road by their more intrepid, more enterprising fellows. Some drivers expect their vehicles to perform like the airplanes in the sky, and indeed have their heads on the clouds. The real, sad fact is that they are only driving coffins on wheels.

Discipline on our roads is characterized by a general unruliness akin to the law of the jungle. Politeness, courtesy and civility are rare commodities which are seldom to be encountered on Mauritian roads. The syllabi of driving schools include classes where they teach a complete catalogue of swearwords which are indiscriminately used by drivers even before they obtain their driving licences.

The front pages of most of our dailies and weeklies do almost always carry reports of people who have left their lives on the roads, many through no fault of theirs. Quite a number suddenly find themselves in hospital beds to which they are nailed for a long period, often coming out with missing limbs. Drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians drift on the roads as if they are possessed with the rage of living; but this often leads them to their lurking deaths, also carrying others along with them.

In one of my earlier missives to you I wrote the following lines, my dear Billy: “Of course, I won’t mention here the height to which your blood pressure rises when you are at the wheel and you see a taxi stopping in front of you all of a sudden without warning; or a lady  driver who signals to turn left and turn right; or the overloaded lorry that crawls at 15 miles per hour in a zone where overtaking is prohibited; or the guy on the motorcycle who bullyingly overtakes you on the left, zigzags, crosses and crisscrosses arrogantly in front of you and overtakes the next vehicle on the right, leaving you to wonder whether you are on the road or at the circus; or the bus driver who, perched high on his complex of superiority that the size of his bus bestows upon him, drives right into you from the opposite direction while overtaking another vehicle.”

That was over a quarter-century ago, my dear Billy. If you think things have changed since, you are right – things have indeed changed and the situation is ten times worse today. Motorists and other road users not only fail to show any respect to the lives of others, they don’t even care for their own. That’s how many a motorcyclist, who leaves his home and family in order to go to St. Julien or St. Aubin, suddenly finds himself face-to-face with St. Peter up there.

I have, on several other occasions, told you my dear Billy, that Mauritians are fond of being stupid. One direct beneficiary of their stupidity is the Government whose coffers get pregnant with fine money collected from breakers of traffic rules. Drivers and others are stubbornly and adamantly proving that the laws have been made to be broken and have embarked upon the ardent task of breaking them. Some pleasantly labour under the illusion that the laws are for others to obey, and whenever they come across somebody breaking the law they are the first to drown them in a wave of invectives.

There are laws against drink-driving, against using the phone while on the wheel, against speeding, against parking or overtaking in certain areas, against so many driving hazards. But who cares about them? Only a handful of dullards who have been taught good manners at home and at school, those who know the value of life. The Franco press here often use the epithet “meurtriere” to qualify our roads in the wake of accidents. “La route meurtrière,” they write – the murderous road –  when in fact it’s the inconsiderate road users who are the real culprits.

The authorities are concocting all sorts of regulations in a bid to bring down the number of accidents on our roads. Campaigns on road safety are an ongoing feature. They are now coming up with laws to address pernicious pedestrians. That was long overdue. When you see some of them crossing the road, or simply walking along, you get the impression that if they are knocked down by a vehicle it will have to be sent to the garage for repairs. In Australia, even the kangaroos use the pedestrian crossings.
Friday, 30 August 2013 08:54

Dear Shakespeare – The zenith of nadir

My dear Billy,
Here’s a 24 million-dollar question for you. Scratch your palms, scratch your head, scratch your bottom, but try to answer this question: Which of Port Louis Theatre and the Plaza is going to crumble first?
Friday, 23 August 2013 10:00

Dear Shakespeare : The texting revolution

My dear Billy,
It would certainly be an understatement to say that the cell phone, or mobile telephone, provides a means of communication par excellence.
My dear Billy,
When you told me you were going on holiday, I thought why not take the opportunity to organise a little something for myself? And so I grabbed a holiday too and went abroad to spend it.
Friday, 31 May 2013 09:55

Universe of thieves

My dear Billy,
I would like at the very outset to draw your erring attention to the title above and to warn you that it is not my intention this week to talk about thieves in their habitat and how they evolve in their milieus.
My dear Billy,
Mark Twain is often quoted out of context as having declared that God created Mauritius and eventually copied Paradise from it. This may not have been what Mark Twain actually meant during his raving, but it greatly comforts the Mauritian ego.